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Mercedes test row passed on to FIA

ESPN Staff
May 26, 2013 « Perez blames Raikkonen for clash | Massa crash caused by car issue »

The Mercedes testing controversy is set to rumble on after the stewards of the Monaco Grand Prix decided to forward their findings to the FIA, leaving Sunday's race results unaffected.

Mercedes took part in a private tyre test for Pirelli at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 15, 16 and 17, which Ferrari and Red Bull believe contravened the testing restrictions in the Sporting Regulations. A protest was lodged by the two rival teams on Sunday morning in Monaco, but was done so to seek clarification of how the Sporting Regulations were overridden rather than change the results of the race.

The stewards then held three hearings after the race, one with Red Bull and Ferrari, one with Mercedes and one with Pirelli. As the test did not directly affect the legality of the Mercedes at the race meeting, the stewards intend to write a report for the FIA based on the hearings and the matter may then be put in front of the FIA's International Tribunal.

"The stewards summoned representatives of the protesting teams, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team and Pirelli," read an FIA statement. "After hearing and collecting the information the stewards will write a report to the FIA who may bring the matter before the International Tribunal."

The tyre test has dominated the post-race news agenda in Monaco, with Red Bull team principal labelling the test "underhand". Mercedes insists it was not a secret and claims it got the go-ahead from the FIA before conducting the test.

The news first started to filter out to the rest of the paddock on Saturday after the topic was mentioned during a Grand Prix Drivers' Association meeting on Friday. After meetings on Saturday night, Red Bull and Ferrari decided to lodge protests ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix knowing it would be the soonest opportunity to do so.

Should the FIA put the case ahead of its International Tribunal it will be overseen by 12 judges with backgrounds in motorsport and law. Any decision can then be appealed at the International Court of Appeal.