Helmut Marko has said that Mercedes’ tire test at the Circuit de Catalunya was “a clear breach of the sporting regulations”, and he has called on the FIA to punish the German team in the wake of the tiregate scandal.
Mercedes undertook 1000km of testing at the Circuit de Catalunya after the Spanish Grand Prix, which the team believes is within the regulations thanks to Pirelli’s contract to supply tires to the sport. However, after investigating the matter, the German marque has been called before the FIA tribunal ahead of the British Grand Prix.
“This test is a clear breach of the sporting regulations – and that is why we launched a protest. Firstly we want clarification, and secondly – if it is really a significant breach – we want to see punishment by the FIA,” Marko told the official Formula One website.
Marko was adamant that the test will have given Mercedes a significant advantage, with Nico Rosberg winning the Monaco Grand Prix last time out.
“Formula One cars are very complex machines and every kilometre you can run – especially in the season – is delivering information. Whether this information can be transformed into a direct gain in time is impossible to tell from a distance.
“But if we were to do something like that I know that our car would be faster.”
Red Bull have led the protest against the test, with Ferrari also making a formal complaint to the FIA. The Italian team was investigated after testing a 2011 car after the Bahrain Grand Prix, but they were acquitted as the car was over two years old.