Latest F1 news in brief – Sunday

  • Mercedes banned from 'young drivers' test
  • Renault reveals sound of 2014 V6 engine
  • Mercedes not appealing test-gate penalties
  • Ferrari furious, Pirelli may sue as 'test-gate' rolls on
  • Brawn says his future wasn't under threat
  • Brawn: Test storm made Mercedes stronger

Mercedes banned from 'young drivers' test
(GMM) Mercedes has been banned from testing at Silverstone next month, it emerged as the FIA's international tribunal on Friday handed down its verdict.

The German marque, and F1's tire supplier Pirelli, were also "reprimanded" at the end of the so-called test-gate scandal and ordered to pay costs, as the judge's panel found the post-Spanish grand prix test at Barcelona was a breach of the rules.

As a result, Mercedes will not be allowed to field 'young drivers' at the forthcoming three-day test at Silverstone in July.

The carmaker was also ordered to pay a third of the costs of the investigation, with Pirelli to pick up the bill for another third.

"The FIA wishes that lessons are learnt from this case," said the governing body in a separate statement.

"To this end, the FIA will make sure … that its control of the testings is strengthened."

The statement said Mercedes and Pirelli can appeal.

Renault reveals sound of 2014 V6 engine
(GMM) Renault on Friday revealed a sneak-preview of the sound of its 2014 engine.

There have been fears the noise produced by next year's turbo V6s will be a mere shadow of the current normally-aspirated V8s.

"Overall," admitted the French marque's engine boss Rob White, "the sound pressure level (volume) is lower and the nature of the sound reflects the new architecture.

"Fundamentally the engine noise will still be loud. It will wake you from sleep, and circuit neighbors will still complain," he said.

White admitted some people will miss the screaming tones of today, "but the sound of the new generation power units is just different".

The clip can be heard at

Mercedes not appealing test-gate penalties
(GMM) Mercedes on Friday said it will not appeal the international tribunal's verdict, therefore closing the 'test-gate' scandal.

The tribunal's judges revealed earlier that the Brackley based team has been reprimanded, banned from the forthcoming young drivers' test at Silverstone, and ordered to pay a share of the legal costs.

It had the right to appeal within 7 days.

But in a media statement, Mercedes described the penalties as "proportionate".

"(The tribunal) confirmed that the team acted in good faith regarding the Pirelli tests, never intended to obtain any unfair sporting advantage and had no reason to believe that approval … had not been given," it read.

Mercedes said it will not appeal "in the best interests of the sport".

Ferrari furious, Pirelli may sue as 'test-gate' rolls on
(GMM) Ferrari has ridiculed Mercedes' penalty in the wake of the 'test-gate' hearing late last week.

Red Bull, who along with Ferrari lodged the original protest against Mercedes' secret Pirelli tire test, said through boss Christian Horner that it accepted the international tribunal's decision.

"The penalty is not for us to decide," he said, referring to Mercedes' reprimand and banning from next month's young driver test.

"It was for the tribunal to decide and they have made their decision," Horner added.

Ferrari, however, sounded furious that Mercedes got away with breaking the rules "virtually scot-free", after the German squad had pleaded to the judges that a light penalty – like sitting out the forthcoming three-day Silverstone test – was adequate.

"One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be and even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles?" Ferrari said via its 'Horse Whisperer' online column.

The anonymous columnist ridiculed Mercedes' young drivers test ban, wondering what the judges would have decided if that event was not looming.

"Would they (Mercedes) have been forbidden from holding an end of year dinner?" said the Horse Whisperer.

Mercedes issued a statement saying it accepts the penalties, while boss Ross Brawn insisted to British Sky television that the marque emerged from the saga with "a blemish-free record".

But the Telegraph newspaper reports that tire supplier Pirelli, also officially reprimanded by the tribunal, "may yet decide to sue the FIA" for having wrongfully pressed charges and damaging its image.

Mercedes' Brawn, meanwhile, failed to deny that he would have lost his job had the tribunal issued a harsher penalty.

"You never know what might happen if the outcome of the tribunal had been different and I'm an employee and member of the team, so things can change," he said.

Brawn says his future wasn't under threat
Ross Brawn says his position as Mercedes team principal was not discussed during the tire test scandal and that he had the full support of the team's board.

Brawn appeared in front of the FIA's International Tribunal on Thursday to help defend Mercedes after admitting at the Canadian Grand Prix that it had been his decision alone to help Pirelli out. As one part of a triumvirate of power at Mercedes, alongside Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff, Brawn's position at the team has been questioned this year, but he told Sky Sport's F1 Show that, as things panned out this week, his future at the team had not been discussed.

"To be honest it's never been discussed, so the situation hasn't changed," he told Sky Sports. "You never know what might happen if the outcome of the tribunal had been different and I'm an employee and member of the team, so things can change.

"But the board have been very supportive in this matter. For them it was also very important that the issue of good faith was established and they've been very supportive and been aware of all the facts behind what has happened. I couldn't have asked for more support from them."

Mercedes was reprimanded by the International Tribunal and will be forced to skip the Young Driver Test later this month after being found guilty of breaking in the rules but also being found to be acting in good faith. Brawn said it was not a lenient penalty and that missing the test would be costly for the car's development.

"I think the young driver test is a penalty, any perception that it's not significant is not correct," Brawn added. "We had quite a comprehensive program planned for the young driver test so it will be a blow to the team and things that we were hoping to try or develop with the young drivers we will lose."

Brawn: Test storm made Mercedes stronger
Mercedes put a 'secret test' storm behind them on Friday with principal Ross Brawn saying it had made them stronger as a Formula One team and left his own enthusiasm for the sport undimmed.

The team were reprimanded and ordered to miss a three-day young driver test in July after an independent tribunal hearing decided they had broken the rules by taking part in a tire test with Pirelli in Spain in May.

Other teams protested when they found out about the test but the tribunal ruled Mercedes had acted in good faith and not sought an unfair advantage.

"I think these events are the ones that pull the team together. These are the sort of events as well as racing that consolidate a team," Brawn told Sky Sports television after the verdict.

"I think the team was very solid in the last few weeks, we had complete support from (Mercedes headquarters in) Stuttgart. They understood…it was very important for Mercedes that the facts of this case were understood."

Asked whether he had feared a different outcome might have hastened his exit from the team, the Briton acknowledged he had been under some pressure before the hearing in Paris.

"An event like this creates a lot of emotions. It would have been very frustrating if the outcome of this hadn't been what it was…but it does sometimes strengthen your resolve rather than weaken it," he said.

"It's certainly cleared everything away now so we can focus on the rest of the year. The car is coming along well, we've got some interesting things to try at Silverstone, some improvements, and two drivers on top of their form.

"So I think we can now move on to the rest of the season. Certainly it hasn't diminished my enthusiasm for Formula One." Yahoo Eurosport

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