FIA deny having full knowledge of Mercedes' three-day tyre test at Barcelona

Rosberg's win stands but Merc and Pirelli may face action

By Pete Gill and Mike Wise.   Last Updated: 27/05/13 10:24am

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Mercedes: Controversial test

Mercedes: Controversial test

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The FIA have issued a highly-critical attack on Pirelli and Mercedes' version of events surrounding their three-day 'secret' tyre test, stating that it would only have been ratified had F1's sole supplier ran the test and Pirelli provided all the other teams an equal opportunity to take part.

Although both Pirelli and Mercedes have insisted they were given permission by the governing body to run the test, which took place in the days immediately after the Barcelona GP, and with Monte Carlo stewards upholding Nico Rosberg's victory in Sunday's race in spite of a protest launched by Red Bull and Ferrari, the FIA have issued a strongly-worded statement which suggests that further action might yet be taken upon receipt of the stewards' report.

According to the FIA, they received 'no further information about a test' after advising both parties at the start of May that Pirelli should oversee it and that 'every team was given the same opportunity to test'.

It is understood that the test, which took place between May 15 and May 17, used Mercedes' 2013 car, the W04, although the identity of the drivers remains unclear.

However, in a trenchant conclusion to their statement which suggests that both Pirelli and Mercedes could yet be hauled in front of the FIA International Tribunal, the governing body declares:

'Following this communication, the FIA received no further information about a possible test from Pirelli or from Mercedes-AMG. Furthermore, the FIA received no confirmation that all teams had been given an opportunity to take part in this test.'

'In addition, with regard to the application of the sport's rules, including principles of sporting equity, it should be remembered that the International Sporting Code provides that on the basis of a report of the stewards of the meeting, or on its own initiative, the prosecuting body of the FIA may bring a matter before the International Tribunal.

'The Tribunal may decide to inflict penalties that would supercede any penalty the stewards of the meeting may have issued. Such procedure would be followed in pursuance of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules.'

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 prior to the race, Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said that teams other than Mercedes had been asked to test but had turned the chance down.

"As per our FIA contract, we can ask teams to do 1,000 kilometres of tyre testing. It's something that's common in all FIA contract including the World Rally Championship," he said.

"We asked the teams if they were interested. Some said yes, some said no."

Yet according to the FIA's statement, Pirelli subsequently failed to inform the governing body.

The turn of events comes after the Italian company had already countered criticism of its product in the wake of the Spanish Grand Prix, which featured a total of 78 pit-stops.

Pirelli are yet to sign a new contract to remain as F1's sole supplier in 2014. Speaking on Wednesday, Hembery seemed pessimistic over renewal talks.

He declared during winter testing that the Italian firm's future needed to be resolved by April or May but no deal has yet been struck.

"Apparently on the 1st September we need to tell them [the teams] everything they need to know about the tyres for next season but we're now mid-May so you can imagine how ludicrous that is when we haven't even got a contract in place," he suggested.

"Maybe we won't be here anyway."

The FIA statement in full:
'At the beginning of May, the FIA was asked by Pirelli if it was possible for it to carry out some tyre development testing with a team, using a current car. Within the contract Pirelli has with the FIA as a single supplier, there is provision for them to carry out up to 100km of testing with any team - provided every team is offered the opportunity to do so.

'Pirelli and Mercedes-AMG were advised by the FIA that such a development test could be possible if carried out by Pirelli, as opposed to the team that would provide the car and driver, and that such tests would be conditional upon every team being given the same opportunity to test in order to ensure full sporting equity.

'Following this communication, the FIA received no further information about a possible test from Pirelli or from Mercedes-AMG. Furthermore, the FIA received no confirmation that all teams had been given an opportunity to take part in this test.

'In addition, with regard to the application of the sport's rules, including principles of sporting equity, it should be remembered that the International Sporting Code provides that on the basis of a report of the stewards of the meeting, or on its own initiative, the prosecuting body of the FIA may bring a matter before the International Tribunal.

'The Tribunal may decide to inflict penalties that would supercede any penalty the stewards of the meeting may have issued. Such procedure would be followed in pursuance of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules.'

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