News has broken from the FIA that the secret Mercedes tyre test that took place in Barcelona may have been in breach of the regulations. Ferrari, who were also under investigation will not face any penalties after they were cleared of breaching any laws.
The FIA’s International Tribunal will investigate the Mercedes team because of their recent tyre test with Pirelli, which occurred after the team’s disastrous race performance at the Spanish Grand Prix. After its initial investigation, it has been made clear that Ferrari used their 2011 car in the test – whereas Mercedes used this year’s – and that could be in breach of the regulations governing in-season testing.
On the weekend of the Monaco Grand Prix, protests were put forward from Red Bull Racing and Ferrari. Mercedes won the race with Nico Rosberg, however it is thought that they won because of the track’s unique layout and not because of the test. The Canadian Grand Prix is expected to give everyone a clear idea of where the team stands as a result of their test.
A statement released from the FIA said: “In the light of all the replies received and in view of the information gathered during this inquiry, 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 test 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.”
It is not clear yet what kind of penalty Mercedes may or may not get, although Mercedes Team Principal Ross Brawn has said that the Canadian Grand Prix will go ahead as normal for for the team. The team looking for their fifth pole position in a row.