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Ferrari hits out at Tribunal verdict

ESPN Staff
June 22, 2013 « Tribunal 'a great step for the future of F1' - Brawn | Brawn says his future wasn't under threat »
The Horse Whisperer has lambasted the punishment handed down to Mercedes by the FIA © Getty Images

Ferrari, through its controversial Horse Whisperer column, has hit out at the punishment Mercedes received at the FIA's International Tribunal on Friday, arguing it was too lenient.

Mercedes was reprimanded by the FIA and will be forced to skip the forthcoming Young Driver Test after taking part in a tyre test with Pirelli last month. Ferrari, one of the teams that protested the test in the first place, let rip through its anonymous Horse Whisperer column, poking fun at the Tribunal's verdict.

"We learned that even if one is guilty and in this case that is an indisputable and verified fact, there is always a way of muddling through as best one can," Ferrari wrote on its website. "One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be and even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles.

"It is somewhat perplexing to say the least to see that the guilty party can get away virtually scot free for having derived 'an unfair sporting advantage.' Don't tell me that testing for three days on your own at the Catalunya circuit is the same as doing so with nine other teams at Silverstone with a host of young hopefuls at the wheel, in an area where the weather can still be changeable even in the height of summer. And what if this whole incident had taken place after the young drier test, what would have been the penalty then? Would they have been forbidden from holding an end of year dinner?

"In one sense then, it's a bit like when a ghost goal is scored against you and isn't disallowed and then your opponents are incorrectly awarded a penalty, which has no effect on the result, incidents which both the English and the Germans ought to remember well, don't you think? It's not something that can be remedied with a penalty in the next game…"

The column also criticised the FIA's approach to dealing with illegal parts on cars.

"The way things are going in Formula One at the moment is becoming boring: you make a mistake, you race with an illegal component, but then you are told to just change it for the next race and we've seen what we've seen…

"All this reminds the Whisperer that if he ever finds himself running a Formula One team in the near future and that he gets off to a difficult start to the season, then all it needs is to organise a nice week of testing at the right moment and then maybe have to skip a later session, by which time, everything could be done and dusted. What do you reckon?"

The column concluded: "Oh, and to those who jabber on about transparency and credibility, the Whisperer would remind them that the rules are very clear: you cannot test with a car from the current year. With those that are at least two years old, you can run when you like, where you like, with any driver you like, dressed how you like, inviting who you like."