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FIA Reprimands Mercedes, Pirelli For Unauthorized F1 Tire Test

 
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Mercedes AMG 2013 Formula One car

Mercedes AMG 2013 Formula One car

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At this year’s Canadian Grand Prix it was revealed the FIA was investigating whether a Pirelli tire test in May was done using one of Mercedes AMG's 2013 Formula One cars, an illegal action due to rules banning in-season tire tests of current-spec cars.

Last Friday, the FIA finally determined that an illegal test had been conducted, though it cleared Mercedes AMG as well as drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg to continue the 2013 season without any penalties.

However, both Mercedes AMG and Pirelli were reprimanded for the test, with the former receiving a ban from joining other F1 teams for the young driver test session in July.

The light sentence, which lawyers for Mercedes AMG had suggested as punishment, was given due to the FIA determining that neither party acted in bad faith. However, the FIA did concede that Mercedes AMG gained a small advantage by now knowing what wouldn’t go wrong using Pirelli’s latest tires.

The young driver test, which runs for three days, will provide the rest of teams with additional testing time.

Mercedes AMG allegedly took part in the test due to a desire to help Pirelli improve the safety of its current tires, which have been prone to losing chunks of rubber due to their overall softer compounds this season. Furthermore, Mercedes AMG is alleged to have received permission for the test from FIA staffer Charlie Whiting, though the motorsport ruling body determined that this was not binding.

Concerns that Mercedes AMG may have been heavily fined, banned from future races or have its championship points deducted caused some shareholders to request the automaker exit the sport should such harsh penalties be inflicted.

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