Controversy continues to swirl around the Mercedes / Pirelli private test in Barcelona between the Spanish and Monaco grands prix with the team claiming they did not know which tires they were testing for the Italian tire maker. That position appears to be in contradiction with driver Nico Rosberg’s comments as he told the press:
“Of course, I was aware of what their ideas were and what they were testing because I needed to know that to be able to pinpoint for them what was going on,” he said.
As Sky Sports F1 points out, Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn suggested the team did not know which tires they were testing:
“We didn’t know that when you do a Pirelli tyre test that you don’t know what tyres you are testing,” Brawn said. “You are given codes. Each day there was a batch tested and we still don’t know what the conclusions were.”
To be fair, that could be parsing words slightly as the team most likely did receive coded tires and it is conceivable that the driver was told what kind of compounds he was testing in order for him to provide accurate feedback. While some suggest this controversy adds to the challenge Mercedes will face during an International Tribunal with the FIA, the team was keen to publicly welcome the summons proffered by the FIA to appear at the tribunal:
“Mercedes-Benz acknowledges the decision of the FIA to take the matter of the Pirelli Test before the International Tribunal,” the team announced in a statement on Thursday.
“We welcome the opportunity to explain the full facts of the Pirelli test in an open and transparent manner at the International Tribunal.
“Sporting integrity is of primary importance to Mercedes-Benz and we have the utmost confidence in the due process of the FIA.”
Both Pirelli and Mercedes have been summoned to the special tribunal but a date has not yet been announced.