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Mercedes test was not secretive - Wolff

ESPN Staff
May 26, 2013 « Test didn't give Mercedes win - Vettel | Webber underwhelmed with third place »
Toto Wolff: "There were no new specs of parts that we could have tested" © Sutton Images

Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff insists there was nothing secretive about Mercedes tyre test with Pirelli following the Spanish Grand Prix.

Mercedes tested a 2013 car over three days at the Circuit de Catalunya, with its rivals apparently unaware until Saturday night at Monaco. Pirelli wanted the test to allow it to develop its tyres and according to Wolff contacted Mercedes eight or nine days before the test took place.

"Nothing was secret," Wolff said. "We left everything there [after the Spanish Grand Prix]; the garage, the buses, the trucks, all the engineering offices. Everybody speaks about everything these days and there was nothing kept a secret."

He also insisted Mercedes did not have enough time to manufacture new parts especially for the test.

"We have a release plan of parts and when you have a release plan of parts you have to plan in advance," he said. "Pirelli contacted us and asked us whether we wanted to do it and it was a matter of days - eight or nine days, ten days maximum - before the test. There were no new specs of parts that we could have tested."

Red Bull and Ferrari have lodged a protest over the test, arguing they are seeking to understand why the test did not fall foul of the in-season testing ban. Pirelli has a contract that allows it to complete private tests, but in the past it has always used a car that is at least three years old in order to comply with the FIA sporting regulations. How the Mercedes test fits into that contract and whether the contract overrides the sporting regulations is the sticking point.

"As far as I can understand some teams have asked for clarification about the contractual situation between Pirelli and the FIA," he said. "To be honest, if you had seen how the test was organised we have no clue what [tyres] we have been driving. It has nothing to do with the 2013 tyres or performance."