• FIA International Tribunal

'No reason to believe approval had not been given'

ESPN Staff
June 21, 2013 « Mercedes gained 'an unfair sporting advantage' | Mercedes accepts FIA punishment »
Charlie Whiting was said to have acted 'in good faith' in giving Mercedes his opinion on the test © Sutton Images

Mercedes had 'no reason to believe that approval had not been given' by the FIA for it to run its 2013 car in the Pirelli tyre test, according to the International Tribunal.

Mercedes had sought clarification from Charlie Whiting that it would be able to run a 2013 car in order to provide Pirelli with a representative test, and Whiting agreed it could be viewed that "any such testing would not actually be undertaken by the competitor" following consultation with the FIA's legal department.

Having been found in breach of article 22.4 h) of the sporting regulations - which prohibits in-season track testing - Mercedes was reprimanded and banned from this year's Young Driver Test. In announcing its findings, the tribunal stated that neither Mercedes nor Pirelli had tried to hide its intentions for the test.

'Both Pirelli and Mercedes disclosed to FIA at least the essence of what they intended to do in relation to the test and attempted to obtain permission for it; and Mercedes had no reason to believe that approval had not been given.'

The tribunal also found that: 'The actions taken on behalf of FIA by Charlie Whiting (having taken advice from the legal department of FIA) were taken in good faith and with the intention of assisting the parties and consistent with sporting fairness.'

However, Mercedes has still been found in breach of regulations because the approval it believed it had received from the FIA does not overrule the sporting regulations.

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