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FIA conditions of Mercedes test may not have been met

ESPN Staff
May 26, 2013 « Massa crash caused by car issue | Tony Kanaan wins first Indy 500 »

The FIA has said all the teams should have been given the opportunity to test their current cars before Mercedes and Pirelli went ahead with its private test earlier this month.

Mercedes took part in a three-day test at the Circuit de Catalunya in the week after the Spanish Grand Prix, which has since been protested by Red Bull and Ferrari as they believe it contravened the Sporting Regulations. Mercedes has maintained it got permission to test from the FIA, but in a statement the governing body made clear that there were conditions to the test and it did not receive confirmation from Pirelli and Mercedes that they were met.

"At the beginning of May, the FIA was asked by Pirelli if it was possible for it to carry out some tyre development testing with a team, using a current car," read the statement. "Within the contract Pirelli has with the FIA as a single supplier, there is provision for them to carry out up to 1000km 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 from Mercedes-AMG. Furthermore, the FIA received no confirmation that all the teams had been given the opportunity to take part in this test."

Following the protests in Monaco, the stewards of the meeting decided to forward their findings to the FIA which now looks likely to put the issue in front of its International Tribunal. The statement said the Tribunal may decide "to inflict penalties that would supercede any penalty the stewards of the meeting may have issued".

"In addition, with regard to the application of the sport's rules, including principles of sporting equity, it should be remembered that the International Sporting Code provides that on the basis of a report of the stewards of the meeting, or its own initiative, the prosecuting body of the FIA may bring a matter before the International Tribunal.

"The Tribunal may decide to inflict penalties that would supercede any penalty the stewards of the meeting may have issued. Such procedure would be followed in pursuance of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules."