Pirelli & Mercedes development test leads to F1 Hysteria & FIA headless chicken impersonations

There are times in life where I wonder what the writers and  media withing the world of F1 do all day. They chase ‘exclusive’ interviews that ten others also get, and miss the rest of what’s happening in F1.

Furthermore, this pack mentality appears to drive illogical deductions, made in the rush to get ‘the story out’.

Sunday in Monaco began with a furor developing over a three-day test that took place in Barcelona following the Spanish GP. Apparently, Red Bull and Ferrari were upset because they knew nothing about it, and the fact that Mercedes used a 2013 car.

Yet, much of the drama and hysteria could have been diffused indoors doors in an early state with some calm questioning and less mischief making. We first heard the drama described as “a ‘secret test’ performed by Mercedes and Pirelli in Barcelona”.

It was a secret?

Following the checkered flag, the Mercedes team was sitting in its  garage, smoking cigars and drinking fine port, whilst all the others were charging around like crazy, packing hundreds of tonnes of equipment into trucks … and nobody noticed?!?

Anyone who has ever been at a Grand Prix circuit the morning after a race will know how ridiculous it is to suggest that Mercedes operated a secret test. Mrs. Judge loves to take oblique industrial landscape photographs at empty tracks and moans that there are too many people around on Mondays after a race.

The cars were buzzing around the Circuit de Cataluña on Monday morning, whilst hundreds of F1 team members were still busy finalizing the cleanup and moving out.

Christian Horner claimed he had only learned of the test after qualifying in Monaco. This raises the question of how much else Christian is not aware of, or not being told.

Mercedes gained an advantage

Helmut Marko, following the race, said: “We are very unhappy. When we test for three days, we go a second faster – that’s what Adrian Newey [Red Bull’s designer] says. It definitely helped them – you can see that they had no tyre problems today. That’s no accident.”

Yet, both Paul Hembery and Ross Brawn clearly stated before the race that the test was controlled by Pirelli. Mercedes was given tyres with various indentifying codes and were asked to test them, with Pirelli monitoring the results.

Hembery also claimed that most of the tested tyres were 2014 prototypes, with some versions of the as yet ‘not-agreed-upon’ revised 2013 tyres, due to debut in Canada in 2 weeks time”.

Marko is making himself look silly again. If Red Bull has been running the 2013 tyres for over 50,000 kilometers and still can’t work them out, then how does three days of testing with prototype tyres give Mercedes an understanding the 2013 rubber?

Count the brain cells

Some will argue this was just F1 reporters desiring  to create a drama. It wasn’t. The fervent chasing of tails for ‘information’ in Monaco on Sunday morning was comical.

Yet for anyone starting from ‘rational land’ the question was obvious. How stupid are Ross Brawn and Paul Hembery? Even if this is a tough question to comprehend, we can distill the answers into multiple choices – “Very stupid”, “somewhat stupid”, “not really stupid”, and “pretty smart” are the likely responses.

The matter was clearly always going to hang on a technicality and Ross Brawn, following his years at Ferrari, knows exactly how to spot a loophole and drive a coach and horses through it.

The FIA on the other hand is more like a headless chicken. It is easy to believe that the left hand has no idea what the right hand is doing in a ‘dis-organisation’ that appears to be bureaucratic first and efficient last.

Others not informed

Paul Hembery told SKY that he had written to the teams, asking them whether they would participate in testing tyres with them. “Some responded with interest, others didn’t bother to reply at all”.

Later in the day, some of the mischief making was again made apparent when Horner admitted that Red Bull was asked to attend the test but, “We declined, because we are of the opinion that such a test violates the regulations.” (Motorsport.com)

This had never happened before

Ferrari tested tyres for Pirelli following the Bahrain GP this year, though they are believed to have used either the 2010 or 2011 car.

A Ferrari spokesman said, “Pirelli can offer to the teams the chance to do 1,000 kilometers of testing for tyre development and safety. But the fundamental aspect is the year of the car because if you use a current car it should be allegedly a breach of article 22. We want a clarification on this because if it is not against article 22 we would be interested in doing this.”

A later statement from the FIA clears the matter of a current car up quite nicely. “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 1000kms of testing with any team – provided every team is offered the opportunity to do so”.

So,maybe testing had not previously occurred with a current car, but the FIA clearly sanction it, subject to certain conditions.

Mercedes defence

Niki Lauda told Brazil’s Estadio, “When we were asked to do this, our team boss Ross Brawn called Charlie Whiting and asked if a test is compatible with the sporting regulations.

Charlie consulted with the FIA lawyers and gave us the green light. Further, Pirelli didn’t just ask us, but Red Bull as well.”

FIA reaction

The stewards were never going to overturn the result of the race, and this matter was always going to be kicked back to Paris. This may not have been the case 15-20 years ago, but thankfully the randomness of post-race decisions as well as overruling the results is predominantly a thing of the past.

The full response of the FIA, the first part of which is stated above, continues, “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 Mercedes-AMG. Furthermore the FIA received no confirmation that all teams had been given an opportunity to test.

This note was handed to the media last night. No FIA headed paper left, chaps? Methinks this says it all.


TJ13 conclusion

It appears to be tradition to have a major row break out during the Monaco GP weekend. If I were a cynic, I’d believe it to be orchestrated by Bernie and the Prince as part of their ‘mysterious’ arrangements for this event.

In 2012, the crisis of rule breaking was directed towards the Red Bull RB8 slotted floor. Pre-race protests were considered, but at the last moment it was agreed that the FIA would be allowed time to clarify the matter without bringing the result of the race into question.

So where does this now hang. Clearly a 2013 car was allowed by the FIA, so all of Ferrari’s early protests over breaches of the sporting regulation on this matter are now satisfied.

Mercedes has little to prove or argue. As long as the development test was “carried out by Pirelli, as opposed to the team that would provide the car and driver, the Brackley team are in the clear. It is not their responsibility to ask or inform other teams.

Pirelli’s situation is less clear. Yet, the battle of arguments will be fought over the condition that, “every team being given the same opportunity to test in order to ensure full sporting equity”.

Pirelli will argue that nothing was done in an underhand manner and that a representative of the FIA was in attendance. Horner clearly admits Red Bull were asked to attend, but refused.

The problem Pirelli may have is that ‘every team’ does not appear to have been given ‘equal opportunity’ to participate in the test. Sauber team boss Monisha Kaltenborn told Auto Motor und Sport: “We knew nothing about it.”

Furthermore, I understand that Pirelli will argue they couldn’t operate a full test with all teams present, due to the sheer volume of the various prototype compounds that they would have been required to produce. In addition, it makes sense to use one or two controlled test beds (cars) when attempting data analysis and interpretation.

Also, other teams have been contacted prior to the Monaco weekend and were offered the same opportunity following other upcoming races.

So, Pirelli will argue they reasonably have met/are meeting the ‘every team’ and ‘equal opportunity’ conditions. It appears that the FIA conditions were hastily decided upon and expressed in far too loose words, which has allowed Pirelli to act as they did.

One has to ask whether Pirelli cares what the FIA say or do to them at present. Can they be fined? Can they be treated any worse over their contract extension talks?

It could just be that Pirelli don’t give a monkeys banana and, should the FIA rebuke one of it’s officially sanctioned suppliers, it will be another stain on the FIA’s reputation, rather than Pirelli’s.

66 responses to “Pirelli & Mercedes development test leads to F1 Hysteria & FIA headless chicken impersonations

  1. had to laugh at the first two paragraphs … headless chicken came to mind and I said on FB the left side of the FIA don’t know what the right side is doing. So disorganised are they. Time to put this nonsense to bed imo and thank you TJ13 for giving me a good laugh this morning.

  2. Wow. The clarification on what really happened behind the scenes really blows the current top post on Autosport.com to bits. Why aren’t they reporting that all the teams recieved an invitation?

    • I don’t know. But Paul Hembery clearly said to a handful of f1 writers yesterday. ALL the teams have been offered testing opportunities under the 1,000 km development testing permission they have with the FIA

  3. I wonder if this “situation” would have come to the fore if Mercedes had not been fastest in all sessions.

    And as for it being a “secret” , Mercedes must of been using their latest invisible, ultra quiet stealth car at Barcelona ;)….

    Thank you for a level headed commentary on this matter, certainly improved this soggy Bank Holiday Monday…

  4. Very interesting article, highly enlightening too. Good thing you point out how Brawn is ridiculously good at spotting loop holes, he’s clearly quite good at that game. If in-season testing isn’t allowed in any way or form, it makes you wonder how on earth the FIA allowed to have a clause in their contract with Pirelli saying that they’re allowed to do 1000km testing with a given team… But as you rightly say, thejudge13, the FIA is bureaucracy-first-efficiency-last, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

  5. I may be losing my mind, but early in the Pirelli years, didn’t Hispania or one of the other new teams test the tyres for Pirelli in a current spec car? I can’t find a reference to it via a google search, so I probably dreamt it, but it was so vivid!!

    As for this row, it kind of makes you think that the other teams are getting worried that as soon as Mercedes get in top of the tyre problem, they will start to win consistently. So they have looked to get them thrown out! I love all this though, it’s like a ‘tv soap’ accompaniment to the F1 race!

    • Dont think Red Bull and Ferrari will be moaning about HRT doing in season testing… your second paragraph pegged it right.

      Toto is right, RB are sore losers 🙂

  6. Question is if all teams were aware that they could do the test with the 2013 tyre, likely that Pirelli would have gotten more responses if they stated that clearly. Brawn brilliantly detected the loophole. However, more transparency would be desirable to avoid these kind of situations, now on the other hand, what can you expect from a headless chicken 🙂

    • But I like these type of situations. It’s called thinking outside the box! Kudus to Brawn (anyone remember the double diffuser?) Clearly Red Bull is trying to turn this into yet another “Pirelli does not allow us to get the maximum out of the car and now they’ve not included us in their test”

      Lets get the violins ready shall we…

      • One can understand why Red Bull are doing this though. It’s clear for all to see that the regulations are limiting them because they’re just too hard on their tyres.

        In all honesty : I doubt that Mercedes gained ALL that much from just 3 days of testing, sure they must have gained something, but not to the extent of completely solving their tyre issues, until we get to Silverstone (the next track with high-speed corners, because Canada is closer to Monaco : hard on the brakes, no high-speed corners and long straights) we will not know whether Mercedes are actually race-contenders.

        It was said that Mercedes brought a heavily revised rear suspension system for Monaco, that was supposed to help them manage their rear tyres better. Combined with Monaco’s fairly tyre-friendly nature, it played to Mercedes’ strengths. That’s only my view of it though, but this whole secret test saga just makes me grin, Ross Brawn pulled one over the whole paddock and they all know they’re powerless because they understand the loophole Brawn spotted lol

        • At the moment we can only guess what was done during those tests. If it was tyre tests and from what I can understand from all I’ve read is that Pirelli controlled the data gathering. Yes the team will see some of it but they have to make changes in car setup according to Pirelli’s requests etc.

          Also – Pirelli needed a stable comparable platform. All cars are different so having one chassis there is worth much more than just pounding out 1000km with 10 teams.

    • They weren’t and the FIA wording we have so far does not appear to make it conditional that they were all to be offered the same test.

      So Pirelli will ask them to test after future races 2014 prototypes.

      Master stroke from Hembery et al to get the 2014 tyre testing they require.

      Yet what’s the betting some teams will still choose not to participate.

  7. It’s Di Montezemolo’s spin doctors at work, it’s all working out just the way he planned. Brawn was happy to play along, being rewarded with a sneak preview of the “new” tyres and a 1000 extra km’s to test.
    Luca assured PIrelli they would use they’re power to get the tyre deal done for the next 7 years , so they’re onboard.

    The testing vote after the Bahrain Gp was just 6-5 against more in-season testing, and now Luca is waiting with open arms, and the keys to the Fiorano and Mugello tracks of course, to welcome the newcomers, after the “unbelievably unfair” extra test session that Mercedes did.

    And Red Bull fell for it, and even protested alongside Ferrari, ha,ha,ha, Machiavelli would be proud

  8. A correction. It appears the tests were done Wednesday-Friday and not on monday. By Wednesday most of the paddock would have left barca.

    But loving good old brawn ( heh. What a name. He is all brains, that one). Also, this puts Hembry’s answers this weekend re testing .

  9. If these are supposedly 2014 prototypes, how relevant can the tests be considering the powertrain and torque will be so different in 2014???

    Also is it 1000km of testing per team, or 1000km shared across all teams and Mercedes have used up all the allowance???

  10. I could be misunderstanding here, but from what Paul Hembrey said to the BBC, Pirelli asked teams to volunteer to test a while back and not all replied. Subsequently to this (as I understand it) the FIA were asked to OK Merc using the 2013 car for the test and said yes, provided all other teams were given the opportunity.

    Pirelli appear to be using the fact they asked all the teams prior to this to cover that request which doesn’t seem quite right to me.

    It may well be that teams were working on the assumption that such a test would have to be with a two year old car – that is what is in the sporting regs after all – so couldn’t justify the hassle of getting an old car out of storage and getting their techs to remember how to work it.

    To me, even if they had no idea what tyres they were running, Merc have still had three extra days of testing to refine the car setup. That can only help them. Whether Merc have sensed an opportunity to circumvent the rules or just accepted that Pirelli had got the OK from the FIA for the test we may never know, but such a test during a season is unfair regardless of which team does it.

    Plenty of teams could have got a 2012 car ready to run the test which would have given Pirelli the same data but would have been of little or no benefit to the team in question.

    The problem really is what can be done now? It would be incredibly difficult to justify punishing Merc as it would appear they had permission, even if the exact conditions of that permission may not have been followed. They have, however, had some benefit and it would be very difficult to give exactly the same benefit to the other teams.

    It is all well and good saying that other teams will be offered the same opportunity during the season, but if, say Lotus don’t get the chance until the last race and Merc pip them in the WCC it would be hard not to say the extra testing was the reason…

    • Agreed SH, it’s not equitable.

      However, as far as we can tell at present, the FIA failed to make the conditions of the test particularly clear and in fact were ambiguous enough for Pirelli to do what they did.

      Hembery did say on TV that getting agreement on this would have been impossible, inferring they just got on with it.

      Further, seeing as Mercedes were the worst on 2013 tyres (mark 1), it made sense to test the 2013 replacements with them.

      I still fail to see how a significant advantage has been given to Mercedes for Monaco. Boullier predicted a @Mercedes traffic jam’ back in Spain, and that was exactly their strategy. The tyres will have changed by Canada…

      • I’d suggest that using Merc because they were worst makes matters even worse. They should test one of the best as well as one of the worst – if the changes cripple previously front-running teams then that is hardly a good thing.

        It would be interesting to see the analysis of the race regarding whether it did give Merc an advantage. You’d have thought there would be scope for other teams to jump them with strategy if they were really off the pace, maybe that would have happened was it not for the safety car at a suitable time.

        It was interesting to see how equal lap times were and how much faster ‘minnows’ could go wtih a bit of clear track, that would suggest the Mercedes Traffic Jam did, in fact, happen.

  11. Pingback: Mercedes accused of illegal tyre testing by Red Bull & Ferrari - Page 2·

  12. You have done an excellent job in highlighting a key differentiation about this testing, which is that it was a Pirelli test, and not a Mercedes testing session. I have an SAE published book called “The Racing & High-Performance Tire” by Paul Haney (http://bit.ly/12cWrLp), in which he shares knowledge gained as a thoughtful journalist covering the tire wars of the former CART series, and he includes some interesting data from the F1 tire wars of the early 2000’s as well. The subject of tire testing is well covered from a tire engineer’s viewpoint, a team owners view point, and a driver’s viewpoint. From this we learn that most likely, there would have been a base-line set-up for the car at the beginning of the day / session, and then it’s a straight data gathering exercise, requiring a precise, repeatable driving performance all day long, and many changes of tires. Similar to a proper blind taste test, the team and driver will nothing, or very little, about the various tires tested.

    It appears the end result this issue will likely be that this was much ado nothing. In any case, thank you for this article; it’s timely and well done!

  13. Italian motorsport journalist Franco Nugnes is now saying that Mercedes also tested a new rear suspension, designed precisely to ensure a longer life of the Pirelli tires.
    And that Rosberg and Hamilton did the Barcelona test and not the testdrivers, hmmm…Pirelli and Mercedes “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” , any thoughts on who the third wise monkey might be?

    Ferrari might also do some testing for “safety reasons” because they couldn’t find the mechanical problem that caused Massa’s crashes.
    Looks like the beginning of the end of the test-ban.

    • Agreed EM.

      Read my comments from news during Spanish GP. I said it looked as though the testing ban was in serious danger – a comment someone at the team discussions had then made to me

      There’s more to this than meets the eye methinks

  14. Thanks for this nice piece… I share your views 100% however I just wonder how they could use a 2013’s car… Looks to me like this is not compliant with current F1 regulations, isn’ it? Or is it?

    • Hi Ago

      Seems like as long as all the teams get ‘equal opportunity’ – then yes.

      What exactly the equal opportunity is the FIA failed to make clear.

      • sorry I read a bit too quickly… The FIA document (press release) reads ” … if it was possible to carry out some tyre development testing with a team, using a current car…” A current car is a 2013 car. Why the hell did the FIA answered YES???
        About equal opportunity I guess it is an equal opportunity to answer “yes” not an equal opportunity to effectively test the tyres 😉

  15. I’ve been a follower of your honour’s blog since late last season, but this is easily the most one-sided piece of writing I’ve seen so far. If Pirelli really wanted to do it the correct way, they would have asked Mercedes for two cars and run them with Algersuari and Kobayashi or whoever the current Pirelli test drivers are.
    The test however was run with current Mercedes cars and their current drivers, not even Mercedes test drivers – no – their current two participants of the world championship. How anyone can believe that the test was actually run by Pirelli is a mystery. It was clearly run by Mercedes and the use of their current drivers suggests that they

    a) expected to gain some knowledge or data from it
    b) wanted to get their drivers 3 GP distances worth of running time in the current car or
    c) both.

    No matter how you look at it, it is a competitive advantage, one that other teams refused because they knew that testing in 2013 cars would never be allowed or wasn’t even offered to some teams (Sauber). On top of that there are other unanswered questions:

    1. Who made sure that Mercedes didn’t test any upcoming upgrades to the car? Did someone check that the car was in exactly the same specification as run in the Spanish GP?

    2. Who made sure that Mercedes Engineers didn’t acquire any data in addition to those gathered for Pirelli?

    3. When was the test run exactly? I doubt it was run Monday morning after the GP. After all I don’t think they ran the engines and gearboxes that have to last a certain number of GP’s considering that 1.000km are 3 GP distances. So with the time needed to install new engines and gearboxes a Monday morning test looks rather impossible.

    It is pretty clear that Pirelli has not been truthful in this. They offered a massive test to one team and didn’t offer the same to others. They’re clearly playing favourites here. And that for me would be enough not to renew their contract.

    • I’m not saying it was fair, equitable, should’ve happened…

      Just saying Pirelli and Merc pulled a fast one which they most likely will get away with due to FIA incompetence.

      • I see no reason how they can get away with it. If the FIA lets that one go, RB and Ferrari will just pack up their stuff and have fun for three days at Barcelona.
        The only real solution would be to give all other teams a three day test, too. But that could become tricky, too, because they would clearly test other tyres. One way of the other F1 is truly effed and not surprisingly Pirelli is bang smack in the middle of it. Renewing their contract would be catastrophic.

  16. Normally I don’t really give a toss about what Helmut Marko says, but in this case, he has a point. Motorsport Total reports that RB demands the same test now.
    The article also says that the Merc test ran May 15th-17th – Wednesday to Friday. I suppose that explains why the other teams didn’t know about it. Even if they knew, I severely doubt that anyone expected Merc to use a current car.

    • You’re right DS

      It was also reported Horner knew about the test, knew it was a 2013 car and said, they didn’t participate because it was illegal…

      You’re right about the test days, it came out today it was Wednesday to Friday, however, on the Monday when plenty of teams people were still packing up in Barcelona…Merc having not taken down their kit would have been obvious too.

      And this is Pirelli’s get out – all the teams can have the same 3 day 1,000km test. It’s what they’ve been arguing for – more testing ahead of 2014.

      Merc just got a sneak preview of the revised tyres – if they can work out which coded tyre they tested represents the new rubber issued in Canada.

      Brawn has pulled off one over RB most definitely.

      • Well even if they left their kit unpacked. It is not Horner’s or Domenicali’s job to make sure Merc follows the rules, so the point when who knew what is moot. Ferrari would probably have assumed that Merc would do the same test they did at Bahrain – running a 2011 car, as per regulations.
        I read Horner’s reply a little different. According to him they were offered the same test and refused, because they assumed running a 2013 would be illegal and running a 2011 car (that heavily relied on the trick diffuser) would not yield any data relevant to their current challenger.
        The latter part is speculation on my behalf. Horner said they got the offer, but declined, knowing they couldn’t legally test a 2013 car.

        • How does that conversation go though DS?

          PH: Hi Christian. We’re inviting you to test new tyres with us and you can use your 2013 car.

          CH: Sod off Paul, you’re trying to get us banned. It’s illegal.

        • I can’t believe Pirelli and Merc have not covered their backs. Refusing to tell RB that 2013 cars were allowed under special FIA dispensation would be stupid.

          And I revert to my starting point – neither Brawn nor Hembery are stupid.

          • If there was any written agreement, both Merc and Pirelli would have produced it by now. Either there is some dodgy backroom diplomacy at work, i.e. FIA assured them they’d get away with a fine if found out or such agreement does exist only in Pirelli’s imagination.
            There has been a very unambiguous FOTA email last April that says, it is verboten. full stop. And the FIA reply on sunday – headered or not – leaves little to guess about FIA’s stance, too.
            I think Pirelli and Merc are just sure they’ll get away with it.
            I’m not really a Horner or Marko fan, both seem to be too full of themselves at times, but in this case I’m convinced that Horner did the sensible thing and declined the offer one cannot refuse. If there was a special FIA dispensation, RB and Ferrari would have jumped at the chance like a pack of dogs on a three-legged cat.

          • Why would they have produced it? Same reason they didn’t tell the other teams about the test.

            See today’s News and comment as to why Ferrari and Red Bull believe the protest game is up – they now just want a similar test ASAP.

  17. HaHA been desperate to comment on this all day. In the form of a dramatic reading. Personae: Paul Hembrey Ross Brawn, Christian Horner Stefano Domenicali , Eric Boullier everyone else, and nameless FIA bureaucrat played by a cinder block.

    Hembrey: Oi, anyone want to test for 2014 tires after Spain?

    Brawn: Maybe, Let me make a few calls. Couldn’t hurt.

    Horner: Sod off you twat, you’re the reason our cars haven’t won every single race ever, no way we’re doing you a favor ever

    Domemicalli: Been there done that plus your espresso is wretched. Ooops, did I say that out loud. No. Close one

    Boullier: Sorry, got to go try and balance my checkbook. Think it might take a while. Maybe next time.

    Everyone Else: Us too.

    Exit All Stage Left

    Brawn: We might be able to work it out, it would be easier just to use the cars we already have there.

    Hembrey: Not a problem, lets just check with the FIA

    Nameless FIA Bureaucrat : Umm.., Well, let’s just say that as long as the equitable state is neither too much or little or in other words never when in fact the importance of always in certain instances being in a general state of agreement.

    Brawn: Crikey, Google translate sucks

    Hembrey: Importantly, I didn’t see the word no in that email so it’s probably fine. After all what are they gonna do anyway.

    Brawn: Great, I’ll start making reservations.

    Hembrey: Hang on, got an incoming call from the factory..(In a very loud voice) What’s that you want to test some 2013 tires too? Shouldn’t be a problem, we just won’t tell Ross.

    Hangs Up

    Brawn: Everything Cool?

    Hembrey: Yup. you didn’t hear any of that did you?

    Brawn(smilling): Not a word. See you in a few weeks. By the way, this espresso is fantastic.


    I realize no one will see this but nonetheless it had to be done. Enjoy.

  18. As a follow-up, we now have a letter from 2012 saying that in-season testing is illegal. But I guess the mainstream media is just too stupid to understand the situation even if it was presented with all elements in hand.

    It’s a “Pirelli test”, NOT a “Mercedes test”. Or maybe I’m too naive and the media are actually devious enough, they know full well that it’s a Pirelli test but because of the useless outrage, they print stories by giving it the look of a test conducted by Mercedes and make more money out of it. The FIA obviously doesn’t give a hoot about what the common F1 follower thinks…

    • Not quite as simple. Even for Pirelli tests with current cars are verboten. It is alleged that they were given a ‘special permission’ to do so after the delaminations, but under the condition that all teams be invited, which they didn’t. Pirelli test or Merc test. In both cases it didn’t comply with all the rules and conditions.

  19. To Mattpt55 : I’m still laughing from your creation! so much so that I’ve made a translation in French, hopefully you won’t mind… and by the way thanks to thejudge13 as well for this very funny and interesting forum.

    • Don’t mind at all, positively flattered and delighted, though I hope I won’t wind up on the wrong side of “Big” Jean Todt should he happen to read it.

  20. The more I think about this, the more I can’t believe it happened, but it did!!! Why and how could all this happen?

    Pirelli? After all they are the ones who don’t care about regulations as they are not competitors and had some sort of agreement from the FIA (the FIA press release makes it clear that Pirelli asked for permission, or at least informed the FIA).

    Merc? For sure they knew they were breaking the rules, so unless they are nuts -I don’t believe they are- they must have a solid line of defence… Either they relied on Pirelli to ensure everything was OK (after all Pirelli organised all this…) or they told the FIA and had no objection from it, or both…

    The FIA? They knew something was going on… to say the least… On top of that the ECU logs the milage on the cars so it’s virtually impossible for them not to notice it.

    The 3 of them are very silent these days, so what is going to happen next?

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