• Monaco Grand Prix

Protest hanging over Monaco GP

ESPN Staff
May 26, 2013 « Red Bull protests Mercedes after Pirelli tyre test | Rosberg hails 'fantastic' Mercedes »
Nico Rosberg took victory in Monaco but Sebastian Vettel's Red Bull team and Ferrari are unhappy over the test with Pirelli © Getty Images

The FIA has confirmed Red Bull and Ferrari have lodged protests against Mercedes' tyre test with Pirelli in Spain earlier this month.

Mercedes stayed on at the Circuit de Catalunya after the Spanish Grand Prix to test development tyres on May 15, 16 and 17. However, article 22.4 h) of the Sporting Regulations forbids testing between a ten-day period before the start of the season and December 31 of the same year, with the two exceptions being a young-driver test and four straight-line tests.

The stewards of the Monaco Grand Prix have held three hearings after the race, one with Red Bull and Ferrari, one with Mercedes and one with Pirelli to examine the issue. Mercedes, which was asked to test by Pirelli, said it had been given the go-ahead by the FIA, but it is up to the stewards of the event to decide whether the alleged breach of regulations had an impact on Sunday's race. It may decide to forward the issue to the World Motor Sport Council for further examination.

Asked about the legality of the test before Sunday's race, Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn told Sky Sports: "We'll have to wait and see what the stewards say. We're pretty clear in our position; we were approached by Pirelli and asked to conduct a tyre test. They were very concerned by some of the problems they've been having recently, they didn't feel that the car they've been using was representative and within their agreement with the FIA there's a provision for them to ask any team to do a 1000km tyre test.

"We ran that past the FIA to make sure they were happy with it - they were - and we conducted a test after the race in Barcelona. When you do a Pirelli tyre test you get codes, you don't know what the tyres are and each day there was a batch of tyres tested. We still don't know what the conclusions from that are."

Several teams have expressed surprise that the test went ahead but only Red Bull and Ferrari have lodged official protests with the FIA. The protest is not directly against the race result as it was lodged before the race started.