Sanctions likely as FIA confirms Pirelli, Mercedes did not inform us

This note was given to media by the FIA tonight

This note was given to media by the FIA tonight

In a note issued to the media tonight the FIA has in effect hinted that Mercedes could face serious sanctions as a result of the controversial secret Pirelli test.

It makes it clear that Pirelli and Mercedes did not follow procedures and that they tested without the FIA’s permission.

Jean Todt is believed to be furious about what happened and met with Stefano Domenicali at the Ferrari motorhome today.

The note reads as follows: “At the beginning of May, the FIA was asked by Pirelli if it was possible to carry out some tyre development testing with a team, using a current car. Within the contract Pirelli has with the FIA as single-supplier, there is provision for them to carry out up to 1000kms of testing with any team – provided every team is offered the opportunity to do so.

“Pirelli and Mercedes-AMG were advised by the FIA that such a development test could be possible if carried out by Pirelli, as opposed to the team that would provide the car and driver, and that such tests would be conditional upon every team being given the same opportunity to test in order to ensure full sporting equity.

“Following this communication, the FIA received no further information about a possible test from Pirelli or Mercedes-AMG. Furthermore the FIA received no confirmation that all teams had been given an opportunity to test.

It goes on to clarify the legal procedures that will now follow in the coming days. Watch this space…

14 Comments

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14 responses to “Sanctions likely as FIA confirms Pirelli, Mercedes did not inform us

  1. Mick

    Pirelli should just announce that they are going to walk away from F1 at the end of the season. They’ve had nothing but criticism recently & Bernie & FIA have done nothing to support them. Then let’s see what FIA do.

    • FragrantGimp

      Except, you know, the criticism is 100% warranted and it’s not like the FIA will struggle to find a new tyre manufacturer. If anything, I hope the FIA kicks them out over this. They’ll hardly be missed.

    • Mick – what do you think they will do? Run next years races without tyres? No, they will just get another tyre manufacturer – there were whisperings of the return of a 2nd tyre manufacturer in any case – not sure but I believe it was Goodyear!

      Any way regarding this testing situation – it is surely folly on the part of Pirelli and Merc to not inform the FIA and go ahead with the test!

      Hembery seems very blunt and passive aggressive in that interview Adam conducted with him – he better have some better answers when the FIA come a knocking!

    • CTP

      Yes, really been treated badly.

    • Blame teams like Mercedes and Red Bull. They were very vocal about three.

  2. Rob J

    “It makes it clear that Pirelli and Mercedes did not follow procedures”

    Where? Perelli asked FIA if it could test with current car. FIA said yes and set two conditions. If those two conditions are met what else was the FIA expecting ?

  3. Prabal

    Think Pirelli will most likely be kicked out next season. Paul Hembery’s defense that in F1, if they had informed everyone about the secret test, there would have been no action for 6 months, is a clear defiance of rules. Ridiculous to think that in their attempt to create more ‘exciting racing’, all they have done is to effectively back the whole grid up, and force them to drive to lap times rather than focus on racing each other. I think their interpretation of excitement as having a more bunched grid, and thereby allowing teams to use tyre strategies, is flawed. During the entire race, the only radio messages we hear now are – “Lewis, you need to drive to this lap time”, and “Seb, don’t fight him, protect your own tyres” is so disappointing. I loved how drivers all along the grid were allowed to fight each other (Lewis and Mark in Korea 2011, Jenson and Fernando in Italy 2010), without engineers interfering and telling them not to fight and instead just concentrate on preserving tyres. F1 is just becoming more and more disappointing now with too much talk about tyres and less and less talk about racing …

    Think the wise heads of F1 need to realize that even in soccer we get 0-0 draws, but that doesn’t imply that these are dull or ‘unexciting’ matches. We crave for players going hard against each other and being allowed to test their skills against the best their opponents have to offer. FIFA does not intervene by asking all teams to give only 80% of their potential so that some of the lower ranked teams could have a chance to compete better. This is a lesson that maybe F1 could learn in their quest for ‘excitement’ …

  4. D.S

    How disgusting. Thumbs down to Pirelli and Merc.

  5. ACx

    So, as I understand this….. while the Monaco stewards were considering the protest, the FIA were busy giving their opinion. Yet now the stewards have, quite rightly, punted the protest “up” to the FIA, who have already and publicly, prejudged the protest. Yeah, that’s a sound way to handle things.

    IMHO, unless Pirelli and Merc are cleared, Pirelli should just tear up the contract and watch F1 implode. Given how they have been treated, Im pretty sure some smart lawyers could claim breach of contract as a reason for tearing up the contract.

    OK, no, that’s mad. But certainly I’d do the legal work, and threaten it.

  6. ronmon

    I have been on Pirelli’s side right up to this point. Their’s is a thankless job for sure, but they really screwed the pooch on this one. If they felt that a test involving only one team’s current car and drivers was necessary then they should have had representatives from all teams present and allowed them access to all the data that was collected. If the participating team did not want to share that information then they could choose not to take part.

    The secret nature of the test using this year’s car was a clear violation of the sporting regulations and should be dealt with severely. Exclusion from the championship seems appropriate to me.

  7. floodo1

    Pure insanity. Hard to believe that Mercedes or Pirelli would actually do this because of how plainly obvious it is that it violates the regulations. I’ve not been one to complain about tires because I really don’t care what they are as long as all teams have the same tires (that is under the current single supplier arrangement, because I’d prefer about 4 tire manufacturers if it were possible). That said, Pirelli should lose their contract over this. And I’m not sure how Mercedes should be punished.

  8. NBC reported during the race that Ferrari also had a testing session with Pirelli which was followed by a spectacular result. My hope is that Pirelli will stay in negotiations until late with the FIA and F1 and then back out. This will put the FIA and F1 in the hole trying to get a new provider and there will be even more complaining from the teams. I remember another tire provider leaving F1 because of a debacle and the teams breaking their contracts and bad mouthing the product.

  9. petes

    Don’t understand how Mercedes comes to be a villain here.
    Not impressed tho’ to read of Todt hot-footing it to Ferrari’s door. That really does smack of collusion.
    Old habits evidently die hard!

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