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