Mercedes and Pirelli have been reprimanded at the FIA International Tribunal at a hearing in Paris today.
The trial revolved around a three-day ‘private’ test held by Pirelli at the Circuit de Catalunya in the days following the Spanish Grand Prix earlier this year. Pirelli used Mercedes’ 2013 model as Mercedes had been suffering some extreme delacerations on their tires, and seemed like the logical team to use to demonstrate the new tire compounds, the R&D of which was the agenda of the test.
Neither Pirelli nor Mercedes spoke of the test to anyone, including the sport’s governing body, the FIA, until an engineer accidentally mentioned the test on the morning of the Monaco Grand Prix. Subsequently, Red Bull and Ferrari lodged protests against the test, claiming that Mercedes would have gained a serious advantage over their competitors through the 1,000km ran during the test.
No one expected a serious outcome to the complaint, but merely a clarification on the rules for future use. However, Stewards at the Monaco Grand Prix ruled in favour of Red Bull and Ferrari and referred the case to the FIA International Tribunal and a date was set for the 20th June.
As a result of the reprimand, Mercedes have been banned from the upcoming Young Drivers Test in order to try to reduce any advantage gained from the private Pirelli test.