Mercedes to be punished at tribunal hearing


There is a growing feeling in the F1 paddock Mercedes are going to be penalised over the secret tyre test when the International Tribunal meets on June 20th.

Mercedes and Pirelli continue to defend themselves at this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix however, as more details emerge about what occurred in Barcelona, experts are predicting Mercedes will be fined at least €5m by the tribunal court.

Pirelli argue that their contract with F1 bosses allow them to ask a team to provide a car for a 1000km test to test new tyres on safety grounds, however, Sauber Team Principal Monisha Kaltenborn, who entered F1 as a team lawyer, has said: "A contract can't overrule the law."

Red Bull, the team who have been most vocal in the whole 'testgate' saga, have their own idea of what would be an appropriate punishment for Mercedes, the team's motorsport advisor Dr Helmut Marko told Swiss newspaper Blick, "A fine and a points deduction would be appropriate."

Other publications are unearthing information, Germany's Bild newspaper believes an earlier rumour suggesting Mercedes had an email from Race Director Charlie Whiting giving the go ahead is false.

The report says Whiting only gave conditional approval "only if all the other teams are informed and agree," it read.

Meanwhile Pielli's head of motorsport Paul Hembery pulled out of an appearance at an FIA press conference on Friday on the guidance of his lawyers.

That could be due to the many questions still left unanswered with one of the most interesting being why the two drivers, Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, wear black helmets to conduct the test.

Mercedes Director Toto Wolff has said it was to "protect the public".

"We had no security and no press people on the spot and did not want fans storming the track," he is quoted by RTL.

"If we wanted to make it a secret, our people would not have worn team uniforms, and we would have used neutral trucks," he added.

What furthers implications could happen from the 'testgate' scandal are not yet fully known, however speculation over Ross Brawn's job as Mercedes team boss has been called into question once more after it emerged he gave the go ahead for Mercedes to participate.

"I think there's been some rumours before and nothing's happened," said Brawn. "I think we should wait and see what the tribunal find and then go from there."

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