Skip to main content

FIA: Mercedes did not get permission for tire test

updated 1:44 PM EDT, Thu June 20, 2013
Mercedes could face sanctions after using its 2013 car in a private test with tire supplier Pirelli.
Mercedes could face sanctions after using its 2013 car in a private test with tire supplier Pirelli.
  • Formula One's governing body say Mercedes did not get permission for tire test
  • German team facing sanctions for conducting test with tire manufacturer Pirelli
  • Mercedes claim the test was run by Pirelli and as such they should not face action
  • Verdict due in the tribunal held in Paris on Friday

(CNN) -- Formula One's governing body the FIA has told a tribunal in Paris that Mercedes did not get permission for an alleged illegal tire test with Pirelli, according to the sport's official website.

The German marque conducted a three-day, 1,000 km tire test with the sport's official supplier Pirelli in May.

The FIA launched an investigation after rival teams Red Bull and Ferrari lodged an official protest upon learning of the development test in Spain, which was reported by race stewards.

The tribunal has the power to impose fines and bans, including exclusion from the F1 world championship.

Read: Mercedes and Pirelli face sanctions over test

When Silver Arrows dominated F1
Designing Formula One tires
When Silver Arrows dominated F1

At the hearing in France, the FIA reiterated that it did not give official permission for the test and argued that Pirelli had not offered other teams the chance to participate.

It said although FIA race director Charlie Whiting had suggested a test was possible if all teams were offered the chance to take part, that did not represent an agreement.

According to the FIA, Mercedes could have fallen foul of the International Sporting Code which prevents: "Any fraudulent conduct or any act prejudicial to the interests of any competition or to the interests of motorsport generally."

Mercedes insisted the test had been conducted by Pirelli and not them, and as such, they had not broken the rule which states: "Track testing shall be considered any track running time not part of an Event undertaken by a competitor entered in the Championship."

The German team also claimed that if the test they took part in had breached the rules then so had one conducted by Ferrari. They claimed the Italian team had discussed tire data from the test with Pirelli.

Mercedes' rivals objected because it used race drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to carry out the test in the team's 2013 car -- and it is primarily for these reasons the sport's governing body has brought the case before its tribunal.

Rival teams have accused Mercedes of gaining a significant competitive advantage from the test and of conducting it in secret two days after the Spanish Grand Prix, where both Rosberg and Hamilton suffered tire problems despite the German having started in pole position for the second successive race.

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn stressed his team could not have prospered from the test data.

Part of complete coverage on
Track the buzz of the 2014 Formula One season, race by race, with all the latest social reaction from motorsport experts.
updated 7:10 PM EDT, Fri May 23, 2014
It stimulates all five senses, creating an unparalleled experience for drivers and fans alike. Take a tour of Monaco with Mark Webber.
updated 8:33 AM EDT, Thu May 22, 2014
To be a champion you must win a title -- but to become an F1 legend you must win races at Monaco, the calendar's most testing circuit.
updated 10:59 AM EDT, Wed May 21, 2014
Caterham F1 reserve driver Alexander Rossi takes you on a tour of the Monaco racing circuit.
updated 8:38 AM EDT, Mon May 5, 2014
The Formula One driver transcended his sport and even 20 years after his death, Ayrton Senna commands the adoration of fans worldwide.
updated 11:00 AM EDT, Thu May 1, 2014
TO GO WITH AFP STORY IN ARABIC BY SUHEIL HOWAYEK: (FILES) Brazilian F1 driver Ayrton Senna adjusts his rear view mirror in the pits 01 May 1994 before the start of the San Marino Grand Prix. Senna died after crashing in the seventh lap. Some 45 drivers, including Senna and Canadian Gilles Villeneuve, have been killed during Formula One races whose tracks are dubbed by some as the 'circuits of death.' AFP PHOTO/JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU (Photo credit should read JEAN-LOUP GAUTREAU/AFP/Getty Images)
F1's greatest racer was killed during the San Marino Grand Prix on May 1 1994. The sport hasn't been the same since.
updated 11:16 AM EDT, Wed April 30, 2014
Just four F1 drivers turned up to Roland Ratzenberger's funeral after his death during qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix on April 30 1994.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
For a championship with a distinctly Iberian streak, it is no surprise that South America should be high on MotoGP's list of territories to conquer.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle the pressure. Susie Wolff has heard it all -- but she is determined to become the first female F1 driver in 20 years.
CNN's Amanda Davies visits the headquarters of Mercedes, the dominant team in Formula One this season.
updated 9:08 PM EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
The big winners of this Formula One season could be road drivers rather than F1 racers, according to one former world champion.
updated 3:16 PM EDT, Thu March 13, 2014
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton sums up the dawn of a new Formula One era in three juicy words -- weird, mind-blowing and challenging.