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Mercedes reprimanded, suspended from young driver test 21 Jun 2013

Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 battle.
Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday, 24 March 2013 Ross Brawn (Mercedes team principal), Mercedes-Pirelli tyre test hearing, FIA International Tribunal, Paris Christian Horner(Red Bull team principal) and Paul Hembery (Pirelli motorsport director), Mercedes-Pirelli tyre test hearing, FIA International Tribunal, Paris Charlie Whiting (FIA race director), Mercedes-Pirelli tyre test hearing, FIA International Tribunal, Paris

Mercedes have been suspended from participating in this year's young driver test, it was announced Friday, after the FIA’s International Tribunal (IT) deemed that the private tyre test conducted by the team with Pirelli in Barcelona last month constituted a breach of the Formula One rules. Both Mercedes and Pirelli have also been reprimanded and they will each share the costs of the case equally with the FIA.

The test was the subject of a protest lodged by rivals Red Bull and Ferrari at the Monaco Grand Prix after it emerged that the three-day, 1000-kilometre session had been run using Mercedes’ 2013 car, in contravention of the regulations, which prohibit the use of current cars for such tests.

Although the IT found that Mercedes had broken Article 22 of the F1 sporting regulations, it said that there was no intention by the team to obtain any unfair sporting advantage and that both Mercedes and Pirelli had acted in good faith at all times.

It deemed that Mercedes had no reason to believe that FIA approval had not been given for the test following the team’s communications with the governing body’s race director, Charlie Whiting, but that Whiting’s actions on behalf of the FIA were taken in good faith and with the intention of assisting the parties and consistent with sporting fairness.

However, it found that Pirelli had failed to offer other teams a similar opportunity to test, which was a proviso given by Whiting when he was initially asked by Mercedes and Pirelli whether such a test might be possible.

It also determined that Mercedes did gain some material advantage from the test - even if it was only confirmation of what had not gone wrong - and that Pirelli were aware of this and that they had intended to pass some confidential data to Mercedes, even if that data was of limited use to the team since they were unaware of the tyre specifications being tested.

As such, the IT deemed both Mercedes and Pirelli to have also breached the International Sporting Code, since the test was prejudicial to the interests of competition.

For the IT's full decision, click here.

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