Ferrari…doth protest too much?

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Ferrari were in cahoots with Red Bull over their concerns about a test that took place using a Mercedes 2013 chassis after the Spanish Grand Prix. What some have also shared is that Ferrari was also involved in a test between the Bahrain Grand Prix and the Spanish Grand Prix. The difference here is that the Scuderia used a two-year-old chassis for the test and they figure that’s a completely different situation.

To be honest, it actually is. While Pirelli have said they don’t care if the car is a 2011, 2012, or 2013 chassis as it matters little them in order to test their tires, I happen to know for a fact that their 2010 chassis is not good enough for the test as I put the question to Pirelli’s Paul Hembery. No mystery there, Paul isn’t being disingenuous, it’s just that the regulations changed quite a bit in 2011 and that’s the reason for it.

Now it seems the FIA are keen to find out exactly what did take place at the Ferrari / Pirelli test what the details actually are before they start flogging Mercedes in an upcoming International Tribunal. The FIA said:

‘The FIA has asked Team Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 and Scuderia Ferrari Team which have taken part in tyre tests in the 2013 season to reply to a disciplinary inquiry in pursuance of the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules.

‘This follows the Stewards’ Report from the Monaco Grand Prix and represents supplementary information required by the FIA in the light of the replies received from Pirelli, who were asked for clarifications on Tuesday May 28th.’

The question I am wondering is this: If Pirelli said they actually did ask all the teams, then why didn’t Red Bull participate? They’ve got the money and team brain Adrian Newey says that 1000km is worth one second ont he track. Was Red Bull invited to test this year by Pirelli?

Clearly Ferrari are arguing that the 2013 chassis Mercedes used is a breach of the regulations and Mercedes says the FIA rubber-stamped the use of this year’s chassis while Pirelli says they didn’t ask for a 2013 chassis. The plot thinnens!

Either way, it will be interesting to see if the Ferrari test has any bearing on the Mercedes verdict or if Ferrari will be reprimanded as well as Mercedes and Pirelli. I’d be hard pressed to suggest Pirelli are in hot water as the series needs a tire supplier and Pirelli seem to be the incumbent choice at the moment but I could be wrong… the FIA have treated tire makers poorly in the past and I’m looking at you Max Mosley.

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