Ferrari furious, Pirelli may sue as ‘test-gate’ rolls on

Sun, 23 June 2013, 08:35

Jun.23 (GMM) Ferrari has ridiculed Mercedes’ penalty in the wake of the ‘test-gate’ hearing late last week.

Red Bull, who along with Ferrari lodged the original protest against Mercedes’ secret Pirelli tyre test, said through boss Christian Horner that it accepted the international tribunal’s decision.

“The penalty is not for us to decide,” he said, referring to Mercedes’ reprimand and banning from next month’s young driver test.

“It was for the tribunal to decide and they have made their decision,” Horner added.

Ferrari, however, sounded furious that Mercedes got away with breaking the rules “virtually scot-free”, after the German squad had pleaded to the judges that a light penalty – like sitting out the forthcoming three-day Silverstone test – was adequate.

“One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be and even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles?” Ferrari said via its ‘Horse Whisperer’ online column.

The anonymous columnist ridiculed Mercedes’ young drivers test ban, wondering what the judges would have decided if that event was not looming.

“Would they (Mercedes) have been forbidden from holding an end of year dinner?” said the Horse Whisperer.

Mercedes issued a statement saying it accepts the penalties, while boss Ross Brawn insisted to British Sky television that the marque emerged from the saga with “a blemish-free record”.

But the Telegraph newspaper reports that tyre supplier Pirelli, also officially reprimanded by the tribunal, “may yet decide to sue the FIA” for having wrongfully pressed charges and damaging its image.

Mercedes’ Brawn, meanwhile, failed to deny that he would have lost his job had the tribunal issued a harsher penalty.

“You never know what might happen if the outcome of the tribunal had been different and I’m an employee and member of the team, so things can change,” he said.

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