Formula 1 - Pirelli plays down Spain tyre row

Pirelli has insisted that the tyre test Mercedes carried out at Barcelona was focused on 2014 developments, did not favour Mercedes, and that the use of a 2013 car was not at the tyre firm's request.

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Formula 1 - Pirelli: tyre tests massive step forward
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Pirelli tyres in the paddock (Reuters)

The FIA's new international tribunal is set to consider protests against Mercedes and Pirelli's three-day session following the Spanish Grand Prix, after it emerged in Monaco that the team's race drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg had done 1000km of tyre testing using the 2013 Mercedes.

Formula 1 regulations allow for teams to assist Pirelli with development work, but ban in-season test running with current cars.

Pirelli issued a statement on Friday arguing that Mercedes - which had been suffering worse than most rivals with high tyre degradation in the opening grands prix of 2013 - could not have benefited from the test as the tyres used were not relevant to current rubber.

The firm said only one of the 12 tyres tried featured the structural change being assessed as a method of preventing delamination, and that most of the mileage was focused on 2014.

"Pirelli, in development testing with teams carried out in 2013, has not favoured any teams and, as always, acted professionally, with transparency and in absolute good faith," said the statement.

"The tyres used were not from the current championship but belonged to a range of products still being developed in view of an eventual renewal of the supply contract.

"Further, none of the tests were carried for the purpose of enhancing specific cars, but only to test tyre solutions for future championships.

"The use of the car utilised by Mercedes, in particular, was the result of direct communication between the FIA and the team itself. Pirelli did not ask in any way that a 2013 car be used: not of Mercedes nor the FIA nor the teams which, during the year, were offered the opportunity of participating in tests for the development of tyres for 2014.

"The tyres that will be tested by the teams in free practice at the Montreal grand prix have never been used by the teams before."

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