Up before the ‘beak’
Mercedes and Pirelli are to appear before an international tribunal constituted by the FIA to answer questions relating to allegations of illegal tyre testing in Barcelona after the Spanish Grand Prix. Repports say that the test was performed with the current Mercedes F1 car and drivers, in contravention of the rules.
Initially Ferrari were also called upon to explain tests carried out by the Scuderia and the tyre supplier in Barcelona after the Bahrain Grand Prix, but the FIA has now conceded those tests were within the rules as they were conducted with a two-year-okd car, not the current model, and using only reserve driver pedro de la Rosa.
The question is, why would Pirelli, Ross Brawn, Toto Wolf and Mercedes have conducted tests on a recognised track, open to public scrutiny, knowing they were breaking the rules? Among the rumours circulating is one that suggests Mercedes was actually given permission to test the 2013 car by FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting. If that is true, what will the tribunal do?
The FIA Statement, issued on Wednesday night, said, “The FIA requested clarifications from Pirelli and Team Mercedes AMG Petronas F1… The FIA also asked questions to Scuderia Ferrari Team, which took part in a tyre-testing with Pirelli in Barcelona on 23-24 April 2013.
“The FIA requested all the other F1 teams to provide the FIA with information they may have regarding any tests carried out by Pirelli during the 2013 season.
“In the light of all the replies received and in view of the information gathered the president of the FIA, acting as the FIA prosecuting body, has decided: “To close the case as regard to Scuderia Ferrari team considering that its participation in a tyre testing organised by Pirelli in Barcelona on 23-24 April 2013 using for this purpose a 2011 car is not deemed to contravene the applicable FIA rules.
“To bring the case concerning the tyre-testing session carried out by Pirelli and Team Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 in Barcelona on 15-17 May 2013 before the FIA international tribunal because it results from the inquiry that the conditions of this testing may constitute a breach of the applicable FIA rules.
“The FIA international tribunal is called upon to make a decision in compliance with the FIA judicial and disciplinary rules.”