FIA: 'Mercedes didn't have permission to test'

20 June 2013 by TF1T Staff

Formula 1's governing body the FIA, insists it never gave Mercedes permission to use its current car, the W04, during a 1000km tyre test with Pirelli.

The matter is currently being overseen by the sport's International Tribunal which is expected to make a ruling on Friday.

Whilst Mercedes are adamant FIA race director Charlie Whiting signed off on the test, FIA lawyer Mark Howard disagrees. Although they were granted preliminary permission, it was on the basis that the FIA's legal team signed it off - which he claims they never.

"Whiting was asked a general and non-specific question - the general question on the permissibility of using a 2013 car.

"His preliminary response was that such a test would comply with article 22 [of the sporting regulations] providing the purpose was for Pirelli to test its tyre and he would check [with our legal team]."

Howard went on to explain that neither party got back to Whiting before the test to confirm if it were legal.

"What is very odd about all of this is that, on the basis of the telephone calls, both Mercedes and Pirelli went ahead without getting back to Mr Whiting and making clear precisely ultimately what they were intending to do.

"Without the knowledge, consent and participation of other competitors, Mercedes and Pirelli may have engaged in activity that was prejudicial to the competition."