Mercedes banned from young driver test after FIA Tribunal hearing

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Mercedes and Pirelli have both been reprimanded for their role in the tire test after the Spanish Grand Prix, as determined Friday in a verdict by the FIA International Tribunal.

The biggest hit in the verdict is that Mercedes has been banned from competing in the upcoming three-day young driver’s test.

Otherwise Mercedes, Pirelli and the FIA were all asked to pay one-third of the costs of the investigation and procedure, with the FIA being asked to pay all its legal costs.

The Tribunal found that the testing itself was “carried out by Pirelli and/or Mercedes with the intention that Mercedes should not obtain any unfair sporting advantage.” Neither party acted in bad faith and disclosed their intent to the FIA, with Charlie Whiting’s blessing to allow the test to happen “consistent with sporting fairness.”

Notwithstanding that, the FIA said there were still violations committed. Because Mercedes did run its 2013 car, the W04, it acted in breach of Article 22.4 of the Sporting Regulations. It did obtain “some material advantage,” which then “potentially, gave it an unfair sporting advantage”. The FIA said “it is plain beyond sensible argument that Pirelli had intended confidentially to pass some information to Mercedes.”

Ferrari’s test with its older car, the FIA determined that it “would appear to be equally unsatisfactory” but the Tribunal itself had no evidence to place any similar penalty on the Scuderia.

The full 19-page verdict is linked here, with the summary from the FIA website here.

Related posts from Thursday:

FIA Tribunal arguments focusing on “the code”

Updates from the FIA International Tribunal on Mercedes’ test

Ticktum takes dramatic Macau GP win as leaders crash on last lap

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British youngster Dan Ticktum took a dramatic victory in the 64th Macau Grand Prix on Sunday after the leading two cars crashed out at the final corner on the last lap of the race.

In an incident-packed race that saw front-row starters Joel Eriksson and Callum Ilott clash early on amid a litany of Full Course Yellows, Brazilian racer Sergio Sette Camara was able to move into the lead ahead of Ferdinand Habsburg and Maximilian Günther.

Günther’s pace dropped off in the closing stages as he struggled to keep his tires alive, causing a train of cars to form up behind him including McLaren youngster Lando Norris and the Red Bull-backed Ticktum.

Ticktum pulled off a brilliant double-pass on Norris and Günther around the outside of Lisboa to move up to third, with Sette Camara and Habsburg dueling for position right the way to the finish.

Habsburg attempted a brave pass around the outside of the Mandarin kink, but was forced to wait until the penultimate straight before he got a tow and was able to pass for the lead.

Drama then struck when both Habsburg and Sette Camara ran wide and crashed into the wall exiting the final fast right-hander by their own accord, paving the way for Ticktum to charge through to victory.

Norris and Ralf Aron benefited from the crashes to score second and third place respectively, while Habsburg was able to get to the checkered flag in fourth on three wheels.