Tireoff: mercedes& co. Set on the fia tribunal

Tireoff: mercedes& co. Set on the FIA tribunal

Mercedes still has to wait two weeks, pirelli will probably get off scot-free and ferrari is definitely out of the woods:

In the highly political dispute over the ominous tire test of the german racing team and the italian tire manufacturer, the 20. June the decision will be made. The whole of formula 1 wants to get the nagging issue of "testgate" off the table as quickly as possible. Finally, the sporting event at the canadian grand prix has been completely pushed into the background because of the permanent spat.

Despite all the controversial interpretations about the advantages and legality of the three-day test in mid may, the defendants and plaintiffs agree on one point: it is good that the international tribunal of the automobile world association FIA will soon hear the delicate case. "We trust the tribunal," declared mercedes team boss ross brawn in montreal. His red-bull colleague christian horner assured: "we trust that the FIA will make the appropriate decisions."

Mercedes officials once again defended the test before qualifying, asserting that they had done nothing wrong. "Mercedes has hedged its bets and got permission to test with the 2013 car," niki lauda, the head of the formula 1 supervisory board, told television station RTL. "At the tribunal it will be shown who is right."Motorsport boss toto wolff denied the competition’s accusation of having gained advantages from the test: "we have learned nothing, we have supported pirelli."The austrian pleaded to "wait and see what the tribunal says".

The tribunal, which will comprise at least three members, must clarify whether the tire test with a current silver arrow and the two regular drivers nico rosberg and lewis hamilton was in compliance with the rules or illegal. According to the statutes, such test drives are not actually permitted during the season. But the FIA agreed to pirelli’s request on the condition that other teams would also be invited to such a test.

Since the monaco grand prix, a bitter dispute has been raging about whether the test was legal or illegal, who decided or agreed to what, and whether – and if so, what – advantages mercedes was able to derive from the 1,000 kilometers of testing.

Brawn affirmed in montreal: "for us, sporting integrity is very, very important. We wouldn’t have done the pirelli test if we didn’t think we could do it."The british driver attached great importance to the fact that the test was a "pirelli test": "it’s very important to keep that in mind."Moreover, it had been a private and not a secret test.

Red bull and ferrari see things completely differently. The team of triple world champion sebastian vettel and the italians created the precondition for the now initiated proceedings with their protest after nico rosberg’s victory in monte carlo. "According to our interpretation, this was a clear breach of the rules and that’s why we have lodged a protest," said horner, explaining his action. At the same time, he took pirelli out of the line of fire: "this is a matter between the team and the FIA."

Ferrari team boss stefano domenicali was convinced that the tribunal would clear up the case: "they have all the bases for it." the italian is fine out. The scuderia also tested pirelli tires in april, but with a two-year-old car. So legally there is nothing against the scuderia, even if some judge that ferrari has nevertheless profited from the rides.

The silver arrow chiefs loudly criticized their opponents. "Red bull is at the forefront of pulling a string on mercedes," lauda scolded. Wolff judged: "most of those who shout the loudest don’t know the facts." the situation naturally put a strain on the operational team and the drivers.

Pirelli has little to fear from the tribunal. According to the trade magazine "auto, motor und sport," the tire monopolist cannot be prosecuted because it is not a competitor. Only the FIA could punish the italians directly – provided that the contract between these two parties had been broken. But that was not the case. "We talk about everything before the tribunal. We are happy to be able to present our position and situation there," said pirelli motorsport boss paul hembery. However, the briton stayed away from the FIA press conference in canada on the advice of his lawyers.