Storm erupts in F1 paddock over secret tire test for Mercedes (Update) UPDATE
Christian Horner is demanding answers after learning that Pirelli recently conducted a secret three-day test with the help of Mercedes.
|Christian Horner steaming mad|
According to reports, although in-season testing is banned from Formula One, Mercedes spent three days testing Pirelli tires in the wake of the four-stopping Spanish Grand Prix.
The two parties were able to circumvent the ban as Pirelli's contract states that they are allowed to ask teams to test should they deem it necessary.
Rival teams learnt of the secret test in Monte Carlo on Saturday and met with the FIA.
And like Horner, many are not happy about it.
"We found out second-hand last night," the Red Bull team boss told Autosport. "We now need to deal with it through the proper channels, so that is what we will be doing.
"I can understand Pirelli wanting to test the tires, as they have obviously got issues with the tires. What is disappointing is that it has been done in a not transparent manner.
"A three-day test has taken place with a current car on tires that are going to be used in the next grand prix. Irrelevant of what you call it, that is testing."
Horner added that while Pirelli's contract may state they can test, he doesn't believe there are any grounds permitting Mercedes to do so.
"I think there is confusion between what is contractually permissible and what a team when it enters a World Championship is allowed to do within the sporting regulations.
"It is a situation that we need clarification on, so our position is we are going to request that clarification."
05/26/13 (GMM) A storm has erupted in the Monaco paddock about an until-now secret Pirelli tire test involving Mercedes.
|Mercedes has been wearing out its tires in the race at a high rate. The FIA had to find a way to help the 'favored' team solve their tire wear problems so a 'special' test just for them gave them that chance.|
British F1 broadcasters Sky and the BBC revealed on Sunday morning that Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were both involved in a multiple-day, 1000km tire test between the Spanish and Monaco grands prix.
The BBC said Red Bull and Ferrari are furious, and "considering a protest" due to the ban on in-season testing.
But the report also said sources confirmed the FIA was aware of the test, which is allowed on the grounds of needing to safety-test planned changes for Canada next month, and 2014.
"Some teams have reacted badly," 1996 world champion Damon Hill told Sky, "(but) I have spoken to Niki Lauda and he assures me that they have okayed it with the FIA and the reason it is ok is because the safety regulations overrule the sporting regulations.
"If there is a safety issue, which seems to be the insinuation, then somebody has to do the testing. It just looks like Mercedes might have got in there first," he added.