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Yup, they broke the rules, and yes, it was equally clear that the rules and expectations from the FIA lacked clarity. So Mercedes either took advantage of the situation and tested, knowing the penalty would be light, or they truly felt their actions were legitimate. Either way, the FIA has clarified the rules going forward, and if RB or Ferrari were to conduct a private test, the FIA would be forced, and rightfully so, to issue a very severe penalty. Time to move on an direct their energies to clarifying the rules and creating an environment in which their sole tire supplier is prepared to remain in the sport. Last time I checked, a Caterham was as quick as a Red Bull while sitting in the garage without tires.