Horner furious as details of secret Mercedes Pirelli test emerge

A major controversy has erupted in Monaco after it emerged that Mercedes conducted a secret three-day test with Pirelli at Barcelona after the Spanish GP.

Pirelli’s viewpoint is that it is allowed to call on a team to help with testing in a situation that it faced after Barcelona, when there were moves to make changes and understand the issues that had led to tyres losing treads.

Clearly the test would also have helped Mercedes with the specific issues that it has suffered recently.

However rivals are angry that they were not informed – and the fact that Mercedes has got on the front row again has clearly inflamed passions.

Indeed it’s extraordinary that in the modern era a team could test in secret without anyone knowing.

“We found out secondhand last night,” said Christian Horner. “I think there’s confusion between what is contractually permissible and what isn’t, and what a team when it enters the World Championship is allowed to do within the sporting regs. It’s a situation that we need clarification on, and our position is that we are going to request that clarification.

“I can understand Pirelli wanting to test the tyres – they’ve obviously got issues with the tyres. What’s disappointing is that it’s been done in not a transparent manner. A three-day test has taken place running a current car on tyres that are going to be used in the next Grand Prix. Irrelevant what you call it, that’s testing.

“First of all we need to deal with it through the proper channels, so that’s what we’ll look at doing.”

Asked if he thought the test had helped Mercedes, Horner said: “They’ve got both cars on the front of the grid, so it’s not hurt.”


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8 responses to “Horner furious as details of secret Mercedes Pirelli test emerge

  1. Mark

    Horner says he didn’t know and it was a secret test ?
    So no-one noticed a fully built car and all the kit and staff to run it in the Merc garage whilst everyone else packed and left ? No-one saw or heard the car running around the track for 3 days ?
    Pull the other one.
    Besides if there is a provision to permit the test by contracts etc and the FIA knew its a storm in a teacup.
    Horner is just annoyed they didn’t get asked.

  2. peterg

    The Mercedes have been quick in qualifying before Barcelona, test or no test. Further, their qualifying pace has translated to little in the races, in fact they slide down the order.

    Horner’s complaint of a Merc front row at Monaco has little to do with a test at Barcelona…….a track where the Merc’s went backwards in the race.

  3. Gracie

    Grow up Horner. They had cars on the front row f the grid before testing.

  4. proesterchen

    Regardless of legality, this is just about the dumbest move imaginable, for all people involved.

    • Racehound

      ….good point! I mean, did they really think nobody would see the test session and realise who was driving and which car was used? Someone in the background obviously spilled the beans at Monaco and the fallout is just starting. All adds to the fun I say! #:)

  5. well

    And the Pirelli 1 Chamionship continues…

    So now we find out there are contracts outside the FIA rules that make the FIA rules obselete? Why even have rules?

    No wonder Mercedes was not as critical as Red Bull. They got handed a bone by Pirelli for that. 1000kms of tyre data more than the rest of the grid. What else than competition manipulation is this?

  6. Jonas Ford

    Paul Hembery is really coming across as a bit of an idiot this year … and I’m sure he isn’t, but the whole Pirelli situation is looking ridiculous through their actions and his comments – fingers crossed there is a different supplier next year.

  7. Racehound

    This is tantamount to CHEATING!! Both Pirelli and Mercedes should be heavily sanctioned for this. I smell another $100,000,000 for the FIA coffers to promote safer driving in Khazakstan and Bangladesh!!!! #:)

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