Pirelli: Mercedes gained nothing from tire test

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Following the confirmation that Mercedes took part in a secret tire test after the Spanish Grand Prix, Pirelli has acted quickly to defend itself over the matter, claiming that the German team did not benefit from the test.

In-season testing is banned, but Mercedes ran around 1000km at the Circuit de Catalunya two weeks ago, and despite an outcry from the other teams, Pirelli’s F1 chief Paul Hembery is confident that no rules have been broken.

“Absolutely not, no,” Hembery said when asked if Mercedes had benefited from the test by Autosport. “Because it’s no relevance to what’s happening here.

“It’s completely regular in that we are allowed to do 1000 kilometre of tire testing with any team.”

Hembery also revealed that plans were in place to do another test in the near future.

“We’ve done it before with another team and we’ve asked another team to do some work as well.”

This tire row looks set to continue throughout the weekend, but Mercedes will be keen on putting this controversy behind them to convert their front-row lockout into their first win in 2013. Pirelli are adamant that such a test is permitted by their contract with the sport, and Mercedes also maintain their innocence over the matter.

Ricciardo set to see Dale Jr.’s final Texas ride in two weeks (VIDEO)

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We’ve written before about Daniel Ricciardo’s love of Dale Earnhardt and his love of the No. 3, which Ricciardo has selected as his permanent number for the duration of his Formula 1 career. And additionally, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has offered up the opportunity that one day Ricciardo could race a JR Motorsports car in NASCAR Xfinity Series competition, and Ricciardo has said he’d be up for it.

And although Earnhardt Jr. has only used the No. 3 on a handful of occasions in his career in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Ricciardo knows how much the number means to the NASCAR veteran as he prepares for his final few starts in the Cup Series the tail-end of this year.

After the Mexican Grand Prix next week, Ricciardo is set to stay in North America for the off-week between the Mexican and Brazilian Grands Prix.

In that break, he said he’ll see Earnhardt Jr. in person at the Cup race at Texas Motor Speedway (Sunday, Nov. 5, 2 p.m. ET, NBCSN) to ensure he gets to see him before he retires from full-time competition.

Ricciardo explained his planning during Thursday’s pre-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass, speaking to NBCSN’s Will Buxton at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas in Austin.

“Well I’ll see him for the first time in Dallas. I’m gonna go to the NASCAR race in two weeks time at Texas Motor Speedway,” Ricciardo told NBCSN.

“Yeah, so, I gotta see him race before he hangs up the helmet.

“The Earnhardt family is a huge name in motorsport, not only in America but all over the world. Yeah I wish him well.”

Ricciardo is also optimistic he’ll get the chance to do a helmet swap with Earnhardt Jr. at the event.

“Hopefully I get to see him perform well in Texas. I’m gonna try to do a helmet swap with him. We’ll see how we go.”

Stay tuned for more on this over the coming weeks.