FIA says all teams should have had chance to test

2013 Monaco Grand Prix

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The FIA has clarified its position in the row over Mercedes tyre test following the Spanish Grand Prix.

The sports’ governing body said Mercedes’ test at the Circuit de Catalunya should have been open for all teams to participate in.

Red Bull and Ferrari brought a protest against Mercedes when they learned of the test. The stewards have referred the matter to the FIA.

The FIA issued the following statement: “At the beginning of May, the FIA was asked by Pirelli if it was possible to carry out some tyre development testing with a team, using a current car.”

“Within the contract Pirelli has with the FIA as single supplier, there is provision for them to carry out up to 1000km 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 information, the FIA received no further information about a possible test from Pirelli or Mercedes AMG. Furthermore, the FIA received no confirmation that all teams had been given an opportunity to take part in the 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 a 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 may supercede any penalty the stewards of the meeting may have issued. Such procedure would be followed in pursuance of the FIA Judicial and Discplinary Rules.”

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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88 comments on “FIA says all teams should have had chance to test”

  1. what track did they test? How can they keep such a test so secretive?

    1. It was a secret because everybody – including journalists and reporters – had gone home!

    2. it was hardly secretive @deurmat, as it was clear to see for everyone there that Mercedes went out on track on monday when the teams were still packing up after the race, so everyone would have known.

      Its more the issue that its not really clear on what bases was such a test allowed, or even if it was really allowed, in the proper F1 fashion of having as much of the rules murky as possible.

      1. The tests were secretive. The dates of the tests were 15,16 and 17 may i.e Wednesday, Thursday and Friday after all the teams and press and everyone have left. There is something not right about the intention of the whole test I think, if Pirelli or Merc’s have nothing to hide from the other teams they could have informed and tested from Monday itself, i.e 13th may and not sneak in like a thief.

      2. @bascb The protest note says the test took place Wednesday through Friday. No team could see anything.

        1. How is it then that we learn of “secret” tests of single teams at tracks like IDEADA (or what its called), straight line tests at Duxworth etc, with teams closely watching eachother and now suddenly no one noticed that Mercedes were not packing up @crr917?

          I think there is more politicking going on in the background of this than real secrecy

          1. @bascb
            There is always politicking nothing new.
            If a cop in a uniform wants to buy weed, will you sell him? Mercedes new the rules, they new what they did was against them. Both Pirelli and Mercedes couldn’t convince the stewards at the race hence the matter is forwarded to FIA.

          2. @crr917 “knew”… twice

          3. @crr917 – sure there’s always politicking in F1.

            But I really fail to see the relevance of your cop history. Mercedes asked the FIA if they could (to keep with the cop analogy – they asked the GA if they could cooperate with selling the drugs to solve a case) and got the ok, and so they went ahead.

          4. @bascb
            They shouldn’t have trusted FIA. FIA can not make allowance for one team only. This is what i meant at the time. As it turns so far whether FIA actually allowed Mercedes anything is even more questionable. In a couple of weeks we’ll know.

          5. Well, the FIA did tell Mercedes they could go along with it, and it stands that way until now @crr917, only at the same time they told Pirelli that they can only do this test when all others are giving the same testing oppertunity, so we are still more in a conflict of understanding between the FIA and Pirelli than anything about Mercedes.

          6. Going in circles, aren’t we? What FIA tell Mercedes is unclear. Shouldn’t all teams be aware that they could test 2013 car and should FIA be aware that such test is taking place? I don’t know but I doubt FIA would try to support/screw one particular team in such obvious way.

          7. We are not going in circles here @crr917, you are looking for something that is not there.

            The FIA was asked by Mercedes if the team could to such a test, and the FIA confirmed that they could under specific circumstances. Other teams did not ask (I presume, otherwise its pretty certain they would have mentioned that already), so did not get told the same thing. But the FIA put it to Pirelli that if they were going to organise such a test, they would have to offer equal opportunity to everyone.
            Pirelli states they did that, no one else agrees they did so in sufficient manner.

          8. @bascb
            All a team have to do to break the rules is ask FIA? Get an answer that is not a “No” and do as they please? Is this communication made public yet?

          9. Sure, if the FIA is “stupid enough” (or has reasons to do so) to give dispensation to do something that is against their own regulations, than they are exactly the ones to ask @crr917, as they are the Regulating Body.

            They make the rules, apply them and police them. Its exactly why teams frequently put things to the FIA to see if they can do it (or to have the FIA specify they can NOT do it to stop a competitor from doing exactly the same). Only normally one would expect the FIA to say NO to such a request, which they did not do here. Instead they gave a Yes, but or a No, unless in this case, and that is why I think Button is right in that it will end with a slap to the wrist. And maybe a bit of reformulation of how testing is handled for the future.

    3. I’m so sick of this tire talk, what happened to drivers?

    4. Obviously Pirelli are at fault here for not inviting all the other teams to participate, Pirelli should be given a 5 race ban.

  2. I don’t understand why the rule states that Pirelli can test with any team if they actually have to test with all teams.

    1. Because it wouldn’t matter to the team that provided the car. At least that’s the way I understand the response from the FIA. The team would provide a current season car on loan but would NOT have any further involvement in the test. Neither in terms of staff/engineers to supervise the test, nor in having their drivers actually drive the car.

      1. Edit: well, I just re-read the whole FIA message and it looks like providing the driver would actually be allowed – just not anyone else from the team.

      2. The team provided the car and driver.

      3. Well, I would say that having Pirelli bring up to 11 complete batches of testing tyres, run up to 11 cars in one test and do all of that with actual race cars on loan in the gap between 2 races would make it a certainty that no testing is actually realistic.

        Its pretty clear that could be one of the reasons why Red Bull refused the opportunity, as they would not risk Pirelli running their cars (and possibly damaging them), even less so with other than their regular drivers (or test driver).

        To me it puts a whole new angle on why Pirelli made the pretty sharp comments against not being allowed to test last thursday.

    2. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
      26th May 2013, 23:27

      Ferrari made a statement they had done a test for pirelli earlyer in the year their only issue is that ferrari used the 2011 car because they thought they had to under sporting reg 22.1 or 24.1. (insert space core quote about oral fun in zero g) Mercedes used their 2013 car. So is pirellis contract overrulled by the sporting regs if not then it’s all fine.

      Redbull are trying to get the media to kick up a fuss about it by claiming all ignorence and pretending it’s some evil conspiracy. Ok we might not have heard about it before but i’m sure we don’t hear about alot of things that happen in f1. If which i doubt redbull have never been offered a test christian horners people have now had enough time to go through pirellis contract and see that at least up untill the issue of the car used it is all legal.

  3. It seems to me that ‘such tests would be conditional upon every team being given the same opportunity to test in order to ensure full sporting equity’ is the important line here. Pirelli think that they’re OK because they offered the other teams the chance to test at some point, where the FIA are saying that all teams should be offered all tests.
    Goodbye Pirelli, its been fun.

    1. Don´t let the door hit you on your way out…

  4. It’s looking increasingly likely that we’ll see a different tyre supplier next year. What a silly move this is by Pirelli.

    1. That would be nice! Nothing against Pirelli as such, as I think they have in large done what they were told, and created more excitement, and overtakes. But the inconsistency of the tires, and the synthetic compound is just ridiculous. The worst thing about the rubber compound, is that it will peak, then go over the cliff, and never come back if you take it easy the next few corners. I believe this is the root of the problem, and forces the drivers and teams to tip toe like they do.

  5. I thought Ross said this had all been ok’d with the FiA? Was he lying then? This could get pretty messy, pretty quickly…

    1. This could get pretty messy, pretty quickly…

      That is almost a given now @john-h.

      To me it increasingly looks like their must be something brewing in the background. Pirelli and this years tyres. No contract, nor tender, for next year has even been put out. Pirelli reported to have some kind of agreement with several teams. Red Bull protesting things. Hankook being rumoured to be interested in supplying tyres. Fernley mentioning that they used to get tyres for free but have to pay now. Bernie playing both sides.


      1. They have to pay for tires? That’s new.

        1. I asked that question last week, and apparently the tyres were free issue until the start of the Pirelli contract. Now, money changes hands and Pirelli get paid. But it doesn’t seem clear whether the money goes directly from the teams to Pirelli, or whether it’s collected by the FIA in the form of entrance fees from the teams and then paid to Pirelli by the FIA. That way would make more sense as the contract lies between Pirelli and the FIA, but this *is* F1 we are talking about, so anything could be the case.

      2. JimmyTheIllustratedBlindSolidSilverBeachStackapopolis III
        26th May 2013, 23:39

        I think pirelli are fine here if not then at least part of their punishment would surely be given to mercedes and possibly even ferrari. The fia did ok this test it’s a case of the left hand not talking to the right foot if it has any repurcussions for anyone it will simply be that in december when the contract is up it will not be renewed.

        Who would really want to take over though, michilin got flak bridgestone got flak pirelli got flak even if michilin comes back who will take over when they leave after getting more flak they wont put up with it forever.

  6. This statement only affects 1 part of the problem. Not all teams got the offer of testing, and thus that is Pirelli’s fault.
    That other part, about Mercedes using their current (2013) car should be more interesting. I guess Mercedes will be punished for that, since it’s simply not allowed. Anything other outcome would suprice me. Hope the FIA doesn’t mess up.

    1. Hard to tell really, because currently we have now way of knowing whether Pirelli has offered all teams the chance to test of not @me4me. Its pretty clear that Pirelli has no intention nor use of testing with ALL teams during one test, because it would mean bringing a load of tyres of one specification set. Its much more usefull for them to test with one team, then reiterate the tyres, then test with another team, make changes, then test with a next team, etc.

      We do know that Ferrari tested, although they used the 2011 car. And I understood that Red Bull were also asked to provide a car to test but declined.

      1. we have now way of knowing whether Pirelli has offered all teams the chance to test of not

        It seems to me, that Pirelli did not offer the same deal to every team. At least that’s what the German Auto, Motor & Sport writes, quoting Monisha Kaltenborn, that Sauber was not asked.

        So far, we only know that Ferrari and Red Bull declined, while Mercedes took Pirelli up on the offer for the post-Barcelona test.

        1. How do you know Ferrari and Red Bull were asked and declined???

        2. That same article mentions, that Pirelli feels the fact they informed the teams LAST YEAR about this kind of test being possible, and probably asking teams to supply cars, would fulfill that requirement.

          I certainly am not going to judge whether the FIA will agree with that assertion, but its pretty clear that Pirelli are very much pushing to get a test done with a relevant car and are not having an easy job getting that (see rant-ish comments from Hembrey on Thursday, no doubt anticipating this issue coming out)

      2. @bascb, it will probably go no-where, only RBR would benefit from having MB dsq’d, Ferarri and Lotus certainly won’t want to gift Vettel an extra 7 points.

        1. @hohum te protest is not about the race result, is about the knowledge they gain for the rest of the season… Ferrari is asking that if it is illegal Mercedes should be punished and both are asked that an opportunity to gaing the same advantage must be offered to the other teams

    2. @me4me this article in spanish sums all the problems with the testing:
      a.) They didn´t informed all the teams like FIA told them to do
      b.)They used a 2013 car (artículo 22.1)
      c.)The date of the test: you can only test between december 31st and 10 days before the first race of the season ( article 22.4.h)
      d.) Racetrack where test will take place should be aproved by FIA to be secure to have the security and safety requirements (article 22.6)
      e.) and it should be a straight track and constant radius.(article 22.4.h.ii)

      It seem the problem for Pirelli is that after this I don´t think their contract will be renewed, so bye bye Paul Hembery.

      The one that is in big trouble is Mercedes who has a contract with FIA and is subject to sporting rules, don´t know what kind of punishment they can give them…

      1. On B) C) D) and E) if you have read the article, you would know that

        The FIA issued the following statement: “At the beginning of May, the FIA was asked by Pirelli if it was possible to carry out some tyre development testing with a team, using a current car.”

        Within the contract Pirelli has with the FIA as single supplier, there is provision for them to carry out up to 1000km of testing with any team – provided every team is offered the opportunity to do so.

        is not a problem.

        On A) We do NOT know whether the other teams were invited. If they were, then it’s a non issue. If they haven’t, then Pirrelli has made a mistake.

        Really please try to be rational about this.

        1. Read down darling, Ferrari and RBR were obviously not asked, and not did Sauber. So there you have Pirelli screw up and Mercedes did too

          1. @celeste

            Well lets see how it develops, I’m sure as more comes to light our views may change. If Mercedes have effectively been given a free test, then yeah, that’s bad. But I think at the moment it looks like it’s not that straight forward.

            The rest of your points are still rubbish however, If you had of been reading before ranting at the time you posted, you’d have known that. Darling.

          2. @mike I already read, and I´m only posting the clear for those who need it.

            And surely you can recognize ranting than stading an opinion.

          3. Ferrari and RBR were obviously not asked, and not did Sauber

            – how can we be certain of that @celeste.

            Pirelli feels it did ask them, and even Ross Brawn confirmed (see that AMuS article linked to above) that Pirelli had asked them, and others several times before to provide a car but everyone was reluctant because they were not sure about using the current cars, and at the same time were afraid of risking their cars in the middle of the season for no gain to themselves.

            Brawn mentions that they only agreed after they felt a pressing need from Pirelli related to the delamination issue.

            Thing is, if you start believing one side (the one where your driver of choice is in), but not the others, you really are only fooling yourself. I think we can rest assured that with none of the parties involved are they telling us all they know, suspect nor think.

          4. @BasCB Then surely the sensible thing for Mercedes to have done, when approached by Pirelli to test using a current car, which is well known to be against the current sporting regulations, would have been to approach the FIA with Pirelli’s proposal and gain approval for testing on those days. The FIA statement, “the FIA received no further information about a possible test from Pirelli or Mercedes AMG” makes it clear that neither Pirelli nor Mercedes sought FIA approval for the test.

            Certainly if someone came to me and asked if I would like to do something that contravened the sporting regulations, I wouldn’t take their word for it that everything was above board.

          5. Well, if Pirelli asked for this years car to be able to get maximum usefull data, and the FIA told Mercedes that they were allowed to have Pirelli test with this years car (Mercedes DID ask the regulating body, and received confirmation they could), then why should Mercedes do anything but provide the car for running, its not Mercedes who should have informed other teams, nor the FIA, its Pirelli organising this test.
            I see more of an issue between the FIA and Pirelli here than anything with Mercedes.

          6. @bascb
            It´s not the same to ask: “Hey guys do you want to do a test on 2010 car of the tyres?” to ask “hey guys do you want to test the tyres we are gonna introduce in Canada and next year in your 2013 car?”

            Second: not only Ferrari and Red Bull not asked too nor Force India:

            “I don’t believe that we have [been asked], I can’t remember it,” he told Sky Sports Online.

            “I’m not sure it’s probably been done in the way you think it has been. It might have been a proposal to a FOTA meeting or something like that as opposed to an individual team prospect.

            “But I don’t recall having a letter from Pirelli on that.”

            Nor Lotus:

            Asked directly by reporters on Sunday night in Monaco if Lotus had been asked at any point this year to complete a test, Team Principal Eric Boullier simply replied: “No.”
            “Our position is there is a sporting regulation in place, there is even a testing agreement in place between the teams,” the Frenchman added. “Red Bull and Ferrari did a protest, I don’t think it’s necessary we have to keep going to the stewards after they have been made aware about this so let’s see what comes out.

            “You can gain any advantage by doing this and if they did it I think it’s because mainly they think it could have an advantage, yes of course.

            “But it’s more about the breach of the sporting code as well we’re talking about.”

            Boullier added: “Whatever permission is given it should be allowed to everybody or at least to make it aware to everybody and not testing on your own somewhere

            And it´s has come to light that FOTA has adressed the issue of on season testing for Pirelli last year in january:

            Pirelli is entitled under the terms of their agreement with the FIA to offer teams 1000km of tyre testing, subject to each team being treated equally,” said the email.

            “However there are no provisions within the Sporting Regulations for such testing to take place in-season.

            Pirelli F1 2013″[FOTA has] spoken with Charlie [Whiting] to confirm the process going forward, and there are two options: 1. ALL teams want to take up Pirelli’s offer and this is communicated to the FIA who will amend the Sporting Regulations; or 2. The test takes place out of season (and then the testing agreement comes into play).”

            So I´m can´t see where Mercedes and Pirelli got that they could do the test, when it was obvious they couldn´t. And it only made it worst the fact that it was made with personal of the team, with the current car and with they current drivers team made it worst.

  7. I think someone has screwed up big style here, and it’s looking increasinly like it was Pirelli. Their position seems untenable right now.

    1. At the end of the day, who supplies the tyres next year will be all about the $$$.

  8. I absolutely agree with that: they’ll need to make it up to the other teams somehow IMO otherwise it could taint the title fight.

  9. I can’t believe that the FIA didn’t have a representitive at the test. They knew the test was happening, it was straight after the first european race, it was at Pirelli’s request and as far as they knew all teams would be represented, or at least all teams were asked if they wanted to attend. I also cannot believe that the teams were not aware of the test durring the race at Barcelona, I mean with all the FIA people mingling with the teams’ personel during the weekend surely someone would’ve mentioned it.

    It would appear that the test was indeed secretive, and more likely than not at the FIA’s request.

  10. At the beginning of May, the FIA was asked by Pirelli if it was possible to carry out some tyre development testing with a team, using a current car.”

    “Within the contract Pirelli has with the FIA as single supplier, there is provision for them to carry out up to 1000km of testing with any team – provided every team is offered the opportunity to do so.”

    All seems reasonable so far. Pirelli asked to do 1,000km of testing with a current car, asked everyone and Mercedes said yes, so did it with Mercedes. Can’t see where they’ve gone wrong here if they did ask all the other teams…

    “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

    Now, this is where it’s getting murky. So Pirelli had to be the ones to run the car? Meaning, Mercedes would surrender the chassis to Pirelli, and they’d get Rosberg or Lewis or Alguersuari or whoever to do the laps and then hand the chassis back to Merc while keeping the data to themselves? The question now is, is that what happened? How do we know that Pirelli ‘carried out’ the test as opposed to Mercedes?

    1. Under that condition, I think its pretty clear why Red Bull would refuse to let Pirelli use their car for testing. I would be amazed if they would risk Pirelli running their car in between 2 races, risking damages to the chassis, engines and who knows what @magnificent-geoffrey!

      1. Do you think Mercedes gave up one of their two current cars, and not a third spare car? Or otherwise they surely did remove the regular engine and gearboxes cause it’d be stupid to run 1000km otherwise with parts that can easily undergo wear and tear.

        1. Its pretty clear they ran the cars that were used for the Barcelona race. Its possible that the ones used in Monaco are the chassis that were used in China.

          All teams have older GBs and engines that they run in tests (straight lines, filming days etc) and FP sessions HS

    2. @magnificent-geoffrey

      Glad to see someone picking up on the actual problems here.

  11. No more secretive then the test that Pirelli did with Ferrari last year…. (note I have no proof that test actually happened, but I’ve seen it mentioned by tons of people today so)

    1. The Ferrari test wasn’t a secret, It was mentioned on twitter & nobody said anything about it because it was done with a 2011 spec car, This is allowed under the regulations.

      Last year Mika Salo tested a 2010 Ferrari at Suzuka, Again been a 3 year old car this was legal.

      The big issue here is that Mercedes used a 2013 spec car with its race team, race drivers & nobody was actually informed it was taking place.
      There was no media there, No mention of it by them on twitter or there website, the drivers never mentioned it to anyone, the FIA never knew & so no representative was present & since the other teams never knew about it they didn’t ave representatives there either (Something that is supposed to happen).

      1. The other teams knew about it because they were still at the track packing their stuff up on Monday as Mercedes was out doing laps.

        1. Not true.

          The test took place on 15/16/17th which was Wednesday/Thursday/Friday of last week. All other teams had left Barcelona by Monday evening.

          1. Do you really think, if thy wanted to do a secrt test, they would do it in Barcelona, just after a race.


          2. So Mercedes left all their gear in Bahrain, together with theirs and Pirelli’s staff and nobody noticed. Surely the FOM transport would’ve noticed they had left behind a couple of cars and a few tons of equipment. Not to mention a few reporters and other teams’ staff not noticing a lack of Mercedes personel on the flights home.

          3. Well if the test wasn’t secret then why didn’t anyone know about it?

            If it wasn’t then why were no media there, Why did none of the teams know, Why didn’t the FIA know, Why didn’t FOM know, Why didn’t Mercedes, Pirelli or Hamilton/Rosberg ever mention it until it got made public Yesterday?

            Regarding stuff been left over in Barcelona, They did the test using as little equipment/staff as possible. A lot of there staff/equipment was sent home as normal on Monday.
            Watching the Ted’s notebook feature on sky post Spanish Gp, You see the Mercedes crew packing up as usual.

            If this test was public knowledge then media, fans, representatives from other teams, FIA representatives would have been present & like they usually do when conducting anything the team, Pirelli & the drivers would have mentioned something on social media.

            Also the other teams would have protested it then rather than now, The fact it came out last night & the other teams immediately kicked up a fuss & scheduled a meeting Sunday morning interrupting there race preparations tells you that the other teams didn’t know & never suspected anything.

    2. The test with Ferrari actually took place between the Bahrain and the Barcelona race @fisha695, only it seems Ferrari provided a 2011 car with EBD for the test.

  12. …such tests would be conditional upon every team being given the same opportunity to test in order to ensure full sporting equity

    Hmm…if the FIA wanted every team to have the same opportunity to test Pirelli’s tyres perhaps they should have organised some event where all the teams would be present and all the teams would be given the same allocation of tyres. Then maybe they should organise it to take place over a weekend in several different sessions so Pirelli can learn about how the tyres cope at different times in different track conditions. And maybe the FIA should incentivise the teams to take part in these sessions by introducing a competitive element – perhaps with the best drivers and teams being given points towards some sort of championship. And then maybe they should run these events across the world throughout the year so Pirelli can get a diverse spread of data from different tracks and climates, and the drivers and teams can continue their championship.

    If the FIA isn’t willing to organise that sort of thing, then they can’t complain when Pirelli do their own tests with one team.

    1. All but the 3 Ferrari powered teams voted down a return to in-season testing 2 weeks ago.
      Jean Todt planned to reintroduce testing at the start of last year but the teams turned that down as well.

      With the exception of 2-3 teams, The rest can’t afford a return to testing.
      The other problem is that the only way testing could be brought back is if every team had a test-team again as the race mechanics are already been stretched pretty thin & are already spending more time away from home than is ideal. Again though most teams could not afford to hire a test team.

      Only way you will get in-season testing back is if someone gives every team the cash to run the test’s & hire & pay a full test team.

    2. Possibly Pirelli made individual requests to the teams to supply a 2013 car for testing and only MB agreed, ergo all teams had the opportunity to participate.

      1. IT seems that is what Pirelli say how they see it

  13. Fun waiting until Canada, huh?

    Something smells really bad, someone screwed up badly. It’d not have stayed as a secret (or, in Brawn’s words, not a secret, no one said anything, which ofc is a totally different thing [?]) if it was totally legal. Teams would’ve complained anyway, but it’d be a bit more trasnparent, defo.

  14. When events such as this take place the first thing comes to my mind is pure amazement that F1 can even function well enough at all to hold a kids karting race without screwing it up. The conglomerated mess of F1/FIA/FOM and all the rest of the alphabet soup of crooks and liars that formulate Formula 1 let stuff happen and them blame everyone else.

    F1 used to be a pleasant escape from a world filled with political strife and now it’s in the thick of it. You have drivers saying the politically correct talking points for their respective teams instead of letting their driving speak for them. Though politics play a role in nearly everything including F1, it didn’t used to be the main event. The tire controversy has now reached such epic proportions, it has surpassed the spygate episode and is consuming the sport no matter how real or perceived the actual tire issues are. All the players can point fingers at each other and blame each other now, and they will, but regardless of any punishment or outcome the sport itself has already lost credibility that cannot be easily rebuilt.

    Who is in charge of F1 and can stop the bleeding? Bernie has his own catastrophe to deal with. Jean Todt? The FIA? The FOM? CVC? Who really can take charge? F1 is like a chicken with its head chopped off unable to see, think or act to save itself. The balance of powers that be is out of whack.

    Pirelli will go. It’s not really completely their fault. Things should never have been allowed to get to this point. Except for a few races their tires have been pretty decent. They will be a long time getting this stain off their reputation. Hankook is a rumored replacement tire supplier. Too bad for them. They seem to have a fairly decent reputation for making quality tires and now they want to go and do this thing? Don’t their suits read newspapers or the internet?

    F1 has been a multifaceted venture for a long time. Sadly, many more facets come into view having little to do with the drivers, cars, teams and the racing. Managed complexity is a good thing. Unmanaged complexity is also known as chaos.

    I will still watch F1 hoping that racing wins out over politics and greed. So many things have improved in F1 over the years, safety for example. Bringing back slick tires, ruling out excessive driver aids like traction control and auto shifting are good things. There is always hope. Either that or we can sit back and watch a slow train wreck of acrimony and manufacturer desertions that will cause F1 as we know it to implode.

    1. @bullmello, “cause F1…. to implode” and hopefully be re-born without the parasitic attachment of another Bernie/CVC.

    2. F1 used to be a pleasant escape from a world filled with political strife and now it’s in the thick of it

      @bullmello when there’s a bussiness, there’s political rows. Ever since the FISA-FOCA row, it’s been like this. It’s nothing new. If anything, this is a much “soft” problem than what we’ve seen, even in recent history. Spy-gate, crash-gate to name a few…

      It’s another thing that makes it all smell bad. Not saying I like it, but when you have so much money in the middle, so much is at play, these things happen.

      1. @fer-no65 True about the money, for sure.

        The thing that bothers me about the tire controversy is that the tires affect all teams in one way or another because they all use the same tires. Those who have managed the tires better are even affected by the complaints and results of those teams who have not managed the tires well. All teams will be affected if and when a new tire supplier must be found, however well that turns out.

        Spygate and crashgate were uglier scandals that brought disrepute to the sport, but mostly affected the one or two teams involved.

  15. “Within the contract Pirelli has with the FIA as single supplier, there is provision for them to carry out up to 1000km of testing with any team – provided every team is offered the opportunity to do so.”

    How nonsensical is this statement. They can do up to 1000km with “any” team, but they must offer “every” team the ability to do “so,” that is, do 1000km with Pirelli. It’s an inherent contradiction. Pirelli can choose the team it wants, by the terms of the rule, but still it has to offer it to everyone. Even if Pirelli has to do a lottery that doesnt solve the “equity” problem because in the end only one team gets the test. So the FIA geting all shirty about “equity” by citing this rule makes them look like idiots or at least illiterate.

    Nonetheless, at the least you cannot say that the FIA said that every team should have had the chance to test at Barcelona when MB had its test. Since that’s not a quote, its a paraphrase, and its only one of two possible inferences from that statement. At best you can say they cast an untenable contradiction in saying that Pirelle could choose “any” team but also saying the “offer” had to be to every team.

  16. The solution for testgate is simple. Just organise a 1000km test for all teams with their current cars. Leave Mercedes out of it for having done so before.
    Mercedes probably deserve some sort of penalty for using their current car for the test, but I think we are all done with penalties and bans. It ruins the sport. Organising another tyre test for all other teams except for Mercedes seems like a fair outcome that will leave everyone happy

    1. @todfod Except that Mercedes won Monaco because of their earlier testing, this makes it unfair. So in this case, I would say you are right, allow all cars to test, but DSQ Mercs from the race and that would be fair. Even playing field again.

      Not that I would like to see Merc’s DSQ, but how on earth can they argue that the 1000km test last week had no bearing on the result in Monaco?

      1. The test did help.. but wht is the FIA gonna do about it? Strip Mercedes and Rosberg of the win? Re adjust the points tally? That would **** a lot of viewers off… no one wants race results to be upturned a few days after the race… it will all just feel like a sham.

        I was merely suggesting a reasonable alternative .. I think most teams would agree that it is fair enough

      2. What?

        Everyone was expecting Merc to go well at Monaco long before this test happend. They’ve been quick there in previous years, an they showed again this year that they have a massivly stronger car in the last sector of Barca, which is a great indicator of Monaco performance due to low speed corners. On top of that, Monaco is historically a low-wear circuit, so not only where Merc expected to be quick, but their deg problems where already expected to be much less intense, in top of all that, the race-pace in Monaco was so slow to make a 1 stop work, (even Button in a terrivle McLaren said the pace of the front guys was so slow), that it futher helped Mercs problems.

        On top of all this, Mercs rivals even expected this result before the weekend, and have even stated AFTER the race that the test that the test wouldnt have had no bearin on this result (given 90% of the test was dedicated to next years tyres – and the rest dedicated to tyres due to be introduced in coming races this year) but, i guess you know more than the actual teams making the protests.

    2. Organising another tyre test for all other teams except for Mercedes seems like a fair outcome that will leave everyone happy

      – who knows, maybe this was what Pirelli were trying to achieve all along!
      Pirelli did mention several times how its frustrating not to be able to test, and the teams have voted down in season testing, so I can even imagine that this is a way to force their hand and get most of them to test, if only to be not left behind by any possible benefit gained from testing the tyres done with other cars!

      1. By all accounts this was a Pirelli test, not a Mercedes test, so I don’t see how having all teams run a 1000km test out of fairness, would help. Data was withheld from Merc, and so how would data being withheld from the other teams help in their supposed test?

        To me I think common sense should prevail here. Pirelli has been asked to make these tires and went a little too far. They need tweaking but they are in general doing as F1 has asked of them. If I’m Pirelli and Merc at this point, and I’m being pressured about this test, I’d simply say that someone had to step up and help Pirelli because the tires so far have been a disaster, so I’d be getting BE in there to talk to the FIA and explain that there was no time to bicker amongst teams as to who was going to do the testing, and better Merc who can show Pirelli best what options work better, especially in the rear, since they like to eat those, and who are a better option than opening the can of worms that doing this test with a current top 3 team would open.

        If this test was advantageous for Merc, then why weren’t all the teams lined up ready willing and able to help Pirelli once Pirelli started to talk of changes to the tires and Ferrari and Lotus got their knickers in a knot over that. RBR has been the most vocal for change. Why didn’t they happily test with Pirelli?

        Perhaps Pirelli didn’t advertise this test from the highest mountain because they had already discussed this option with teams last year, so the teams knew the possibility was there, and as I say going with a top 3 team would have been way more controversial, and going with bottom rung teams would likely not provide them the data they would require. Dilly dallying waiting for the teams to decided would have probably meant no test and we’d be stuck with these tires for the rest of the season.

  17. Very good response from the FIA, they first gave Mercedes the opp to test for three days their cars and now they realise that it is unfair…

    With guys like these ruling the competition who needs a championship?… the next GP it would be better if they just let us know the team that is going to win the race a cople of days in advance. A press conference or something similar like “Dear all, for this weekend we allowed RDB to test and improve their cars for 3 days so they will win the race, thanks for your atention, regards, FIA”.

  18. After reading through the article and the comments, I still do not understand what MB did wrong?! Why penalise them? The FIA gave permission to run the current car. The only issue is around if Pirelli extending the invitation to other teams. If not, this is an issue between Pirelli and the FIA

    1. “The FIA gave permission to run the current car.”

      The FIA never gave Mercedes permission to run the current car. The FIA have said they gave Pirelli permission to run a 2013 car providing the test was carried out by Pirelli & not the Mercedes team.

      Mercedes are in trouble because they never should have been the one’s running the car, They should have loaned a 2013 spec car to the Pirelli test team & left them to run the test using there own test drivers (Algersuari & Di Grassi).

  19. Ooooo! Please shut up Pirreli tested on Mercedes because it was the only car with a big tires problem.
    In the qualification they run great but in the race it was the opposite so they decided that the only way to make the rubber more efficient it was to tested on Mercedes I’m sure if Ferrari, Lotus or Red Bull would have the same problem Pirreli would have chose them as the team for testing, so in my opinion the other teams should shut up.

  20. It would be interesting if the test was offered to everyone, and the decision to use 2013 cars was made after only Mercedes had accepted the test :)

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