Mercedes have benefited from illegal test, rivals allege

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Mercedes’ rivals say the team’s form since their illegal test for Pirelli in May shows the benefited from the information gained while testing.

Lotus team principal Eric Boullier said: “Two wins out of the three races after they tested, so the conclusion is easy. It is just facts. Two races won out of the three.”

Boullier denied Mercedes’ upturn in form might be a coincidence, saying: “I don’t think so. If we were racing on coincidence in Formula One I would know it.”

Mercedes had severe problems with tire degradation earlier in the season. At the Spanish Grand Prix the W04s qualified on the front row of the grid but fell to sixth and twelfth during the race. Pole sitter Nico Rosberg finished 68 seconds adrift.

Mercedes won the first race after their test, the Monaco Grand Prix, on a track which is less punishing for tires. Lewis Hamilton placed second in Canada, another track where the hardest compounds are not necessary. But their victory at Silverstone, one of the toughest tracks on the calendar for rubber, served to indicate the progress they have made.

Before the test Mercedes had scored 72 points in five races and were fourth in the constructors’ championship. Since then they’ve scored 99 points in three races, more than any other team, and overtaken Ferrari and Lotus in the points standings.

Asked if the Mercedes would still be winning races had it not been for the test Rosberg said: “For sure, yeah. Definitely.”

Have a decent tax refund coming? Buy Ayrton Senna’s 1993 Monaco-winning car

Photos courtesy Bonhams
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Are you expecting a better than normal tax refund? Did you get a very nice bonus from your company due to the new tax cut?

Well, if you have a good chunk of change hanging around and potentially can be in Monaco on May 11, you can have a chance to bid on the 1993 McLaren-Ford MP4/8A that the late Ayrton Senna drove in — and won — that year’s Monaco Grand Prix.

We’re not just talking about any race winner. It’s also the same car Senna won his sixth Monaco Grand Prix, and the chassis bears the number six.

It’s also the same car Senna piloted to that season’s F1 championship (his third and final title before sadly being killed the next year) and is the first McLaren driven by Senna that’s ever been sold or put up for auction.

The famed Bonhams auction house is overseeing the sale of the car.

“Any Grand Prix-winning car is important, but to have the golden combination of both Senna and Monaco is a seriously rare privilege indeed,” Bonhams global head of motorsport, Mark Osborne, told The Robb Report.

“Senna and Monaco are historically intertwined, and this car represents the culmination of his achievements at the Monegasque track. This is one of the most significant Grand Prix cars ever to appear at auction, and is certainly the most significant Grand Prix car to be offered since the Fangio Mercedes-Benz W196R, which sold for a world record at auction.”

How much might you need? You might want to get a couple of friends to throw in a few bucks as well.

“We expect the car to achieve a considerable seven-figure sum,” Osborne said.

The London newspaper “The Telegraph” predicts the car will sell in the $6.1 million range.”

“This car will set the world record for a Senna car at auction,” Osborne said. “We are as certain as you can be in the auction world.”

While you won’t be able to take the car for a test drive before the auction, it’ll be ready to roar once you pay the price.

“In theory, the buyer could be racing immediately upon receipt of the cleared funds after the auction,” Osborne said. “All systems are primed and ready.”