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Horner criticises Mercedes punishment
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner says the penalty handed out by the FIA's International Tribunal to Mercedes is "lenient" and "confusing".
Mercedes was handed a reprimand and suspended from this year's Young Driver Test after being found to have breached regulations and the International Sporting Code by conducting a Pirelli tyre test using its 2013 car. However, having previously declined to criticise the punishment, Horner now says Mercedes was not penalised severely enough.
"The verdict, I believe, was right," Horner is quoted by Sporting Life. "They (the International Tribunal) found them (Mercedes) guilty of breaking the sporting regulations and the sporting code. What is slightly confusing is the leniency of the penalty, which I would have thought was met with a huge sigh of relief at Brackley. "They even suggested the penalty they would like to receive, which they duly received, and that's it. That's what it is. By breaching (article) 151 of the sporting regulations, it's clear a team is gaining an advantage, and by doing that there should be some kind of sporting penalty that reflects that."
Horner said the penalty would still be an annoyance to Mercedes but said it doesn't send out a strong enough warning to other teams.
"The significance of a young driver test, yes, it's probably annoying for them to miss it. But it pales into insignificance compared to the benefit you would see from running race drivers around a track for 1,000 kilometres on a circuit rubbered in two days after a grand prix weekend. The problem with the penalty such as the one Mercedes have been given is that it is not a particularly strong deterrent to break the sporting regulations."