Ferrari Horse Whisperer blogger mocks 'perplexing' Mercedes sanctions for tyre test

Marussia's Lowdon also suggests more teams will be "pretty irate"

By James Galloway.   Last Updated: 24/06/13 12:23pm

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Ferrari have condemned the International Tribunal's verdict in the Mercedes tyre testing controversy, claiming their rival has escaped "virtually scot free" in the affair.

While the widespread expectation had been that Mercedes could potentially receive a large fine and a loss of constructors' points should the independent panel have ruled against them in Paris on Friday, the Tribunal ultimately decided that while the team had breached the sport's regulations, mitigating circumstances had been at play in their decision to participate in a tyre test at Barcelona last month.

The sanctions imposed against Mercedes were therefore at the lesser end of the disciplinary scale, namely a reprimand and a ban from taking part in next month's three-day young driver test.

Ferrari had, along with Red Bull, originally brought the matter before the FIA at the Monaco GP and the subsequent punishments meted out to Mercedes has served to rile Ferrari's anonymous, but famously outspoken, Horse Whisperer blogger who has taken to the Scuderia's official website to savagely lay into the outcome.

"Today we learned, that even if one is guilty and in this case that is an indisputable and verified fact, there is always a way of muddling through as best one can," the Horse Whisperer wrote.

"One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be and even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles.

"It is somewhat perplexing to say the least to see that the guilty party can get away virtually scot free for having derived "an unfair sporting advantage."

The mystery columnist also mocked what it felt were the Tribunal's apparent attempts to 'level the playing field' by barring Mercedes from taking part in the young driver running at Silverstone, insisting there was a clear distinction between that kind of test and the one their rival completed with race drivers at Barcelona.

"Don't tell me that testing for three days on your own at the Catalunya circuit is the same as doing so with nine other teams at Silverstone with a host of young hopefuls at the wheel, in an area where the weather can still be changeable even in the height of summer," the column added.

"And what if this whole incident had taken place after the young drier test, what would have been the penalty then? Would they have been forbidden from holding an end of year dinner?"

Although Red Bull had largely been the most outspoken of Mercedes' rivals on the tyre test up until this point, and Christian Horner also attended Thursday's seven-hour hearing in person, the World Champions' Team Principal kept his own counsel on the matter in his brief statement released by the team on Friday - saying that "the penalty is not for us to decide".

The International Tribubal's full published verdict into the hearing confirmed that in its written submissions to the court in the guise of a third party Red Bull had called on the panel to impose "an adequate sporting penalty" on Mercedes for the alleged transgression.

Speaking on The F1 Show on Friday night, Marussia team president Graeme Lowdon suggested that a number of teams would be "pretty irate" with the outcome.

"I can't talk on behalf of the other teams but my guess there will be a range from one of two being indifferent because they've got focus somewhere else and I think there will be some that are pretty irate," he told Sky Sports F1.

"Tribunal is that there were indeed breaches of both the Sporting Regulations and the International Sporting Code, so that's now clear, and there's also some clarity of jurisdiction because that was in question.

"So that side the teams will be happy about because they'll see there is some clarity, but I think where the teams are going to be pretty annoyed is that the Tribunal have relied on mitigating circumstances in the penalties."

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