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.