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GP Week : Issue 184
F1 >>> nEWs EDITOR: Kate Walker firstname.lastname@example.org MOTOGP EDITOR: Michael Scott F1 NEWS EDITOR Abhishek Takle TECHNICAL EDITOR Paolo Filisetti RACE EDITOR Trent Price CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Leigh O'Gorman BUSINESS EDITOR Caroline Reid PRODUCTION ARTIST Cedric Dufour PHOTOGRAPHy Sutton Motorsport Images www.sutton-images.com Keith Sutton email@example.com: Mark Sutton, Patrik Lundin, Dirk Klynsmith, Daniel Kalisz PUBLISHER Chris Lambden firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHED By: Grand Prix Week Ltd 61 Watling Street, Towcester Northants NN12 6AG United Kingdom ADVERTISING: n Richard Partridge email@example.com Ph: + 44 1273 232 566 Mob: + 44 7771 567 644 n Mark Sutton firstname.lastname@example.org n se Asia, Australasia GPWEEK (Australia) email@example.com .com WEEK The FIA have called on Mercedes to appear before its International Tribunal over a 1000-kilometre ‘private’ tyre test that the team conducted for Pirelli. While the date has yet to be confirmed, it is thought that the Tribunal has been convened for 20 June. The controversial test took place in the week immediately following the Spanish Grand Prix but only came to light in Monaco, sparking outrage among rivals over concerns that the team – who have struggled with tyre wear all season – could gain an unfair advantage. Red Bull and Ferrari lodged a protest against Mercedes with the Monaco Grand Prix stewards who then sent a report to the FIA. The stewards’ report was then assessed by the FIA, who determined there was good cause to request that the matter be heard by the International Tribunal. The FIA International Tribunal is an independent body established in 2010 and composed of 12 members. It presides over cases which the FIA president has determined are suitable for referral following an initial inquiry into allegations that any entity or person under the jurisdiction of the FIA has breached the governing body’s rules. A judging panel appointed by the President of the Tribunal and comprising of a minimum of three members presides over each case. To ensure its fairness and independence, none of the members of the judging panel can be of the same nationality as either the prosecuting party or the defendant. Both Pirelli and Mercedes have denied the controversial tyre test was conducted in secret. Both parties have also asserted that Mercedes had no knowledge of which tyres were being tested, and that the rubber tested was not for use in 2013. As a result, both parties argue, Mercedes gained no advantage from the test. “We welcome the opportunity to explain the full facts of the Pirelli Test in an open and transparent manner at the International Tribunal,” Mercedes said in a statement released over the Canadian Grand Prix weekend. “Sporting integrity is of primary importance to Mercedes- Benz and we have the utmost confidence in the due process of the FIA.” As part of their supply contract with the FIA, Pirelli have a provision allowing them to work with the teams in private tyre tests limited to a maximum of 1,000 kilometres. But as far as Mercedes’ rival teams are concerned, the key issue is not the secret nature of the test, but the fact that the Silver Arrows were able to accrue valuable track time in their 2013 car, using their race drivers. In-season testing with a current car is outlawed by the FIA rulebook, with exceptions made only for straight- line aerodynamic testing and officially- sanctioned Young Driver Tests. The rules say any running outside of a Grand Prix weekend “using cars which conform substantially with the current Formula One Technical Regulations in addition to those from the previous or subsequent year” will be considered testing. As a result, Pirelli have been unable to run their development rubber on current cars, something that the tyre supplier asserts has hindered their efforts in the sport. The technical regulations have not changed substantially since 2011, but the banning of exhaust blown diffusers has changed airflow over the rear of the cars, which has in turn had an effect on rear tyre degradation. Given the delamination issues that have been unique to 2013, Pirelli were keen to run tests on a current car with a view to getting as much representative data as possible. 'TYREGATE' GOES TO FIA INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL 7 GPWEEK.com // 7 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: