Formula 1 - Mercedes rivals not asked about test

Leading Formula 1 teams Lotus, Ferrari and Red Bull insist they were never asked about the possibility of testing a 2013 car for Pirelli after the Spanish Grand Prix.


As the row over Mercedes' secret Pirelli test escalates ahead of a report being sent to the FIA by the Monaco GP stewards, rival teams remain deeply unhappy about what has happened.

And with the FIA having made it clear that permission for Mercedes to test its 2013 car was conditional on other outfits being offered the same opportunity by Pirelli, a number of top teams have said the chance to run a contemporary car was never mentioned to them.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said he was aware of a letter from Pirelli sent last year that offered the possibility of individual tyre tests, but he claimed there was never a mention of it being possible with a current car.

F1's current testing regulations, in addition to a separate agreement between the teams, outlaws any form of in-season testing with a current car - except for a young driver test.

Speaking about what Pirelli had offered, Horner said: "We never believed it complied with the regulations.

"Of course Pirelli has wanted to test for quite some time, and the compromise that was reached was for them to test with the Lotus (Renault) car; as they had the Toyota that was out of date. That was a compromise.

"At one point, there was a proposal that they should do it with the team that had won the world championship, but of course that was met with complete horror [by rival teams] and would have had to be unanimously agreed upon anyway. It would not have been.

"So any requests to test have always been, in the view of the majority of the teams in the paddock, outside of the regulations - so not possible."

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali said: "For two years it was clear that Pirelli, in order for them to do some testing, asked all of the teams to do some running.

"For us, it was very clear that we could not do that with the [current] car.

"That's why, even if they didn't formally ask us, we did not believe that it was possible to do it."

Although Lotus did not join in Red Bull and Ferrari in protesting against Mercedes, team boss Eric Boullier made it clear he too was unhappy with the situation.

When asked to clarify if Lotus was asked to do a test with its 2013 car, Boullier said: "No.

"I heard the same rumours [about the FIA granting permission] but whatever permission was given, it should have been allowed to everybody.

"And at least you should make it aware to everybody: not just go and test on your own somewhere."

Boullier suggests that the argument over whether or not Mercedes gained an advantage from the test is irrelevant, because the crux of the issue is that the in-season testing ban rules were broken.

"There is a sporting regulation in place, and even a testing agreement between the teams," he said.

"They could have gained an advantage from this, and they did it because they could gain an advantage. But it is more to do with a breach of the sporting regulations."

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