Formula 1

Mercedes' Pirelli tyre test creates fury amongst rivals

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Mercedes and Pirelli could find themselves in the courts after rivals teams protest against a 'secret' test undertaken between the two parties after the Spanish Grand Prix.

Currently in-season testing is banned in F1 however Pirelli, as F1 tyre supplier, is permitted to ask a team to supply a car/ driver to take part in a 1000km test to test tyres on safety grounds.

Since the story broke on Sunday, both Mercedes and Pirelli have strongly defended themselves claiming everything was done by the regulations. Pirelli say they did allow every team the opportunity to take part in the test but only Mercedes obliged.

One notable fact in this case however, is that Mercedes has been one of the worse teams this season at looking after the high-degrading tyres however, in Monaco, despite running a slow pace at the start, the problem was seemingly much improved.

Ferrari and Red Bull both launched protests to the FIA against the test and the FIA could defur the issue to the Tribunial courts.

Damon Hill told Sky Sports: "Some teams have reacted badly,  (but) I have spoken to Niki Lauda (Mercedes chairman) and he assures me that they have okayed it with the FIA and the reason it is ok is because the safety regulations overrule the sporting regulations.1996 world champion 

"If there is a safety issue, which seems to be the insinuation, then somebody has to do the testing. It just looks like Mercedes might have got in there first."

However, after the race was over on Sunday, which saw Nico Rosberg claim victory for Mercedes, the FIA issued a statement seemingly implying the test had not been conducted in line with the regulations.

Further reaction from other teams to the increasing scandal suggests Pirelli is the main contributor to the affair.

Red Bull's Dr Helmut Marko confirmed Pirelli had asked about conducting a test "but we very clearly said no," he told Austrian television Servus TV.

"In our opinion, such a test is not covered by the regulations. It is a clear violation."

Many of the teams have said they were not asked by Pirelli about such a test, a claim against what Pirelli had said earlier.

Lotus and Force India have denied receiving invitations from Pirelli although Force India's Bob Fernley did say a subject hinting at the possibility at such a test had come up at a FOTA (Formula One Teams Association) meeting.

However, after that meeting the Telegraph newspaper reveals an email was sent out warning teams that any such test would be illegal unless it had "unanimous" consent from all teams.


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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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