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GP Week : Issue 184
Monaco Singapore Abu Dhabi Austin 24/25/26 May 21 / 22 September 1 / 3 November 15/16/17 November AMBER LOUNGE THE ULTIMATE VIP GRAND PRIX EXPERIENCE 2013 CELEBRATING 10 YEARS VIP Parties Fashion Shows Dining Hospitality Live Acts BlackBook-210x282.indd 1 01/03/2013 17:52 F1 >>> nEWs FERRARI IN THE CLEAR As the controversy over Mercedes’ ‘private’ tyre test rumbles on, no further action will be taken over a similar test conducted by Ferrari prior to the spanish Grand Prix. Both tests, run by Pirelli separately at the Circuit de Catalunya before and after last month’s Spanish Grand Prix, only came to light a fortnight ago in Monaco. The Mercedes test sparked outrage in the paddock as it was run with a current car and led to formal protests being lodged with the Monaco stewards by Red Bull and – ironically – Ferrari. The key point of difference between the Ferrari and Mercedes tests was that while Mercedes ran their current 2013 car and current race drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, Ferrari used their 2011 car with test and reser ve driver Pedro de la Rosa at the wheel. Nevertheless, the FIA decided to investigate the tests conducted by both Ferrari and Mercedes with a view to establishing whether either incident merited further discussion. Following discussions with the team, who answered all of the governing body’s questions about the in- season tyre test, it was determined that the Maranello-based squad had not done anything to merit disciplinary action. “In the light of all the replies received and in view of the information gathered during this inquiry, the President of the FIA, acting as the FIA prosecuting body, has decided to close the case as regard to Scuderia Ferrari Team considering that its participation in a tyre testing organized by Pirelli in Barcelona on 23-24 April 2013 using for this purpose a 2011 car is not deemed to contravene the applicable FIA rules,” the FIA said in a statement. Pirelli this week delayed the proposed introduction of its altered 2013 tyre – tweaked to prevent the delaminations seen in Bahrain and spain – until the British Grand Prix, allowing teams the chance to test the revised rubber during Friday practice in Canada. But the best laid plans of mice and men oft’ go awr y, and the wet weather that plagued Montreal throughout much of the weekend prevented the teams from getting in as much running as they would have liked on the revised tyres, which have seen Pirelli return to using Kevlar in the belt pack, as opposed to the high-tensile steel belt pack introduced this year. Pirelli has come in for a lot of criticism over the amount of influence its fragile tyres, designed to wear out fast in a bid to spice up the racing, are having on the outcome of races this year. Some teams, particularly Red Bull, have actively lobbied for the tyres to be tweaked as their drivers are unable to push their cars to the limit for fear of putting too much energy through the tyres and wearing them out. The criticism has only continued to mount, made worse by a spate of delaminations during the Bahrain and Spanish grands prix. The tyre failures prompted Pirelli to propose the return to Kevlar, even though the firm says the delaminations are actually safer, if visually more dramatic, than a traditional tyre deflation. But Lotus and Ferrari – whose cars work well with the 2013 tyres – have expressed concern that the new tyres wll negate their advantage, with Lotus team principal Eric Boullier likening it to changing the dimensions of a football pitch at half-time because one team can’t run as fast as the other. The FIA determined than any revisions to the tyres could only be made on safety grounds, with tweaks aimed at reducing the amount of degradation not allowed. As the introduction of new tyres requires the unanimous consent of all teams, further objections from Ferrari and Lotus could see the changes abandoned completely. 'SAFER' TYRES MAY NEVER BE USED 8 GPWEEK.com // 8 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: