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First, Having all teams share a 3 day test session is unfair. Merc was afforded a clear track 3 day solo test session, like the days when teams conducted their own independent tests. This cannot be corrected by another pre-season test procedure under observation from other teams and the press. For this reason, sanctions are the only available recourse.
Second, before defending Mercedes, ask yourself, had this been Red Bull, would the reaction be the same calm and collected reaction? I think not.
Third, does anyone really believe that a team can have free track time for a distance equal to 3 GPs, without any scrutiny from anyone, and NOT gain an unfair advantage? This was a calculated offense and violation of both the written rules and the clarifications of the FIA before it took place. Mercedes is using a manipulation of communication as rationalization of what they knew was an illegal test, and hope to get away with it by further manipulation. The FIA needs to take action, or risk