Sauber team principal Monisha Kaltenborn has spoken out over the on-going tiregate fiasco, believing that Mercedes will have not only gained in the short term from their tire test, but it has also aided their development for 2014.
Next season will see a new raft of regulations, and Toto Wolff has previously revealed that 50% of the Mercedes’ F1 workforce is already working on the W05 car. Although the team will face the FIA tribunal over the test, Kaltenborn is adamant that they will have gathered data for next season in the test.
“From the facts that we have heard in the media, they were testing 2014 tires,” Kaltenborn said in an interview.
“If you get an idea of 2014 tires, even if they are maybe developed later on, you at least have some basic knowledge which the others don’t have, and if you have experts with all those sensors, then you cannot exclude at least that you will not gain some benefit from there and know at least what you shouldn’t be doing – which is also a benefit.”
Although Kaltenborn conceded that she could not predict just how great the advantage is, she is confident that Mercedes’ planning for next season will have been aided.
“None of us can assess how much and how big the advantage is for next year’s car, because we are all at a very critical time of developing our car. A lot of decisions have to be made now in to what direction you want to go, and you have to define certain layouts and concepts of the car.
“And we all can simply not assess it, but nobody can deny that there could be an advantage.”
Should Pirelli choose to leave the sport at the end of the season, this advantage may not materialize as another supplier takes over the reigns. However, the FIA tribunal is set to meet in the next 45 days and make a decision about what penalty, if any, should be given to Mercedes over the affair.