Mercedes and Pirelli are to face a Formula 1 tribunal over Barcelona tyre test
FIA bring case against Merc and Pirelli but Ferrari cleared
By Sky Sports Online. Last Updated: 06/06/13 12:33pm
Mercedes: To face an official hearing into their Barcelona tyre test
Mercedes and Pirelli are to face the FIA's International Tribunal after the governing body decided their 'secret' Barcelona tyre test may have contravened Formula 1's Sporting Regulations.
Ferrari, however, have been cleared of any wrongdoing for their own two-day test following the Bahrain GP in late April as the session was "not deemed to contravene the applicable FIA rules" owing to the fact it was completed with a two-year-old car.
Far more attention, and controversy, had already centered on Mercedes' three-day test that took place the week after last month's Spanish GP given that the 1000km worth of running was conducted with the Brackley team's current W04 and with their race drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
This information came to light on the morning of the Monaco GP and Red Bull and Ferrari both lodged protests with the stewards of the race, with their report subsequently referred to the FIA who opened their own wider inquiry into the matter.
And having now reviewed the information gathered over the past two weeks, the governing body announced late on Wednesday evening that its President Jean Todt had decided "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".
Mercedes and Pirelli have both maintained that they were given permission to run the test, with F1's tyre supplier saying that they are contractually allowed to complete 1000km worth of testing with each team and the W04 test wasn't 'secret'.
However, in the wake of initial confirmation that the matter was being referred to them for wider consideration, the FIA issued a highly-critical statement in which they insisted that neither party had provided them with the necessary assurances needed for the testing to go ahead.
Although the matter will now duly go before its International Tribunal, no date for the hearing has yet been set, although it may not take place imminently given the FIA's own statutes concerning the International Tribunal state: "The prosecuted person will be granted at least fifteen days to submit his Observations on a Notification of Charges, and the prosecuting body will be granted a further fifteen days to reply.
"There will be a period of least fifteen days between the Reply by the prosecuting body and the hearing. The President of the Hearing may at any time decide to reduce or extend the time limits of proceedings."
A suite of punishments would be open to the Tribunal to punish any rules breach ranging from a fine to expulsion from the World Championship.
The FIA's Wednesday statement also confirmed that in addition to Mercedes, Ferrari and Pirelli, the governing body had "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".