• FIA International Tribunal

Horner unconvinced by Mercedes defence

ESPN Staff
June 20, 2013 « Lauda tried to avoid tribunal | Red Bull future in my hands - Webber »
Christian Horner was the only team principal present aside from Ross Brawn © Getty Images

Christian Horner says he was unconvinced by Mercedes' defence of its tyre test in front of the FIA's International Tribunal.

The Red Bull team principal was a surprise attendee at the tribunal as the only team principal present aside from Ross Brawn. Following the day's proceedings when he was asked if he was convinced by Mercedes' case he replied: "Not really, but it's down to the tribunal now. They've got all the facts so we trust in them to make the appropriate decision."

Horner also said that he wanted to see a severe punishment handed down to Mercedes if found in breach of regulations.

"It's not for us to comment on what the penalty should be but usually if you commit a sporting offence there's a sporting penalty that goes with it," he said. "I think it's quite clear that whenever you run a Formula One car you're learning something - in particular a current car - so it's almost irrelevant what tyres they had on."

Pushed on what kind of punishment he believes Mercedes should receive, Horner said a financial one would not be sufficient, however large.

"That's down to the tribunal, but the problem is that if it's only financial then that becomes the cost of going testing. The most important thing to come out of this is clarity; either you're allowed to test or you're not. Obviously Ferrari have conducted a couple of tests that have come out of this as well - albeit in a 2011 car which is within the regulations - but the most important thing moving forward is that there's transparency and clarity because the way that test was conducted isn't right."

Horner did admit, however, that the FIA's handling of the situation had not been completely clear.

"I think there's perhaps a degree of ambiguity but the rules are very clear and all the teams know what the rules are; they spend an awful lot of time and involvement in writing the rules with the FIA so I think all the teams are quite clear on what the rules are."