Breaking news in the paddock is that the stewards in Monaco have ruled AGAINST Pirelli and Mercedes. The tire supplier came under fire from big names Red Bull and Ferrari this morning when news broke that the Silver Arrows had run a three day private test following on from the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago.
Pirelli and Mercedes defended themselves saying they had permission to run a private test with whatever team they wanted as it would focus on the 2014 tires or the new rear tires to be brought in from the Canadian Grand Prix onwards.
Many in the paddock believed Ferrari and Red Bull’s objection to the test would be denied and hence used as a clarification for the rules or possibly bring in a law that stated that all teams would need to be notified of a private tire test involving a team with a 2013 chassis.
At the beginning of May, the FIA was asked by Pirelli if it was possible for it to carry out some tyre development testing with a team, using a current car. Within the contract Pirelli has with the FIA as single supplier, there is a 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 communication, the FIA received no further information about a possible test from Pirelli or from Mercedes-AMG. Furthermore, the FIA received no confirmation that all teams had been given an opportunity to take part in this test.
In addition, with regard to the application of the sport’s rules, including principles of sporting equity, it should be remembered that the International Sporting Code provides that on the basis of a report of the stewards of the meeting, or on its own initiative, the prosecuting body of the FIA may bring a matter before the International Tribunal.
The Tribunal may decide to inflict penalties that would supercede and penalty the stewards of the meeting may have issued. Such procedure would be followed in pursuance of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules.
This breach by Pirelli could very well spell disaster for the tire manufacturer who has repeatedly come under fire this year for the easily degradable nature of the tire causing both stalemates on track alongside several worrying incidents involving tire delaminations – tire wear particularly affecting Mercedes which is believed to be the motive behind Pirelli’s decision to use them at the test.
Furthermore, The FIA has denied having knowledge of the test, which could now see both Pirelli and Mercedes brought before the FIA International Tribunal. I can’t imagine any serious ramifications for Mercedes, but Pirelli are certainly in big trouble.