Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wolff and Brawn defend secret F1 tyre test

Toto Wolff and Ross Brawn the heads of Mercedes AMG Petronas continue to defend their position in the whole tyregate saga and insist they were "exactly within the rules" when they secretly tested their cars for Pirelli after the Spanish Grand Prix.

Even though in-season testing is banned in F1, Pirelli have a clause in their contract which states that they can run 1000 km with a team if necessary.

But the FOTA after discussions with the FIA had clearly informed all teams that a single team test would be illegal if it is run by the team itself and if the opportunity to test is not offered to all other teams. 

Pirelli went ahead with the test along with Mercedes and also involved the two current race drivers of the team, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. The issue is that the test was kept a secret from Merc's rivals and was revealed in a conversation between Vettel and the Mercedes drivers.

The rivals have reacted angrily and have lodged protests in Monaco on Sunday before the race. Though the result of Sunday's race has been made official and cannot be changed after this, the matter has been referred to the FIA tribunal which has clarified that they had given conditional permission to run this test and those conditions were not met in this test.

Wolff, though, insists Mercedes did nothing wrong.

"What we did was exactly within the rules," the executive director told the Daily Telegraph."We get a complaint like this, and now we're digging ourselves out of s---."

Meanwhile, team boss Ross Brawn says the team was never meant to be kept a secret but that it was up to Pirelli to inform the other teams as per their contract.

"It was up to Pirelli to spread the information. It wasn't up to us, it was their test," said Brawn.

"Pirelli has been asking teams to help them out for 12 months and people haven't been supporting them.

"There are lots of communications between Pirelli and teams asking them to do 1000km for them, and we obviously had an issue in Bahrain with Lewis [Hamilton] which we were quite anxious about - and we made the effort to help them.

"Nobody else seems to have done that."

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