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Pirelli explains Mercedes choice

ESPN Staff
May 31, 2013 « Pirelli insists it did nothing wrong at Mercedes test | Pirelli envisages more private tests »
Pirelli: "In this case Mercedes was the first team to offer availability" © Sutton Images

Pirelli said it chose Mercedes to complete its 2014 tyre test because it was the first team to offer availability.

The test took place after the Spanish Grand Prix and according to Mercedes was arranged eight or nine days before it took place. Rivals Red Bull and Ferrari claim they were not aware of the 1000km test and have protested Mercedes involvement as they believe using a 2013 car is against the Sporting Regulations.

However, Pirelli said it wrote to all the teams in March 2012 about a possible 1000km test, adding that it chose Mercedes because it was the first team to offer availability when it asked for a "representative car".

"We were in contact with a number of teams regarding doing 1000km of testing and in this case Mercedes was the first team to offer availability," Paul Hembery said in a press conference on Friday. "We've been speaking with other teams to do 1000km.

"We wrote to all the teams already back in March 2012 talking about a 1000km test and the rules haven't changed; it was as valid then as it is now. So from that point of view all teams had the opportunity and indeed we were talking with a number of teams about doing something similar later on this year as our 2014 technology develops.

"So from that point of view, we have been in contact with teams. Maybe they haven't understood that we were looking at 2014 tyres, and maybe they had less interest in doing 1000km in that context. We are quite comfortable that the teams had the opportunity."

Pirelli said it did not have to share the information from the test with any of the teams as it is 2014 research and development data and belongs to the tyre company.

"They are private research and development tests for ourselves. At the moment we don't have a contract with all the teams and you can understand that there are some things that remain confidential. In common with most industrial companies, you perform your research and development in a more reserved manner. Research and development testing is propriety information to Pirelli. It's not relevant to the teams, as for Mercedes, they provided a service to us."