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Mercedes set for tribunal hearing

20 June 2013

Mercedes is set to discover if it will face any sanctions over its tyre test with Pirelli when the FIA's International Tribunal meets to discuss the matter in Paris today [Thursday].

The Tribunal was due to start at 9.30am local time, with Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn and Pirelli's Paul Hembery amongst those set to face questions from the governing body as it seeks to discover if the test was in breach of the sport's current regulations.

While in-season testing is currently banned, Mercedes insists it was acting with permission from the FIA, although the governing body has suggested that things weren't that simple when it came to the issue of whether the test could take place or not.

But how did the issue arise and how did the story develop?


26 May:

Just before the Monaco Grand Prix, news breaks of a three day test carried out by Mercedes in Barcelona to help Pirelli with tyre development work.

Mercedes say the FIA was aware of the test and that it didn't try to hide anything.

Pirelli also insists that the test was legal and that no rules have been broken.

After a protest is lodged by Red Bull and Ferrari, Rosberg wins in Monte Carlo. The result stands, but stewards elect to send the matter to the FIA with the suggestion that it could go before the International Tribunal.

The governing body reacts by hinting at sanctions being taken against Mercedes for taking part in the test.

27 May:

Red Bull say the Mercedes test was underhand and a breach of the regulations.

Meanwhile, Ferrari asks for clarity over the testing regulations to discover what it possible.

28 May:

Teams were told tests with Pirelli couldn't take place in-season according to a leaked letter from FOTA.

Martin Brundle meanwhile says the test row has shown the limitations faced by Pirelli.

29 May:

Jenson Button and Mark Webber say Mercedes didn't benefit from the test in the wake of Nico Rosberg's win in Monaco.

31 May:

Pirelli issues a lengthy statement to put forward what it says are the facts regarding the Mercedes test.

It emerges that Ferrari carried out a test of its own with Pirelli, but the team downplays its test saying that it wasn't relevant because of the fact a 2011 car was used.

1 June:

Ferrari is brought into the row as the FIA says it wants more information from the team over its test.

4 June:

Christian Horner says the Mercedes and Ferrari tests can't be compared and were different situations.

6 June:

Mercedes is summoned to appear before the International Tribunal by the FIA to discuss the Catalunya test, while Ferrari is cleared by the governing body.

The team says it welcomes the decision and will 'explain the full facts' about what took place.

Nico Rosberg insists that the team didn't benefit from the running which was a 'full on Pirelli test.

7 June:

Mercedes will claim Charlie Whiting said OK to the test taking place as part of its defence.

Meanwhile, Ross Brawn says his conscience is clear over the test and that he feels sure there is no case for Mercedes to answer.

However, Sebastian Vettel isn't so sure, saying that the test will have been a 'big help' for Mercedes.

8 June:

Red Bull says it rejected the chance to take part in a test with Pirelli for fear of breaking the regulations.

Pirelli meanwhile skip Friday's press conference in Canada on the advice of lawyers.

9 June:

The ever controversial Helmut Marko hits out at Mercedes and warns that the FIA will 'open Pandora's box' if they don't punish the team.

10 June:

The FIA reveals the date for the International Tribunal hearing into the tyre row, with Mercedes and Pirelli called to appear a week before the British Grand Prix.

Meanwhile, Paul Hembery says Mercedes are still struggling with tyre wear after Nico Rosberg stops three times in Montreal – the only front-running driver to do so.

11 June:

Luca di Montezemolo expresses his faith that the FIA will make the right decision when the International Tribunal hearing takes place.

17 June:

Bernie Ecclestone says Mercedes were wrong to agree to take part in the Barcelona test.

17 June:

'We can do no more' says Toto Wolff as the Mercedes motorsport boss says the team has prepared its documents for the tribunal hearing and believes it has 'done nothing wrong'.

18 June:

Pirelli says it hopes to stay in F1 into 2014 despite the criticism leveled at it over the Mercedes test.

20 June:

The International Tribunal meets to discuss the matter.


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