Mercedes 'welcome' summons to appear at a FIA hearing into Barcelona tyre test
Brackley team pledge to reveal the "full facts" behind 'secret' event
By Pete Gill. Last Updated: 08/06/13 8:36am
Both Mercedes and Pirelli are to appear before a FIA tribunal
Mercedes have reacted to their summons for a hearing of the FIA International Tribunal into their three-day tyre test with Pirelli by insisting they "welcome the opportunity" to state their case.
The summons, issued late on Wednesday night, has overshadowed the build-up to this weekend's Canadian GP and continues to cast a cloud over the Mercedes team despite their unexpectedly-competitive start to the 2013 season culminating in Nico Rosberg's faultless victory at last week's Monaco GP.
With the FIA subpoena warning that the 'conditions' of the secret test, staged between May 15 and May 17 at Barcelona in the week after the Spanish GP, 'may constitute a breach of the applicable FIA rules', the threat of a points deduction hangs over the team, but Mercedes remain adamant they haven't committed any wrongdoing.
"Mercedes-Benz acknowledges the decision of the FIA to take the matter of the Pirelli Test before the International Tribunal," the team announced in a statement on Thursday.
"We welcome the opportunity to explain the full facts of the Pirelli test in an open and transparent manner at the International Tribunal.
"Sporting integrity is of primary importance to Mercedes-Benz and we have the utmost confidence in the due process of the FIA."
With an investigation into Ferrari's post-Bahrain test dropped after the Scuderia reassured the FIA they only used their 2011 car with test driver Pedro de la Rosa behind the wheel, the focus of the tribunal is set to be Mercedes' decision to run their 2013 model, the W04, with regular race drivers Lewis Hamilton and Rosberg on duty.
While Mercedes have hitherto strenuously insisted that they sought and received permission from the governing body to run the test, the decision of the FIA to summon both the Brackley-based outfit and Pirelli, the sport's sole tyre supplier, would certainly suggest they do not share that outlook.
A date for the hearing has not yet been determined.