Mercedes and Pirelli to face FIA Tribunal today

F1 Fanatic round-up

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In the round-up: Mercedes and Pirelli will learn if they will be punished for their controversial pre-Monaco private tyre test today when they face an FIA tribunal.


Your daily digest of F1 news, views, features and more.

Mercedes and Pirelli to face FIA hearing over tyre testing (BBC)

“Mercedes and tyre supplier Pirelli face disciplinary charges on Thursday on what promises to be a dramatic day that could have major repercussions.”

Mercedes test row: how the International Tribunal works (Autosport)

“Formula 1’s attention moves to the FIA’s headquarters in Paris on Thursday for an International Tribunal (IT) hearing into the Mercedes secret test controversy.”

Lewis Hamilton fears for his legacy after ‘wasting away best years’ at McLaren (Sky)

Lewis Hamilton: “I got to F1 and nearly won in my first year, then won I won in my second year. I’ve never had a car to really compete since then. The car makes such a big difference so you’re just wasting away your best years.”

Lotus will be the No 1 team on the Formula One grid ‘within a year’, claims new investor Mansoor Ijaz (Telegraph)

Mansoor Ijaz: “We’ll be number one in 12 months. I say it simply, flatly, completely – we’ll be number one in 12 months.”

McLaren still struggling as we head to Silverstone, admits Jenson Button (Guardian)

Jenson Button: “We would love to be able to give the fans a win. We will still give the best we have. The important thing is that we do everything we can to put on a good show for the British fans – whether that is finishing fifth or seventh, I don’t know where we are going to be – but we have to feel we got everything out of it and we are happy with our achievement.”

Indian Grand Prix organisers slam ‘malicious’ rumours over future (Autosport)

“Indian Grand Prix organisers have dismissed ‘baseless and malicious’ rumours that the event could be in doubt after its 2014 edition.”


Comment of the day

After Infinity Racing acquired a 35 per cent stake in Lotus, @Matt90 wishes that the new consortium had come up with a slightly more original name…

Team Enstone really are intent on confusing us as much as possible. First the ‘Lotus’ debacle, and now a new major stakeholder has a near identical name to Red Bull’s main sponsor.

From the forum

Anticipating this weekend’s Le Mans 24 Hours.

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Julie and M744All!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

Luigi Fagioli lost his life on this day in 1952 when he succumbed to injuries sustained in a crash during the Monaco Grand Prix. The race had been held as a non-championship event for sports cars three-and-a-half weeks earlier.

Fagioli finished third in the first ever world championship for Alfa Romeo in 1950, taking five podium finishes but no wins. He quit F1 two races into the 1951 season.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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168 comments on “Mercedes and Pirelli to face FIA Tribunal today”

  1. Alonso say’s he’s ready 100% for the next 3 races but when he’s used terms like 120% and 150% before does that imply he’s not really ready?!

    1. OmarR-Pepper (@)
      20th June 2013, 1:02

      At least he didn’t say something like: “The time to harvest has come, and the supper will come from both the sea and the crops” and those things he thinks are precise to say when referring to his training.

      1. andrew_s (@)
        20th June 2013, 9:35

        classic! +1

      2. lool nice one

      3. @omarr-pepper you don´t made fun of the #samurai

    2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      20th June 2013, 3:11


    3. Alonso say’s he’s ready 100% for the next 3 races but when he’s used terms like 120% and 150% before does that imply he’s not really ready?

      Alternatively, he may have taken some maths lessons in his time off.

      1. Brilliiant!

      2. hahahahaha good one

      3. cracking reply to an already funny post …LOL

    4. Rofl …you guys are cracking me up :D

    5. But is it 100% for 3 races or 100% per race? If he crashes out two of them then it was 10%, 10%, 80% :)

  2. I’m so glad as a fan of Hamilton that he had the inspiration to finally **** of that hot mess…better late than never.

    1. huh? your sentence has a blocked word.

      1. His sentence has a naughty word :)

  3. Mansoor Ijaz sounds like an early-2010 Tony Fernandes

    1. True, but hopefully they’ll be able to invest more into their development and become more competitive. They’ve done great so far with less funding than the other top teams. I hope they’ll be able to compete for victories on a more regular basis

      1. @metallion I have no beef with Lotus – in fact they’re my second favorite team (1st being McLaren). But I do dislike overconfident people who claim they will be doing well before they even start.

        1. @raymondu999
          Yeah I agree with you, it’s pointless to say things like that. I think it’s perfectly fine to aim for the championship, they should. But to talk like they definitely will be champions in one year’s time is just silly.

          1. @metallion It’s ironic really. I’m an entrepreneur – and can be overly optimistic by nature. I’ve certainly never started a business without believing in all my heart that it would be number one.

            I guess the difference is I knew in my mind I was justified – and I just don’t know his justification. Lol.

          2. Remember BAR in 1999

        2. I guess there is a difference between starting up a new team and claiming you will be successful within sort notice and buying into a team that has all the facilities, and a good technical team, but lacks the money to make full use of it @raymondu999. But I do agree that this sounds overly optimistic, maybe they hope they can still convince Kimi to stay?

    2. @raymondu999 – What’s the alternative? “We joined Lotus because we want to be second-best”?

      1. @prisoner-monkeys no, the alternative would be “we joined Lotus because we want to (not will) be number 1”

    3. David not Coulthard (@)
      20th June 2013, 10:17

      Maybe he’s going to be able to poach back James Allison……or Ross Brawn.

  4. I don’t know what kind of questions Hamilton is being asked in the interview with The Sunday Times, but he sure doesn’t come across the right way to me in that Sky article, and sounds a bit like his 2011 spec self. Firstly, he’s 28, not exactly pensioner age and he could dominate the sport for a few years and be a multiple champion easily.

    Secondly, he states that having a single championship “is less prestigious now because so many people have won a championship.” Yep. Nowadays two other drivers since Hamilton have won a championship. They’re practically handing them out. Also 32 drivers have won a championship in total, dividing this figure by 740 (number of drivers to ever finish a GP I found on another website) we get 4.32%, so F1 Champions aren’t common even from a historical perspective.
    I get that he’s annoyed and probably jealous of Vettel’s success, thinking ‘what if’? But it comes across as self-pitying and not entirely respectful. Being a World Champion, I would have thought, does not diminish in prestige based on the number of people who have won it. Winning the Champions League, the Grand Slams or the golfing Opens don’t diminish as accomplishments over the years as more people win them.

    I know I might not be very fair on Lewis here, and blowing it out of proportion, but his logic regarding how special the WDC is very annoying to hear.He’s a Champion, it’s a huge accomplishment. But by saying that it’s less prestigious means that his fellow one-time Champions – From Farina to Rindt, Mansell to Button, have also had their prestige as Champions diminished, and that is simply not true.

    1. @colossal-squid COTD right there. Not sure you’ll get it, in light of the Tribunal hearing that will happen today (and the eventual comments avalanche that’ll come with it), but that just sums everything up so well about Lewis.

      Lewis should be aspiring to be like Gilles Villeneuve, not Jacques Villeneuve.

      1. From the rest of his comments, it appears that is precisely what he is aspiring to be:
        “So I definitely start to think what I want people to remember me as: I just want to be known as a hard, out and out racer…”

      2. @journeyer Well thank you very much!

        I agree, he should be the no holds barred, win-or-bust romantic racer that was Giles Villeneuve, and Hamilton very often has that approach to racing. As @nigel1 says he aspires to be a maverick in the style of Giles Villeneuve and Ayrton Senna. However off the track he does remind me a bit of Jacques – often lost in his own head, prone to mood swings and complaints. But Giles Villeneuve never thought about his ‘legacy’. Neither were Senna, Schumacher or even Alonso as seemingly preoccupied with how they will be remembered.

        They won because that was what winners do. Hamilton? Talented, sure, capable of greatness? Yes, but if he’s that obsessed and troubled over legacy then how will he ever get out of his own way for long enough to create one?

    2. I got an odd feeling from the interview too. He seems concerned that he won’t stand out from the rest of the champions with only one title to his name. He comes off as a bit ungrateful, it’s not like he didn’t have competitive machinery after his first title. Sometimes there’s simply another driver/team doing a better job over the season

    3. Parents and upbringing. You can’t blame it on not your usual childhood, as there are plenty of people in the same boat with different values.

      He should do some spiritual/mental development instead of concreting him self in a material world and it’s values. Material aims are nice, but one have to realise that the road to them is by far greater than the goal it self and is actually living!

      But then again, no one knows what is going on in his head and what character he plays with the media.

    4. But whose fortune would you rather have, MSC or BUT ?

      1. @colossalsquid, Fantastic reasoning, +1, couldn’t say anything more.

      2. 7 times better than 1

    5. Yep great comment!

    6. I wouldn’t see it like this – he is obviously eager and wants to win more. imo, somebody who is satisfied after 1 title is not a top driver.
      it comes across a bit weird but we shouldn’t forget these guys tick a bit different.

      1. I can completely understand that Hamilton would be hungry for more success. He’d have to be to be who he is! However here it comes off to me as something different, as a driver who instead of being driven and hungry for success, is being self pitying for not succeeding as much as he would have liked. In stead of being happy with his accomplishments yet not satisfied with what he’s achieved, he sounds almost petulant and impatient for the success he believes he should have. There’s a crucial difference in these two approaches to me.

    7. Drive faster. Current most successful driver Vettel visits the factory all the time telling the engineers what he needs to go faster. They are probably sick of him. Hamilton it would seem probably stands in front of a mirror telling himself he is a legend. He has his superstar girlfriend, his image/brand present at most races. Many dislike Vettel but the fact is he is the guy putting the hours in with the question “How do I win?” not sitting at home saying “I am supposed to be a legend”.

      1. AJ (@ascar2000us)
        20th June 2013, 11:42


        1. Yeah I too find LH’s comments strange. Just when I thought he had been saying and doing all the right things at Merc to show he was maturing and was on a fresh start and a fresh challenge away from the nest, he sounds too negative for my liking.

          This is only year one with Mercedes, LH. There is all the potential in the world in the coming years, so why not look on the coming years as holding great potential, rather than sounding like 1 ‘lowly’ WDC isn’t enough and there may not be any more. 1 is in fact very special, so maybe LH’s ego is even bigger than 1 WDC.

          I think what surprises me too is that in 2011 LH admitted off track distractions cost him on the track, so for him to now sound like he only had the car once or twice in his first year or two is disingenuous imho.

          JV’s name has been brought up. A telling interaction via a media interview happened. JV has been known to play guitar and sing in a band and has a CD out too. When someone asked MS what he thought of JV’s ‘music career’ MS said he hoped it would go better for JV than his (JV’s) F1 career. When they asked JV to respond to what MS said, JV said he would have to thank MS for the compliment, since he (JV) was a World Champion, then that would mean MS was wishing him huge success with his band.

    8. You cannot measure one’s life in seconds or by number of places on the podium, you measure somebodies life who’s in the public eye by the impact he makes on people, how he touches people, people feel, and if people don’t feel anything, they don’t remember anything. Results only don’t make people feel, but if you live it as a person with flesh, and blood, and you always go for it, you encourage other people to go for it in the various stories in their life

      That was Ari Vatanen. I think Hamilton should think more in terms of why Gilles Villeneuve is in the same bracket as Michael Schumacher if you get what I mean.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        20th June 2013, 16:19

        I think that is the reason that Hamilton is so popular in many ways. From the perspective of the spectator, he is just the most entertaining to watch. He reminds me so much of Rafael Nadal in the sense that he never gives up. He wants to bring the fight to Vettel and Red Bull and you can sense that in him.

        We’ve all heard how Djokovic has said that he chose the wrong time to be born and play tennis with Nadal and Federer and he had to make great improvements to his game to beat them. But he could do that in tennis.

        Unfortunately the car and the team matter so much in F1 that while Lewis can pull a victory or two here and there in an inferior car, he can’t win the WDC without a good car. For champions, you go 1 year without a WDC that’s normal, you go 2 you get hungry for the next one, you go 3 you start worrying and get angry at your team, you go 4 you wonder what on earth is going on, you go 5 you start thinking this might be the end of the road. All Hamilton can think now is what can I possibly do? He wants WDCs and pretty much everyone agrees that he deserves 2 or 3 easily so how the hell can he get them? Hulkenberg is in the same boat too as he deserves at least 1 win but switching to Sauber has set him back quite a bit and he’s Lewis’ age. I can only imagine his frustration. Alonso is upset that he doesn’t have 4 WDCs and he would probably deserve them as much as Prost.

        1. I think all LH has to do for now is remind himself that he needed to leave Mac, and he is on a fresh start with a great team that carries all the potential in the world. It is up to him to make it into something by being a vital part of a great team with great potential. He’s lucky to have had the experience he has had so far in F1, including a WDC, and he needs to just remember that he already has everything on his CV that most drivers only dream of, and then put his nose to the grindstone and work toward another WDC. He has nothing to complain about, imho.

    9. Always said he was arrogant and up his own backside. The media didn’t help when he came into the sport building him up to be the next Schooey. He must be gutted that Vettel is younger, has been in F1 for less time and won 3 titles. However his comments are demeaning to the rest of the champions.
      Just because he won a championship every/other year in other categories that he raced in doesn’t mean that he has the right to win in F1.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        20th June 2013, 21:59

        Why is he arrogant? All he’s saying is that he’s getting older and he’s not making the most of the best years of his life. He might become a better racer but he’s not going to get any faster with age.

        1. Read the comment Michael ,i thought he was arrogant when he came into F1 and he still is. I still reckon he won’t win any more championships. Yes there is an element of luck,right car and dedication,i don’t think the dedication is 100%

  5. Merc should be black flagged for a 1000 KM. Open and shut case but somehow I don’t think it will be.

    1. Since you are obviously privy to all the facts why not share them with us?

      1. Mate they can sugar coat it and manipulate it however which way they like. I like Merc but the facts are that they ran a current car for a 1000KM so what I proposed balances all out . If they didn’t feel they were in breach of any rules why the need to run with plain helmets? They rolled the dice and got caught out. Now they should take there medicine like men and not lay threats to the FIA.

        1. I also don’t like how Pirelli can call on teams to run secret tests even though that team runs an old spec chassis. If one team tests it should be transparent to all teams and they should also have the right to test. Even though Ferrari ran an old spec car you cant tell me that not 1% of knowledge was gained. Wouldn’t surprise me if they even bolted on development parts as well. How do we really know what they run under the carbon covers? Just because its an old spec car doesn’t mean parts aren’t compatible…

          1. David not Coulthard (@)
            20th June 2013, 10:46

            There is a diferent between a secret and something the f1 media isn’t interested in, and tests that don’t require that other teams know about them, but are still legal.

            I bet those Pirelli tests happen to be one of the latter 2.

          2. petebaldwin (@)
            20th June 2013, 15:19

            @ming-mong +1 on that. Ferrari got a chance to test next season’s tyres and the rest didn’t. It also means Alonso and Massa get to influence what happens with the tyres as Hamilton and Rosberg have whereas Vettel gets no input.

            There are 2 issues here for me – one is that Mercedes clearly broke a rule. The other is that some teams getting to test and some not is unfair. Both problems need to be addressed separately.

        2. @ming-mong Sugar coat what? You clearly don’t have all the info yet tout daft statements as if you did, you don’t dismiss supposed lies Pirelli has said, nor have you begun to dismiss the “e-mail” Charlie sent to Merc allowing the test. So until you can actually brandish a counter argument, I suggest sitting back and waiting till the full story is given after the Tribunal. Also the Helmets, everyone uses that as if it is the only means of proving this entire thing. Really it is a minor detail and probably done so other big teams that tend to spy (RBR and Ferrari) don’t figure out who it is. Brawn obviously expected people to stay around and see if they were doing anything, hence the pictures of the test. There are spies for all major teams, it is the same reason teams get caught by other teams for breaking curfew. Yet my helmet theory is speculation and unlike you I’m willing to admit that I don’t know exactly why and could easily be wrong.

          1. Firstly I never claimed to have all the facts. Just an opinion. The two facts I did mention have been confirmed by the team, a test took place with a current car for 1000km. In my opinion we will never fully know the truth of what has gone on here. The e-mail you are referring to does it indicate if C.W. was aware that a current spec car was being used? I doubt it. As for the spies, yes there are spies in F1 but if this is how it all came about why id it take to Monaco to surface? As for the helmet theory, its odd, anyone with 1% F1 knowledge could tell its a Merc by the the paint scheme and body shape etc… My guess is it was to disguise which driver was running.

  6. Obviously, Hamilton’s ultimate achievements are yet to be seen, and one would think that he has more than a few good years left in him. As ever though, even the best drivers need a bit of good fortune to get themselves into the right car at the right time. If Lewis should end his F1 career with only one WDC to his credit, it won’t be because he wasn’t one of the best of the best. Hard to imagine him not grabbing at least one more title, but it could pan out that way.

  7. @Keith, off the topic, do we get to see radio snippets from Canadian Grand Prix, just as you did for Moncao? I thought it was going to one awesome regular feature.

    1. Keith has said that if it is to be a regular feature, it will have to be a collaborative effort, because it’s just too much work for one man alone – especially when that one man produces all of the other features on the site.

      1. More than one man contributes to this site

      2. @prisoner-monkeys actually I myself asked Keith for volunteering for this task, in fact many of the forumers must have approached him. May be he is not around hence haven’t got the response yet. Hence, the concern.

    2. You want to address that to @keithcollantine – Though I’m not sure Keith is around at the moment since all the posts lately are being written by @willwood

      But I agree, that was a great feature and I’d love to see it after each race.

  8. hamilton says he never had the car since 2008 to win. rubbish, he had it in 2010 and blew it at the end of the year with 2012 he had the best car, but was not fast in races because of his tyre wear, and
    team errors. 4 years he had a
    chance, and one championship, which he nearly blew also.

    1. +1

      The truth is, Hamilton is too inconsistent and crash-prone to continuously be in contention for WDC. The only year he did win it (2008) was when Massa (or rather Ferrari) were plagued by similar inconsistency and strategic errors, putting then on an even field with Hamilton. Even then, Massa is hardly the highest rated driver around, and had it been Alonso or Vettel in that Ferrari, they would’ve probably beaten Hamilton 3 races to go.

      He had chances to win in 2010 and 2012 – he didn’t win and wasn’t even close. Alonso didn’t have the best car in 2012 yet he lost to Vettel by 3 points. Had Hamilton been within a similar range in 2010 or 2012 then I would’ve considered his comments legitimate. Right now it sounds like he’d have blown it (like in 2007) even if he has a Red Bull.

      1. i think he would only be slightly better then webber in a redbull. Webber is an amazing driver, his years in lower class showed that, it is just a shame he is teamed with THE BEST in vettel.

      2. petebaldwin (@)
        20th June 2013, 15:14

        @einariliyev Can you really say that Hamilton is crash prone though? When was the last crash that you could blame on him?

        He used to be but I don’t think he is any more. Lots of the problems he had last year were down to mistakes by McLaren – not Hamilton.

        I agree he’s had chances though and hasn’t taken them – when things go against him, he lets his head drop and loses a second a lap unlike Vettel who battles away and forces he way back into contention.

        If we’re talking about driver mistakes, surely Alonso has made more than Hamilton so far this year?

    2. Ben (@scuderia29)
      20th June 2013, 12:54

      agreed, he’s had some brilliant cars

    3. I agree with this, when I first read the article I thought someone ought to call the VATICAN there was a mártir right there…

    4. Had the car in 2010? When Red Bull were sometimes 1-1.5s quicker than the rest of the field?

    5. I don’t think you were watching in 2010 or 2012. He made one silly mistake in 2010 (as many, if not fewer, than anybody else) and had one racing incident- his hard racing in that case was fairly justified given how tight the fight for the championship was, and incredibly unlucky to result in retirement. In 2012 the problem was the team and the car- the car was generally fastest, but if it breaks down too often then it can hardly be called the best. Not fast in races? He won 4 races and retired from the lead in 3 races due to no fault of his own, not to mention the Spain debacle. This was one of the least educated comments I’ve read here for a while.

  9. Stirling Moss was also considered as a legendary driver though he never won a championship. A true legend is judge from whether he outperform the car or did something special. As long as I concerned, Lewis beat Alonso, a two time world champion, in his rookie year; he won in 2008 in a controversial style; he won 2 races and took 4 poles in 2009, which his car was crap for the first half of the season and yet he still hold his composure throughout the season; in 2010 he out-performed his car again, scoring the only non-Red Bull that season and fought for the championship until the very end; 2011 was his worst season, yet his drive in Germany and China were still a classic one; only in 2012 he was let down by his car, but probably he should take another look to his win in Austin, how he hunted down Vettel handsomely. (lol)
    Lewis is regarded as one of the quickest driver to date, so why should he concern about his legacy?

    1. *non-Red Bull pole

    2. In 2010 he out-performed his car again, scoring the only non-Red Bull pole that season and fought for the championship until the very end

      Actually, 2011 was the year in which he took the only non-Red Bull pole, not 2010. And in 2011, that wasn’t really much to boast about- he should have had more, like in Japan, Abu Dhabi and Hungary.

      Nonetheless, I agree he has done well in his career, it’s him, Vettel, Alonso and Raikkonen who are special and will be remembered for a while yet. I disagree with Hamilton’s claim that winning only one title is somehow less prestigious for the reasons @colossal-squid mentioned above.

      1. However, I do agree with LH that winning multiple championships is of course, even more special. Doing so is a clear indication that the success wasn’t any sort of flash in the pan, or anything like that.

  10. Well let’s see Hamilton, i don’t know but the team choice is not mine is it?
    Mclaren has not a fast car is true, but if it wasn’t for them you could still be driving something else. It’s easy to look backwards and critic all the wrongs, but i’m sure you’ve done some mistakes and wrong choices too, ask anyone at Mclaren and i’m sure they wanted to be Champions as bad as you, let it go…

  11. Very interesting article from Swiss “Blick” (in German) with some quotes from Niki Lauda:

    «Warten wir mal ab! Ich habe das ganze Montreal-Wochenende versucht, den Prozess noch zu verhindern. Red Bull, das mit Ferrari gegen uns den Protest eingelegt hat, war wie Bernie Eccle­stone mit einem aussergerichtlichen Deal einverstanden. Dazu hätte es einen Brief von Mercedes an FIA-Boss Todt gebraucht. Doch unsere Chefs Toto Wolff und Ross Brawn lehnten ihn ab! Jetzt müssen sie eben damit leben!»

    In translation: Lets wait and see! I have been trying to stop the procedure starting during the whole Montreal weekend. Red Bull, which protested us with Ferrari, had agreed with a out of court settlement, as did Bernie. To achieve that, a letter from Mercedes to FIA-boss Todt would have had to be sent. But our team bosses Toto Wolff and Ross Brawn refused it! Now we just have to live with it

    1. Let me add, that I think its very good they did not do anything like that deal, because it wouldn’t do anything good for the sport – why would RBR (and Bernie) get something from a settlement, but not all the other teams who were at a disadvantage? If anything, the settlement would feel more like a bribe to me.

      Not to mention that I fail to understand why one would not want to get the tribunal to decide on something, apart from Bernie (using RBR and Mercedes) getting one over on Todt by not letting him run the proper procedures. It rather shows though, that there really is a chance Mercedes gets out of this with not much punishment at all (Todt maybe having the FIA make the case that Mercedes did fully cooperate with the investigation, and not having any malign intentions as a reward for not playing Bernies game against Todt?) – Ross Brawn knows Todt well enough to know what to expect, right?

      1. If the FIA offered Mercedes a deal, it suggests that Mercedes have a reasonably strong case.

      2. “Let me add, that I think its very good they did not do anything like that deal, because it wouldn’t do anything good for the sport – why would RBR (and Bernie) get something from a settlement, but not all the other teams who were at a disadvantage? If anything, the settlement would feel more like a bribe to me.”

        Seriously, if thats true im utterly disgusted. Accepting money after moaning about another team breaking sporting regulations? holy ****.

      3. You’re losing your marbles. How on Earth did you manage to read the words “out of court settlement” and get “a bribe for RBR but not all the other teams” from that?

        1. What would a settlement between Mercedes, Red Bull and FOM amount to otherwise than that @jonsan?

          In my opinion that would feel like a bribe to pull their protest. I am not saying that Red Bull are letting themselves be bribed. But I think the tribunal is a far more open and transparent, and ultimately, better way to deal with this matter

          1. You keep making stuff out out of thin air. Where did you get this “a settlement between Mercedes, Red Bull and FOM” nonsense from?

            Any settlement would have to be between the FIA and Mercedes, as the language you cited but did not understand made clear.

            This “bribes for RB and Bernie” stuff is (a) libelous and (b) makes you sound like a nut.

          2. sigh, @jonsan, just look at the translated quote from Lauda in Blick in my post above. It mentions RBR and Bernie having agreed to a settlement.

            If you want to doubt my German, please understand that I have lived in the country for several years and do business with German speaking people (and have friends there) regularly. But feel free to say I do not understand the language if that makes you feel better.

          3. Seriously @jonsan try to be civil in your responses; @bascb is one of the steadier heads around here, so hold your tongue boy.

        2. I think this lauda quote will be taken out of context by everyone, probably wrongly reported, or just plain not legitiamate (he would be at the tribunal otherwise helping Mercedes from the obvious sinking result).

  12. The Blade Runner (@)
    20th June 2013, 8:43

    Well today looks to be a very interesting one. Lots of questions to be answered and the potential for some fireworks in the form of penalties, fines etc.

    Fans of the “Silver Arrows” must be pretty nervous, perhaps even considering the prospect of going back to whatever they were doing pre 2010… ;)

  13. Anybody knows whether the tribunal is public? I assume not.

    At what time do you think we will get reports on the defence used?

    And when will they decide on the verdict? And when will the verdict be published?

    1. The Blade Runner (@)
      20th June 2013, 8:52

      I read a report yesterday which said that they would do everything possible to deliver a verdict today

    2. Its public in the sense that Media are allowed to watch it (from a screen in a seperate room) but not allowed to tweet about it (although it seems Sky is sending text info that is being shown on their website)

      1. The Blade Runner (@)
        20th June 2013, 9:39

        Yes, the Sky text so far appears pretty damning. The FIA making its case clear: They never authorised the test and that Pirelli are bound by the same rules as the teams

        1. Not too sure of that @thebladerunner. Remember this is the FIA “prosecution” bringing their case. After all, if Pirelli are bound by the rules that forbid in season testing, then why on earth did the FIA sign a contract with Pirelli that allows them to do tests of up to 1000 km each with teams running current equipment?

          We are certainly going to hear that line of argument from Pirelli later

          1. The Blade Runner (@)
            20th June 2013, 9:45

            @bascb As the saying goes, “All will be revealed!”

          2. @bascb Currently none of us have read any such contract, and only vague allusions have been made about some kind of clause in their contract. Unless we know exactly what that clause says, and the conditions placed upon it, then it’s pure speculation as to whether it would be applicable in this situation and whether it would, from a purely legal standpoint, overrule Article 22 of the sporting regulations.

          3. True enough @mazdachris, no one has seen the contract. My main point made in the post above, was that its far to early to say that this looks bad for Mercedes and Pirelli after hearing what the FIA accuses them of. After all, its clear the FIA feel they have enough to bring the team and Pirelli before the tribunal. But we will need to see what the defense cases brings forward before starting to get a good picture.

          4. So far it seems Mercedes is holding the line that “they did not conduct a test” because it was a Pirelli test …

          5. Mercedes is holding the line that “they did not conduct a test” because it was a Pirelli test …

            It will be a bit of a mockery of the whole process if that “argument” doesn’t get laughed out of court.

          6. @BasCB So it seems that Mercedes haven’t put up any defense that we haven’t seen so far. One thing I hope they try to get to the bottom of, is why would Mercedes go to the trouble of putting themselves in the vulnerable position of running a 2013 off their own backs. Pirelli have made it clear that they didn’t ask Mercedes to do it, and yet Mercedes seem to have gone out on quite a limb here to supply current spec equipment. When they could potentially have supplied an older car and not had any of this bother.

            I wonder if this point will become crucial when they look at Article 151 – what was Mercedes’ motivation for providing a current spec car when there was no call to do so, if not to gain an advantage from it?

          7. The point of who decided on the 2013 car, and why is certainly something that should be an important factor in this, yes.

            I guess we will also get a better view when Pirelli has their say on things @mazdachris

          8. lets wait and see @jonsan, but so far, and going on these e-mails discussed about the matter, I see why Mercedes would make this case and could get away with it:

            “We heard this morning from the FIA about details of exchanges between the Mercedes and the FIA as Mercedes sought to clarify the position about whether a 2013 car could be used. Paul Harris in his submissions this afternoon explained exactly what email traffic had gone on between Mercedes and the FIA, and perhaps while conceding that Charlie Whiting wasn’t in a position himself to authorise the test, he does say he was in a position to be led to believe by him there was this potential to run the 2013 car.

            “Basically Mercedes made the request to run the 2013 car to the FIA, Charlie Whiting then had an exchange with the in-house legal team at the FIA and it’s fascinating to hear the email reponse that came back from Sebastian Barnard, who’s the FIA’s legal advisor. It goes along the lines of ‘in my view any such testing could not actually be undertaken by competitors, it would be argued that this was done by Pirelli. Would we be able to take this position?’

            “The response from Sebastian Barnard was ‘yes we could take this position, it is not an undertaking from the competitor’. So on the face of it if that’s some advice that’s been given out there it does seem to suggest that there was this potential loophole that it could be a Pirelli test governed by their commercial contract with F1 and it wouldn’t involve the competitor Mercedes and they wouldn’t be in breach of the regulations.”

            That is from what Steve Slater (for Sky Sport) concludes from what he heard/saw about Mercedes defense

          9. it wouldn’t involve the competitor Mercedes

            Ha ha ha ha.

            Really, even by the standards of legalistic doublespeak, that’s going way beyond the bounds or reality. So “the competitor Mercedes” was not “involved”? They used their current cars and their current drivers. If Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg doing 1000KM in the W04 is not “involvement” by “the competitor Mercedes” then the rest of the teams can go ahead and put jet engines in their cars, because the meanings of all words have been abolished.

          10. @Jon Sandor

            It could be possible to argue that it was a pirelli test an so therefore did not implicate mercedes in breaking the rules. However surely as Mercedes knew theat the situation was delecate and on the edge of the rules then would it not have been best to notify the other teams so that they could air their views? Also if they turn out to be 100% innocent then it would be wrong to punish them, but on the other hand they can not unlearn what they learned through the testing so the other teams will still want the situation leveling. How would this be handled?

      2. Flying Lobster 27
        20th June 2013, 16:23

        +1, I’ve been following Nextgen-Auto’s “live text”. To sum it up, the FIA say they never authorised Mercedes to test, Mercedes say “don’t look at us, it wasn’t our test, it was Pirelli’s”, and Pirelli say “we’re not a competitor, so the appropriate place to try us is in front of a civil court”.
        It was a long hearing, so the verdict is due tomorrow. If the chain of accusation is followed, I can see Mercedes getting points docked at worst, the FIA having admitted that Whiting, who was informed of Mercedes’ intention to test, had failed to ensure that all the teams had been invited, and if Pirelli are punished, they’ll contest it in front of another court and maybe withdraw from F1 at the end of the year.

  14. Whilst it is the team’s responsibility to operate within the letter of the the regulations, if Mercedes have indeed been given the go ahead by Charlie Whiting should the FIA be facing sanctions also for failing to ensure their employees were upholding their own regulations?

    1. Did Charlie give the nod for 2013 chassis?

      1. @ming-mong @coefficient
        The FIA didn’t give permission. Mercedes enquired about it via Whiting, who looked into it and basically came back with the answer that testing a 2013 car might be feasible but would need to be ratified by the WMSC and would be subject to various conditions and so on. The FIA have said that any correspondence from Whiting was simply an opinion based on a reading of the rules and absolutely not permission to go ahead and do anything.

        Which pretty much shoots down that defense.

      2. Only if a telephone call that was followed up by Whiting stating some conditions that could make a test fall within the grand scheme of things would be considered to be “giving the nod” @ming-mong.

    2. Well, after Lewis overtook kimi off circuit at spa a few years ago then gave back the position, maclaren asked charlie if it was ok and he said yes. Lewis then got punished after the race, so I would say charlie can advise, but his word is not binding.

      I want to know why the mercedes drivers wore anonymous helmets if the test was not secret. Also if the FIA did give them permission then this is still unfair on the other teams. Plus if I was a team that thought they might be on the edge of the rules for what is a test which affects other teams, even if the FIA told them it was ok then surely they should have told the other teams it was happening if not just to cover their own backs? This would have given the other teams the opportunity to question the FIAs decision before mercedes went past the point of no return. What ever the evidence both ways, mercedes can not argue that they did everything they could have to be transparent. They can also not undo the benefits they gained from the test. So regardless of whose fault this was the other teams need some compensation either in testing or points deduction etc. I would say that if it is the FIAs fault then all the other teams should have a 1000 km test asap excluding Mercedes. If it is Mercs fault then they need to be punished severely.


    Ouch, Vettel must be reading that article with a huge smile on his face. He’s really gotten under Hamilton’s skin.

    Ironically though, Lewis was spot on with his comparison that him, Vettel, and Alonso are the Senna, Prost and Mansell of F1 today. Only problem is, that he’s the Mansell. That’s not an insult of course, Nigel was a fantastic driver, but is rarely rated as a true legend or giant.

    I’m afraid Lewis’ career is taking a very similar path. He’s often fighting for the WDC and regularly winning races, but only won 1 title his whole career. Tbh, I wouldn’t be surprised if Hami retired with 35 or even up to 40 wins, but only 1 championship to his name.

    1. @kingshark

      Ouch, Vettel must be reading that article with a huge smile on his face. He’s really gotten under Hamilton’s skin.

      Or Hamilton wants Vettel to think that he’s gotten under his skin and writes Hamilton off prematurely.

      Honestly, I don’t really see Vettel as some kind of political animal or expert in psychological warfare. I think he’s been sheltered by Red Bull in that respect – he doesn’t need to resort to mind tricks, because he has the team to do that or him.

    2. @kingshark

      Nigel was a fantastic driver, but is rarely rated as a true legend or giant

      I appreciate that this is just your opinion but it’s one I strongly disagree with: Mansell was personally selected by Enzo Ferrari, was widely regarded in Italy to be one of the best drivers to drive for Ferrari and was the first (and only) driver to win F1 and CART titles in back to back seasons.

      Personally I don’t consider the number of championships a driver wins to be a true indication of their abilities as the car plays such a massive role in F1. A good driver can win a WDC against far better drivers if they’re given a good enough car as Button and Jacques Villeneuve both proved. Give them a dominant car and they can win multiple championships, add a corrupt FIA president who does everything they can to handicap their opponents and they can even go on to win four of them.

      I’d rather be thought of as the modern day Mansell than the modern day Prost, although I would much rather be thought of as the modern day Senna :-)

      1. @beneboy
        Of course, Nigel was an awesome driver and I never denied it, but few people would put him in the same breathe as Senna, Prost, or Schumacher. In all honesty, I think that Lewis’ career is heading that rout.

        I’d rather be thought of as the modern day Mansell than the modern day Prost, although I would much rather be thought of as the modern day Senna.

        If that’s your opinion, it’s fine, but I’d rather be a loathed 4 time WDC than a sympathized 1 time WDC. ;-)

    3. Hamilton is delusional if he thinks he is Senna in that comparison, maybe Mansell, but more like Piquet.

    4. I rate Lewis highly as a driver, but as a person he’s coming off badly. This article is only the latest one in which he worries about his “legacy”. In conjunction with his proposed museum to his own legacy he comes across as being completely obsessed with his own image. It’s all a bit pathetic really.

      Just focus on driving your car, Lewis, and your legacy will take care of itself.

    5. If Kimi gave as many damns as Hamilton, he’d be bothered nobody ever invites him to those lists!

      I wasn’t around for the 80s, early 90s, but to me this entire ‘I’m like Senna’ thing is getting to Lewis’ head. My family actually canceled our subscription to F1 Racing magazine when the 5th (!) Senna/Schumacher article in 4 years came along and honestly, I don’t take websites who actively go with the entire Vettel/Alonso/Hamilton – Senna/Prost/Mansell/Schumacher thing very seriously either. Similar statistics can be fun to see, but the entire ‘fast over one lap = Senna’ level of articles are very tiring.

  16. what the hell? i am following the tribunal… and it seems mercedes only defense is that if they are guilty, then so is ferrari… its not even a defense, its trying to shift the blaim for what they are accused onto others who are not accused in the trial

    1. establishing a precedence.

  17. This really is pretty extraordinary what’s coming out at this Tribunal about Ferrari and the data sharing from their tests with Pirelli. Does rather beg the question why Mercedes chose to sit on this information rather than raise their own protests about what went on.

    It all looks pretty rotten though, all smoke and mirrors, misdirection, testing conducted which seems like it gave advantages, all in secret, all hidden. Is this really what F1 is meant to be about? Backroom deals which allow teams to do things that the rules appear to prohibit? I certainly hope not!

    This whole debacle appears to drag the sport of F1 through the mud. Whatever the outcome now, I think it damages the sport as a whole.

    Thankfully later today there’ll be some proper motorsport to take all our minds off of this nonsense :)

    1. Pretty heavy stuff isn’t it @mazdachris, let us be glad we have a tribunal deciding on the whole thing and not the backroom dealing we had in the past.

      I guess not protesting Ferrari over this fits with Mercedes’ line that they did not do any testing, as the test was conducted by Pirelli. After all, in that line of thought , Ferrari only provided the car for a Pirelli test as well, and there’s no substantial difference in both tests.

      1. @BasCB
        Yeah, I really agree with them here. The ruling that a 2011 car doesn’t conform substantially with the current rules is an odd one. Other than changes to exhaust and diffusor configurations, I don’t see that there’s really that big of a difference. Maybe Pirelli will point out that the way the downforce was generated by the older cars significantly changed the loading on the tyres compared to a current car, and that’s why they should be considered differently. It’s obviously not within the remit of this tribunal to look at the Ferrari tests, so they should probably be looked into again at some point in the future, but it’s definitely a very valid point that’s raised. Especially when it sounds like they went far beyond the basic requirements of just supplying cars and drivers for Pirelli to do with what they wished.

        I do wonder if this will all be looked back on as a bit of a watershed moment for F1. This whole situation reflects very badly on the sport as a whole, and I can’t imagine that the FIA wouldn’t have known that. In years gone by, this would almost certainly be subject to a whitewash. By taking it through their tribunal process, the FIA must have known that all the dirty details would come out, and yet chose to do so anyway, purely in the interests of transparency. That’s admirable. It’s a shame for the sport that it has come to this, like, but at least it seems to be being dealt with in the correct manner, even if it does turn out that there’s no legal way of punishing those involved.

        No matter how this tribunal goes, there will be consequences for the sport as a whole.

        1. I think so to. When these rules were made up and last specified, it was pretty clear that a 2 year old car (one from 2009) could not be used for any reasonable testing. But by now I doubt the car can not be used for some aero development to wings, bargebords etc. @mazdachris

          As I mentioned yesterday, the best part of this is the tribunal asserting itself as being a genuine and fair procedure. Apart from that I suspect that the testing issue will be taken in a flow with testing needs for the new engines, the tyres and teams wishes to test (which both Bernie and Todt are in favour of) to stamp out the rules for testing from next year onwards allowing more testing, as they discussed in Monaco.

      2. Ferrari only provided the car for a Pirelli test as well, and there’s no substantial difference in both tests.

        You seem to see yourself as a Mercedes lawyer rather than a neutral observer in all this. Mercedes did not “only provide the car for a Pirelli test”. Among other important distinctions, they provided the drivers and engineers as well.

    2. @mazdachris I totally agree that this is all pretty extraordinary and I think it is very valid of you to ask the question “Is this really what F1 is meant to be about?”

      DRS has been extraordinary in F1. So has been these mandated degrady, cliffy tires. I don’t like either…don’t like this direction F1 has taken. They are messing with gadgets to make up the show. The tires were taken too far and have been problematic this year.

      So my general comment would be that FIA and F1 should own some of this fiasco if not a lot of it, as with a bit more testing and with a bit less desire for tires to be the story we wouldn’t have this mess. I am absolutely confident that Mercedes would not have been trying to do an in-season test if the tires weren’t a problem for everyone. If they (the tires) had just been left alone from last year, then there would have been no test. Not with Ferrari either. To my knowledge no teams in the past, since the in-season testing ban, have tried to get away with a blatant disregard for the rule nor would deem it worth the risk, and given the state of this year’s tires and the fact that Mercedes tested with Pirelli, tells me there must be extenuating circumstances that should at least lighten any penalties Mercedes might receive.

      Imho, FIA and F1 wanted and signed off on these tires, as well as the lack of testing, Pirelli blew it with the tires and needed a test. Mercedes might be guilty of something…but to me they are by far not the biggest offenders in this case, and I think they have been unfairly treated by most posters and reporters as the biggest offenders in this, albeit I suppose understandably so since, as Keith pointed out in the past week or two, Mercedes is the only party whose possible penalty from their actions (plus Ferrari’s exoneration) could affect their and their opponents’ Championship run and standing.

      I cannot help but think of the massive outlash towards Michelin when their tires were found out to be unsafe at one corner of one venue, and that was at a time of much much more money and testing in F1, so I don’t see how Pirelli isn’t a big big part of the problem here and should be held to owning a big part of the ‘fault’ in this whole mess. But then again…there’s the fact that F1 mandated these tires as well as the lack of testing, hence my opinion that F1 needs to own much of this too. If it can be determined that Pirelli ran the test, then Mercedes ‘knowlegde’ gain will have been minimal imho and certainly cannot be considered the equivalent of a normal F1 team test, and I don’t think anyone is accusing Mercedes of conducting a normal F1 team test. It was an extraordinary test in extraordinary F1 times.

      1. Mercedes would have learned a lot from this test. They have very clever and experienced engineers and very good and experienced drivers. The drivers would have learned a huge amount from the amount of breaking and accelerating and cornering they were doing (Lewis already stated before the test that he was struggling to come to terms with the different break setup of mercedes compared to maclaren) They would have also been able to hazard a pretty good guess as to which compound they were on from the handling and the laptimes etc. The team would have learned a lot about the car from things like component durability to downforce etc and not only that we have not information about any enforcement of restrictions (eg parc ferme) that might have either allowed or controlled which parts they put on the car (is it not conceivable that they used some new parts on the car for the test if there were no controls in place to stop them?). They also state that they did not use the telemetry data, however how do we know this, most teams beam live data back to base, we have no way of knowing if they did or did not do this during the test. If they did then they are not going to tell us. Then factor in that mercedes make their own engine so they would have been able to learn from this too, from efficiency, power bands to wear rates on particular parts. In fact Mercedes will have stood to learn more from this test than any other team, any other team that is apart from Ferrari who coincidentally are also seemingly implicated in this mess.

        Mercedes may well turn put to be innocent, but I can’t help but think that they should have made it clear to other teams that this was happening so that the other teams could have aired their grievances before it was too late. This would have also covered the backs of Mercedes so would surely be the intelligent thing to do. However if they are innocent the the teams will surely feel that they have still benefitted from the test but how would this be rectified? It would seem unfair to punish them with a big fine or a point deduction etc but then they also can not unlearn what they have learned. If they are partly to blame though then they should face a heavy punishment, and so it seems should ferrari right at this moment (although we obviously do not know the full facts about that test yet)

  18. Very confrontational way for Pirelli to start presenting their case. Sounds like they don’t feel they have a lot to answer for since the FIA and the sporting regulations have no authority over their actions. I can see their point, though I’m not sure it’s strictly true.

    Either way, it doesn’t really sound like the company is trying to maintain a good relationship with F1 with a view to supplying tyres for next season. I mean, we’ve talked a lot about Mercedes evaluation their future, but it would be far far more serious if Pirelli picked up their ball and left.

    1. @mazdachris
      Which is why it is absolutely mindblowingly stupid that there is no contract signed with a tyre supplier from next year.

      1. I know, it absolutely beggars belief that F1 would find itself in this situation. I know that people seem to think that Ecclestone is an omnipotent puppet master, always in control of the situation, but it’s hard to see how this situation is anything but a disaster. FIA having a massive falling out with the only company who could conceivably supply tyres for next year, and it’s just becoming more and more bitter. With Pirelli citing the Briatore case they’re sending a clear message – mess with us and we’ll take you to court. Hardly conducive to ongoing contract negotiations.

        Thing I also find interesting is that Pirelli seem to be exclusively interested in saying that they can do what they want and it’s none of the business of the FIA. I think if Mercedes were hoping for Pirelli to come in and defend them, then they’re sorely mistaken.

        1. Well to me is seems like Pirelli’s ‘attitude’ if I can use that term is…you wanted these tires, you wanted the lack of testing, we did as you asked, everyone signed off on it, but due to the lack of testing we only found out once the season began that there was a problem, so what are you going to do to us for doing as you asked under your own conditions?

          I don’t know that Mercedes need forget any hope of Pirelli defending them. At a minimum, Pirelli supplied tires for what on the face of it could appear to be an illegal test. So Pirelli are at a minimum guilty of aiding and abetting an F1 team to advance their Championship, one could argue, so I think Pirelli will unavoidably have to answer to that issue of supplying Mercedes tires, never mind as Brawn and Rosberg have pointed out, the engineers to conduct the test.

  19. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    20th June 2013, 14:46

    As suspected by many folks, Ferrari had another test with Massa last year. All the tifosi that wanted Merc disqualified are now speechless and have unanimously agreed that Ferrari should relinquish possession of all their championships to prove that they are not above the rules.

    I’m sure DiMontezemolo would love to go back in time and praise Mercedes for helping Pirelli in their time of need and standing by them the way Ferrari did through their difficult moments!

    1. When this Ferrari test become public, and what were the edetails, please?

      1. *details*
        I was too surprised to type properly!

        1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
          20th June 2013, 15:51


      2. Came out in the hearing earlier on.
        Ferrari ran a Pirelli test last season with Massa doing the driving.

        Mercedes also revealed that Ferrari had another testing opportunity in 2012 with Pirelli, when Felipe Massa was used in its pre-Spanish Grand Prix test and that the team conducted more than 1000 kilometres.

        1. Mercedes also revealed that Ferrari had another testing opportunity in 2012 with Pirelli, when Felipe Massa was used in its pre-Spanish Grand Prix test and that the team conducted more than 1000 kilometres.

          But what car was used? If it was the 2012 Ferrari then Mercedes would have stressed that point I think.

          1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
            20th June 2013, 15:45

            “Any track running time not part of an event undertaken by a competitor entered in the championship, using cars which conform substantially with the current Formula 1 technical regulations in addition to those from the previous or subsequent year.”

            If this is true then Ferrari is also in violation on two occasions and was the first to commit the violation and do so across 2 seasons. After hearing the outrage against Mercedes and the penalties that were suggested by the forum, what would be appropriate punishment for a double violation and repeated offense across 2 seasons and then attacking Merc for doing what they have done?

            I like Ferrari but a $500 million fine sounds very appropriate to me if folks wanted Merc to be disqualified with a huge fine.

          2. I no longer think it matters what car was used in these Pirelli tests either last year or this. I think that Pirelli would not aid and abet any one team to advance themselves in the Championships because the risk would be huge for no reward since they are the only tire maker in F1. And I think nor would they do a test with a car that wasn’t going to provide them with some useful information.

            So if Mercedes is going to be accused of gaining from their Pirelli test, so should Ferrari be accused of gaining from last year’s test with Massa and this year’s test with a 2011 car that had who knows what on it that was more current, and perhaps said gain is why they are gentler on the tires this year and didn’t want changes to them. The rules speak of current cars, or recent cars that are current enough to be of concern, and I propose that Pirelli wouldn’t bother doing a test on a car that wouldn’t glean them some sort of useful information…my argument going hand in hand with peoples’ arguments that even if Mercedes test was a Pirelli test conducted by Pirelli, Mercedes would still have gained ‘knowledge.’ So too must have Ferrari then, and they’ve been exonerated.

  20. petebaldwin (@)
    20th June 2013, 15:52

    Decision delayed until tomorrow.

  21. Mercedes don’t seem very confident as in there summing up after the hearing they proposed suitable penaltys if there found guilty.

    They suggested a reprimand or exclusion from the young drivers test.

    Before the hearing a story that didn’t get much press is that Pirelli is said to have informed the FIA that they will sue them if Pirelli are given any form of damaging penalty.
    Mercedes board of directors also issued a statement suggesting they could quit F1 if there image is tarnished.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      20th June 2013, 16:42

      As I’ve said all along… Pirelli and Mercedes have put the FIA on notice.

    2. The FIA should take no notice of these threats and administer a fair penalty if they see fit, they should not be bullied. putting up such threats shows they know they are guilty – if they were innocent, they would have nothing to worry about and would not make such threats. if they leave, then good riddence to bad rubbish as the saying goes.

      1. Said the worlds biggest Redbull fan..

        1. @f190 thinking that what @dkpioe said was just because he’s a RBR fan or a Mclaren fan is wrong. This is a sport, there are rules, you should live by them or if you don’t want that, please leave the sport, or run alone.
          Even if with tests you cannot be the best, you’re just doing the wrong thing….

          1. @hipn0tic

            They haven’t been found guilty of anything just yet.

      2. @f190 They have been, but crime pays off. Congrats to Mercedes, Ross B., J. Todt and FIA. And all Mercedes or Hamilton fans. After this any Mercedes victory will be always with a question mark after.

  22. OH DEAR, in there closing submission to the tribunal, Mercedes are basicallly accepting guilt, and are now trying to dictate terms for what punishment they should get. – they are suggesting a reprimand or a ban for their young driver test…. hopefully they wil be banned for the rest of the year for admitting they cheated and for now trying to manilpulate the tribunal process.

    1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
      20th June 2013, 16:54

      Actually what they are doing is allowing the tribunal to save face by not forcing them to exonerate them and also informing them what they would consider suitable punishment so that the tribunal doesn’t have to worry about deciding on the penalty.

      1. they are trying to save their own face, not the tribunals, at the start of the day they pleaded innocent – to the tribunal you are saying needs to save face, and now they are trying to manipulate a lenient penalty.

        1. I don’t think they have said they are guilty ! Therefore their plea hasn’t changed..

  23. It’s a mistake to get hung up on how much advantage Mercedes gained for 2013. I believe that, while they were certainly interested in helping themselves for 2013, Mercedes were even more interested in helping themselves for 2014.

    They’ve already gotten a huge jump on the other teams when it comes to understanding the 2014 tyres, and at a crucial time. The 2014 cars are being designed right now. Everyone else will get two or three laps on the 2014 rubber sometime in November.

    1. the advantage or no advantage is the least important in this, what is important is that mercedes broke the rules, a major rule – that could lead to a huge advantage, but is irrelevant. the only thing relevant is that the teams stick to the sporting codes which mercedes did not. in testing, even not gaining an advantage can be an advantage, 1000km of free running is good for many other parts in the car and for the drivers mentality and getting a better feel in the current car to push more in the next races. all teams could do an illegal test now, and then cry innocent by saying they go no advantage, as advantages can not be proved.

      1. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
        20th June 2013, 17:00

        Hey, Ferrari broke it twice and they were exonerated without a tribunal while Jean Todt, a man whose blood is more red than Alonso’s, runs the FIA. But that doesn’t seem to bother you one bit, right?

        1. I am not sure he said that Ferrari should be getting away scott free. This trial is about Mercedes behaviour not Ferrari. I personally think at least one of those Ferrari tests need to be looked into as well, but that is for another day. If Ferrari have done wrong then that does not excuse Mercedes.

    2. I doubt Mercedes has a small advantage let alone a huge one for 2014. They were running coded Pirelli tires with their 2013 car and don’t even know if they were running what will be the final product for 2014. They weren’t given any data on the tires so they only know how tires that were on their car felt, without knowing what those tires were and as I say whether they will even be the final 2014 product. I’ll assume that come September all the teams will have data on the actual 2014 tires that will be on their cars. And nobody will be on those tires until they have their 2014 cars finished and out testing at the first pre-season test next Jan/Feb. Besides, if Mercedes has a ‘huge’ jump on the field for 2014, then I guess Ferrari had a ‘huge’ jump from their test with Pirelli last year, and yet Ferrari aren’t leading the Championships, so I really question the whole ‘advantages’ thing. I think the teams can jump up and down about theoretical advantages Mercedes may have gleaned, but in reality I don’t think there is much to be concerned about whatsoever.

      1. @Robbie

        So you don’t think the best drivers in the world can work out what tires they are on just by the handling and split times etc? You don’t think that The best car engineers in the world can gain a huge amount of information from wear patterns on parts etc? You do not think that one of the worlds top engine manufacturers can glean information from the wear on the engine and the fuel consumption etc? Also as lewis said before the test, he was struggling to come to terms with the difference between the breaks on the Maclaren and the ones on the Mercedes, He then had a lot of extra laps to get used to these, plus other parts of the cars handling. Being able to run a car for that distance under test conditions is a benefit to any team even if the test is technically being controlled by Pirelli. Also we only have Mercedes word for the fact that had no access to the telemetry data, I personally do not believe this as most teams beam their data live to their base so there is no telling if Mercedes were doing this during the test or not. There does not seem to have been any parc ferme conditions enforced so they could have put new parts on their car to test and or done pretty much anything. They may not have and may have been totally honest but no one will ever know. Even if they were totally honest there is no way they did not gain any benefit from the testing as the drivers and engineers can not simply unlearn what they learned.

        This is not to say Mercedes are guilty but highlight the big problem here, What happens if they are found innocent? I am sure the other teams will still feel that they have benefited from the testing and will want that rectifying in some way. However I think they are guilty of being stupid if anything. It was always looking like a grey area so why did they not simply tell the other teams so that all grievances could be aired before it was too late. If they had done that simple thing (which I am sure we all do at work via the cc option in email) then we would not be talking about this right now.

        1. I simply think you are overblowing what Mercedes would have gained from Pirelli using them to conduct tire testing using their own engineers. I would agree with you if there was some sense that Mercedes had Pirelli’s help in making this a Mercedes test, but there is simply no evidence of that nor do I think Mercedes would have found the risk to doing that anywhere near the reward.

  24. So the arguments offered up by the high-priced and high-powered Mercedes legal team were “Pirelli did it, not us!” and “But Ferrari did it too!”

    Sounds like something a six-year-old would come up with.

    1. Well, no offence but you boiling it down to two short quotes sounds just as amateur. They discussed the issue for 7 hours, so I’m sure some very valid points were made by all parties involved. I have yet to hear one single bit of evidence that Mercedes asked for this test, not Pirelli, nor that it was a Mercedes test, not a Pirelli one. So not only do teams pretty much never turn themselves into race winning and Championship winning teams with one normal F1 team 3 day test, they sure wouldn’t with a tire test of no data sharing. Their advantages gained would be absolutely minimal in reality such that I highly doubt they would take the risk without the comfort of permission, namely from Charlie Whiting…never mind if he technically doesn’t have the final say now that everything is coming out in the wash…he is to be considered a key icon in F1 and one could understand his say being golden at the time the conversations took place.

      I also think, yes, if there was a precedent of Ferrari testing, without recrimination, then that reeked of ‘permission’ as well. Some have argued all along that if Mercedes ‘gets away with this’ then all teams will expect to be able to test, which I don’t buy, because I think they had permission due to the urgency of the tire situation, but my point being if folks are going to argue all teams will want to and expect to test now, then why wouldn’t it be ok for Mercedes, knowing Massa tested last year without recrimination, take that as a bit of an open door to do a tire test when Pirelli asked them if they would?

      1. Did you notice that Mercedes made two completely contradictory arguments?

        On the one hand, they had to test with the 2013 car, because there was just no way to get good data with an older chassis.

        On the other hand, that Ferrari test using a 2011 car was in breach of the regulations – because there is no real difference between the 2011 and 2013 cars!

        They can’t both be true.

        I think they had permission due to the urgency of the tire situation,

        If the tyre situation was in fact “urgent” then Pireli could simply invoke safety and unilaterally change the tyres. But they have repeatedly claimed that the tyre situation is not “urgent”, that’s it’s mainly a cosmetic problem.

        knowing Massa tested last year without recrimination

        What car did Massa test last year? The 2010 model, or the 2012 model?

  25. Mike the bike Schumacher (@mike-the-bike-schumacher)
    20th June 2013, 17:42

    Bearing in mind I haven’t read the article, because frankly I don’t want to, Lewis had a competitive car in 2010, yes he had 3 years where he didn’t, but stop complaining!! Schumi had some ‘wasted’ years at Ferrari as has Alonso, you can’t win all the time. Alonso isn’t winning the championship atm but he’s still regarded as the best by many! Only be afraid of your legacy Lewis if you complain and don’t just get on with it.

    1. At the risk of coming across as a giant Kimi fan in this round-up’s comment section; have we ever heard Kimi complain in recent times about the years he ‘wasted’ at McLaren and Ferrari? 2003 wasn’t exactly wasted, but I do imagine the failure of the MP4/18 cost them development time. 2005 and 2006 could classify as Lewis’ ‘wasted years’, 2008 was partially his own fault, but 2009 would cost Lewis even more sleep were he to drive a Ferrari that season.

      But you mention a fine example in Schumacher. Schumacher was considered by far the best, even when Hakkinen matched his number of titles. Heck, Alonso matched Hakkinen’s amount of titles in 2006 to little critical acclaim, but is considered one of the best now. Statistics don’t tell the entire story in F1, and to be honest, I’d be far more likely to remember Hamilton winning a WDC in 20 years, than Villeneuve, now there’s a driver who tarnished his ‘legacy’.

      1. How did JV tarnish his legacy? I don’t remember JV ever being involved in ‘liegate’ nor with a team that was involved in ‘spygate’. Nor do I remember JV having to admit that off-track distractions cost him on the track. What I do remember is that JV had the equipment capable of winning a WDC for two years. His first two. And he nearly won the WDC in his first year as a rookie to F1, and then he won his WDC in his second year against the ‘legend’ MS who tried to whack him off the track and failed and tarnished his own legacy hugely and permanently in the process.

        1. You’ll find Schumacher tainted his legacy, but it’s not like people disregard him entirely.

          Villeneuve became a joke. He showed his talents every now and then, but having WDC material twice was largely his own fault. 1998 not so much, but his move to BAR, a team which was supposed to be built around him failed miserably and he was ousted from the team by Richards and Button, who both at that time had more to prove than JV. I liked him at Sauber, but his final year was another weird year of incidents, pace gone missing and rumors. Most people watching F1 in the 2000s (the ones I knew) always put his 1997 title on the Williams, more so than in Hill’s case.

          Don’t get me wrong, I think villeneuve earned his championship fair and square, but he essentially killed the reputation he earned at Williams and then some.

          1. I disagree and I think you are using hindsight to support your argument. And that old argument that it was the car is just that…an old argument that doesn’t hold water. Look it up and you will see that almost every time, the WDC winner had the WCC winning car…it’s simply a necessary ingredient, and if it wasn’t the WCC winning car then it was a very very close 2nd place car in the WCC.

  26. On the matter of Mercedes/Pirelli and their private test:

    Is F1 shooting itself in the foot yet again?

    If Mercedes are found guilty of some rules infringements, they may well feel that their reputation is unfairly under attack and that they have no future in F1. As the BBC reports today: “Mercedes may . . . have to consider its F1 future if the company’s integrity is impugned in any way.”

    Much the same can be said of Pirelli. The benefit of F1, in the eyes of their management, must be wearing thin, and having their reputation tarnished will not make them eager to remain in F1. Their contract is up for renewal at the moment I believe.

    It cannot be said enough: F1 needs a stronger hand on the tiller. The series must be more affordable for entrants (how great would it be to have a full grid of 26 cars?), so costs must be reduced; The teams should have much less control over the rules and regulations. If they don’t like the rules, they can go elsewhere. No team should have a special interest in the series, or a veto over any of the rules. If Ferrari don’t like that they can lump it – where else are they going to go? And perhaps most importantly, the commercial side of F1 has to be simpler, clearer, more transparent, and set up not for the financial of a bank (or billionaire) but for the long term health of F1.

    As things stand, F1 looks set to stumble badly, with a major team leaving and a major supplier throwing in the towel. F1’s glory days are long in the past. It is a racing series that has become more about showbusiness than racing. It can’t afford this kind of shambles.

    1. Yeah hard to argue with anything you are saying. But I also think that it will not come to Mercedes and Pirelli leaving F1. Even if it is found out that rules were breached, which it seems is very possible, I cannot envision massive penalties. Why? Because F1 mandated these tires and the lack of testing in F1 these days. And Pirelli’s tires have been problematic this year. They asked Mercedes to help them test, Mercedes felt they had some permission, even if it turns out it wasn’t enough permission, or official enough permission, but I just don’t get the sense that this was Mercedes trying to get away with a Mercedes test, nor has anyone yet offered me an answer to the question as to what Pirelli would have to gain by helping any one team advance.

      It sounds to me like this has been a series of miscommunications or misunderstandings, but I really do not believe Mercedes and/or Pirelli were colluding to advance Mercedes, nor that Mercedes would have seen this test as worth the risk whatsoever if they didn’t feel they had permission. So I think any penalties have to have motives taken into consideration, and I think Whiting and Pirelli had the motive to make F1 racing better this year without 4 stoppers, delaminations, and so much delta time running, and they wanted Mercedes to help. I don’t think it is much more than that because Mercedes simply wouldn’t risk everything otherwise, and if it weren’t for the shabby mandated tires and lack of testing, this mess wouldn’t even exist.

    2. @rsp123

      If Mercedes are found guilty of some rules infringements, they may well feel that their reputation is unfairly under attack and that they have no future in F1.

      Punishing an innocent team would be unacceptable. But so would failing to punish a guilty team that was considered to be ‘too big to punish’.

      When it comes to deciding whether Mercedes should be punished all that should matter is whether they have infringed the rules and the circumstances related to it. Not how important Mercedes are.

      If they are justly punished but take umbrage and quit the sport, that would not be a failing on F1’s part, it would be a failing on Mercedes’ part. But as I said yesterday I don’t think it will come to that.

      1. (@keithcollantine)

        I don’t agree with your last paragraph, F1 failing -has- a part of this with the playing around with artificially bad tires that has an unusual narrow window of operation that nobody understands. (Apparently even Ferrari felt the need for extra test both this and last year)

        1. @tvm The scope of my comment was only whether Mercedes have broken the rules and should be punished. I don’t think a person’s opinion on F1’s policy on tyres is relevant in that context.

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