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Mercedes suggests missing Young Driver Test

20 June 2013

Mercedes has offered to skip F1's Young Driver Test if the FIA elects to hand down sanctions over its tyre test with Pirelli.

The Brackley-based team appeared before the FIA's International Tribunal in Paris on Thursday to state its case in front of the governing body, arguing that it asked the permission of race director Charlie Whiting to conduct the test.

The FIA has denied that permission was granted, with a decision due to be taken by the Tribunal on Friday as to what penalties may be handed down, with Mercedes having suggested that missing the Young Driver Test could be a sanction to be consider – with the team believing any penalty should be minor given it had acted in good faith and hadn't attempted to gain any kind of advantage.

Rivals Red Bull – who were one of the teams to protest Mercedes in Monaco – have suggested that that sanction wouldn't be enough, with team principal Christian Horner saying it was down to the tribunal to determine what the correct penalty would be.

"I can't see how much of a sanction,” he told Sky Sports in relation to the Mercedes proposal. “They've already done their test with senior drivers so being banned from a Young Driver Test probably isn't much of a sanction.

"[The penalty] is down to the Tribunal, but the problem is that if it is only financial then that only becomes the cost of testing. The most important thing to come out of this is clarity; you are either allowed to test or you are not. Obviously, Ferrari have conducted a couple of tests which have come out of this, albeit in a 2011 car, which is within the regulations, but I think moving forward the most important thing is transparency and clarity because the way that test was conducted wasn't right.

"We raised a protest against Mercedes because in our opinion they breached the Sporting Regulations. It's been a fair hearing today and all the parties have represented their cases, and that's it."


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