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Ferrari: Mercedes got away 'virtually scot free'
21 June 2013
Ferrari has hit out at the verdict reached by the FIA's International Tribunal, which convened this week to look at the 'secret' tyre test conducted by Mercedes and Pirelli after the F1 2013 Spanish Grand Prix.
Mercedes escaped with a reprimand and with a ban from the Young Driver test, while Pirelli was also given a reprimand [see separate story - HERE
However using the anonymous 'The Horse Whisperer'
column on its official website, the Scuderia made clear it feelings - and in the latest one headlined: 'Crime and Punishment (but make it a light one)' – it seems those at Maranello feel Mercedes definitely got off lightly.
“Today we learned, that even if one is guilty and in this case that is an indisputable and verified fact, there is always a way of muddling through as best one can. One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be and even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles," the column reads.
“It is somewhat perplexing to say the least to see that the guilty party can get away virtually scot free for having derived 'an unfair sporting advantage'.
"Don't tell me that testing for three days on your own at the Catalunya circuit is the same as doing so with nine other teams at Silverstone with a host of young hopefuls at the wheel, in an area where the weather can still be changeable even in the height of summer.
"And what if this whole incident had taken place after the young driver test, what would have been the penalty then? Would they have been forbidden from holding an end of year dinner?
“In one sense then, it's a bit like when a ghost goal is scored against you and isn't disallowed and then your opponents are incorrectly awarded a penalty, which has no effect on the result, incidents which both the English and the Germans ought to remember well, don't you think? It's not something that can be remedied with a penalty in the next game...”
The column also went on to suggest that this ruling – and previous ones relating to illegal parts – sets a dangerous precedent.
“The way things are going in F1 at the moment is becoming boring: you make a mistake, you race with an illegal component, but then you are told to just change it for the next race and we've seen what we've seen…
“All this reminds the Whisperer that if he ever finds himself running a F1 team in the near future and that he gets off to a difficult start to the season, then all it needs is to organise a nice week of testing at the right moment and then maybe have to skip a later session, by which time, everything could be done and dusted.
“What do you reckon?”