The world of Formula One is an intricate mix of technology and talent but something that is often the cause of troublesome sporting politics are the rules and their interpretations. This is something Mercedes-Benz’s AMG Formula One team have found out to their cost. After the Spanish Grand Prix Pirelli arranged for Mercedes to stay behind in order to test some tyres out for next season. The aim was to help development of the tyre that required a 2013 specification car for more accurate results, however testing of any current Formula One car is strictly regulated.
Though both Pirelli and Mercedes went to seek clarification that this test would be above board, neither party made an active effort to invite other teams. The argument is whether Mercedes gained an advantage thtough the 1,000KM of testing tyres. The answer is still debatable but a tribunal today came to several conclusions. “Mercedes did obtain some material advantage which at least potentially gave an unfair sporting advantage.” However it was decided that “neither Mercedes or Pirelli did this in bad faith.” The costs of the investigation has been split between Mercedes, Pirelli and the FIA (the FIA presumably for not being clear about the rules.)
Mercedes are to miss the young drivers test at Silverstone which permits testing of current cars in order to allow other teams an equal opportunity to gather data.