Formula 1


F1 teams react to 'tyregate' tribunal verdict

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In the eyes of the other teams, it was a light slap on the wrists for Mercedes, who must have heaved a huge sigh of relief after avoiding a hefty fine or more importantly, docked championship points.

A Mercedes AMG statement in reaction to the verdict read: "The Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team acknowledges and accepts the Decision of the FIA International Tribunal published today.

"The Decision of the International Tribunal confirmed that the team acted in good faith regarding the Pirelli Tests, never intended to obtain any unfair sporting advantage and had no reason to believe that approval for the Pirelli Tests had not been given.

"Mercedes accepts the proportionate penalties of a reprimand and suspension from the forthcoming Young Driver Test that have been decided upon by the Tribunal."

Pirelli’s Motorsport Director Paul Hembery reacted with: "In terms of the result, it was good to hear that it was recognised that both ourselves and Mercedes acted in good faith based on information we'd received from the FIA.

"Of course it doesn't take away our need to be able to test in representative conditions with representative cars. We're still running round in obsolete, almost museum pieces, trying to do our job so there's still a lot of work to be done to allow us to do what we call representative testing going forward."

The FIA added: "The FIA wishes that lessons are learnt from this case and from the decision handed down.

"To this end, the FIA will make sure, in association with all F1 teams, that its control of the testing is strengthened."

Red Bull’s Christian Horner reacted circumspectly, stating: "The Tribunal had all the facts presented to them in a fair manner yesterday and made their decision. We raised the protest as we wanted clarity on whether you are allowed to test in-season with a current car, as we believe this was a breach of the regulations.

"It is always preferential to test with race drivers rather than test drivers; however the penalty is not for us to decide. It was for the tribunal to decide and they have made their decision."

Ferrari used their 'Horse Whisperer' column to give their reaction to the Tribunal decision, saying: "It is somewhat perplexing to say the least to see that the guilty party can get away virtually scot-free for having derived 'an unfair sporting advantage'."

Formula 1 and its fans must be relieved this unpleasant off-the-track episode has been laid to rest. One good outcome of this whole ‘tyre-gate’ imbroglio is the four post-race in-season tests that the teams have agreed upon for 2014.

Onwards we go to the British Grand Prix next weekend, to see some real racing. And dare we say more Pirelli tyre controversies? Hopefully any drama is kept on the track this time.


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