Analysis of Mercedes’ form in last three races
Posted By: James Allen  |  06 Aug 2013   |  10:33 am GMT  |  282 comments

Following on from criticism from Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo that Mercedes’ form over the five races since its controversial Pirelli test in May damages the credibility of the championship, we’ve done a couple of graphs analysing the car’s race tyre performance over the last three events, with the help of JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan.

In the first graph we compare Lewis Hamilton’s lap times with those of Sebastian Vettel in the Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus.

The vertical axis is the lap time, (faster lap times towards the bottom, slower lap times higher up); the horizontal axis is the number of laps in the race. So the race runs from left to right)

Hamilton’s degradation is pretty linear and comparable to Vettel’s on the soft set and he did a very good job on the first set of mediums, from lap 10 to 31, where he was able to push and still maintain tyre life (look at the black plot between laps 10 and 31. Generally speaking this second stint is very consistent)

If you look at our second graph (below) – In Germany the team struggled on the one-off Pirelli compromise tyre which was rushed out after the Silverstone failures.

In Budapest, despite the high temperatures. Mercedes demonstrated tyre degradation in line with the average for the field. It was clear from Budapest that the new Pirelli tyre suits the Mercedes much better, so the indications are they will be strong for the rest of this season, although a note of caution; we still need to see how the tyres cope with high lateral loads on tracks like Spa and Suzuka.

The three race comparison graph (below) of the British, German and Hungarian GPs, it is clear that there were still issues in Silverstone (red plot) and Germany (blue plot) but it’s extremely difficult to extract any definitive facts or trends here, bar the fact the overall race pace of Hamilton at Budapest looks more consistent than the other two races, which is generally due to the driver having a better overall chassis balance and tyre utilisation and the strategy team having more confidence in the driver achieving the required stop laps.

Prior to these races, Monaco and Montreal were one-offs, both with very low tyre energy, where Mercedes’ higher tyre use would not be such a factor anyway. Track position was more decisive in Monaco, where Mercedes and Rosberg had the advantage from qualifying.

Meanwhile in Canada Hamilton was well beaten by Vettel and Alonso into third place; he finished 16 seconds behind Vettel and was caught by Alonso seven laps before the end, but his performance showed that Mercedes has made some progress on improving tyre life in the race. The consistency on Hamilton’s car was much better than than for Rosberg, who needed to make an extra stop.

So, although the championship table tells a very obvious story, with Mercedes scoring almost double the points in the five races since its test compared to the five races before, it’s hard to draw too many firm conclusions about timelines for improvement, other than to say that Hungary was clearly a breakthrough and showed that the team has definitely got its act together now and that the new Pirellis suit it.

* Additional input from JA on F1 technical adviser Mark Gillan

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Good to see Merc improving. Can't wait to see how Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus react! It's all good for F1.


Ferrari won't react. They don't know how... not sure about lotus. It will be good to see rbr vs merc...


Thanks James.

I guess that without racing, the summer break is the perfect time for blame-shifting. Even so, I would have expected something a bit more intelligent from Ferrari.

All teams except Mercedes had three days in the [not so] young driver test, to try out KNOWN tyres, which were raced in Hungary. Mercedes, by contrast, spent another three days earlier on, testing tyres it couldn't identify.

Then Hamilton won in Hungary, FROM THE FRONT, wearing the tyres that everyone EXCEPT him and Nico had tested in Silverstone. By being in the front, he was able to keep his tyres AND his car's temperatures in check. The other Merc wasn't so lucky, and the same issues affected others to a lesser extent, too.

Now... if despite the bleeding obvious (better tyre durability due to racing out of traffic), some wish to blame Pirelli, Mercedes, the stars or the phases of the moon, it's their right.

I guess it keeps people busy, if they don't have a nice beach somewhere close to them.


EXcellent analysis .however I doubt that Mercedes has the problem entirely sorted out RBR always get the tyre changed at some point during the year to suit expect another tyre construction specifications change or something else to allow RBR to cheat away with the championship this year.


I think it is the opposite. It was not Mercedes fixing their issue. It was Pirelli adjusting the tires in way to fix what they gathered in their test. I don't think it necessarilly was a plot to help Mercedes, but who else would be advantaged by new tires, if not Merc? It was their car used to establish how the updated tires should work.


Ohh please!

After the secret test, Mercedes fixed the tyre issues which they couldn't do it in 3 years (2010, 2011 and 2012).

Is that a coincidence? Could they really sort out their long time tyre problem so quickly after Barcelona, or they really hugely benefited from that secret test.

Everybody will believe what they like, but I for one find it hard to believe they suddenly found the problem which could not be identified for more than 3 years and without the help from the tyre test.

Sheeps follow the herd, but I like to think for myself.


It's lame & foolish and sore loser comments who say Mercedes"Secret" test helped them to solve their tyre issues

The tyres changes 2 x!!! since than. They race completely different tyres ATm

And tyre swapping is banned wich helped Mercedes before Silverstone

To come up with the secret test is complete BS!


That logically doesnt follow, as if it were purely down to them having test time, why didnt they fix the issue over the winter in the previous two seasons, as they have 6 tests over that time period, and 2 new cars


Ummmm....sheep go around in "flocks". Cows go around in "herds".


🙂 Good spot.


Very well said Spyros.

Why would a single weekend on unknown tyres be worth much more than the three years Merc has had to on this problem.

If indeed they've solved it once and for all, its because they've been working on it for so long (this is common sense really, and people like MISTER claim to be 'thinking'.....)


Except that the pundits were predicting Mercedes could win Monaco based solely on grid position, before the tire test took place.

By out-qualifying everyone on a track where passing is nigh impossible, Mercedes did just that... and the next week, at Canada, where passing is possible, they did poorly.

As soon as Mercedes stopped focusing on their double-drs system, and started focusing on tire wear, there's been a consistent upward trend in their reliability. Anyone who didn't see Mercedes being competitive this year after the first 4 races wasn't paying attention.



That doesn't hold at all, as we all know you are either in the sweet spot with the tyres or you are not. Its a knife edge. Get it right and if you underlying car is good, you will be near the front. If your off it you will be nowhere. Look at what happened to force india in the last race for example


They have been working, but you would see the results gradually improving, rather than suddenly be better than RedBull in qualy and races.


ferrari have had more tests than all the teams put together and yet they are not able to find answers to their lack of speed. did mercedes not win before their test? do you honestly beleive the team has not been working on other areas on improving their tyre usage?



But Hamilton finished on the Podium in Malaysia and in China too. Was that after the test? You should convince yourself all you want, but deep down in you, you know that 3 days of test doesn't work any miracle in F1.



Ferrari held a test earlier this year in Bahrain I think and again after the Hungarian GP - both times with current drivers but using an older car. Now what is the point of this, if they do not anticipate some kind of benefit ?


what Ferrari tests are you on about?Other than what's allowed and is the same for all teams (straight line, YDT etc) Ferrari don't do any tests.


In the race before the test, they started 1st and 2nd and finished 6th and 12th if I remember right..


So in 3 days they solved what they couldn't in several years. And they wouldn't have been able to do so had they participated in the YDT. That sounds very logical indeed.


The real improvement in Mercedes test was Lewis time in the car. I think every team in the paddock fear that more than what Mercedes would get out of that Perelli controlled test.

They knew that once he was comfortable with the car Mercedes would immediately be competative.


They didn't solve the tyre's problem before 2013 because :

1) They didn't have two technical teams, one for the current car and another one for the further season (that was mentioned by MS).

So, when Merc had problems before - the same technical team had to solve both the current problems (reliability, DRS issues, etc..) by Fridays... and deal with a preparation for the next races and next season's car. So if they choose tyres - they would have relaibility or DRS, etc... issues during the race, so they preferred to solve NOT tyre issues first.

2) As soon as the one technical team dealed with the current issues - the future season's car were suffered a lot.

So, only now, in 2013, they have two technical teams for the current and next car, so they could take this tyre's problem to investigate but they needed time and availibility of the test itself with the current drivers. That's why they prepared "a test trick" to solve the tyre problem and it payed off.

Moreover, Lewis had solved his problems with braking on that test. He just needed a calm time for the testing to undestand the car's behaviour othewise he would probably achieve this by the end of this season. Ask MS how many time he needed to adapt to the braking to have 100% what he wanted without testing and after 3 years off?


ohh please to you too. Do you really think that Mercedes fixed a tyre issue that had afflicted them for the three previous seasons in a 1000km test?

In an 18 race season 1 car will travel 3200 miles approx just in races and at least double that in testing and practice - now up to 6400 miles per car per season. Over the last 3 seasons Merc have had approx 20000 miles of running per car. x2 is about 40000 miles of useful data to analyse tyre performance. Let's convert that to KM = 64300.

OK, we are only halfway through this season, so say they've done 50000km of running and data analysis but couldn't solve their tyre issues. Then in a 1000km blind tyre test they could.

Give your head a wobble and actually start thinking for yourself.




+1 There is a deference between thinking and assuming.


+1 Spot on



'Give your head a wobble' - I wish I had thought of that line 🙂


If they couldn't find the problem in 60 odd race weekends, why would three extra days be so much more beneficial?


well, in race weekends they chase ideal setup and check the performance of new parts. In a test like that, they can focus completely on tyre usage and what affects that, disregarding any performance, new parts, fuel, etc. Any changes to the car will be made to evaluate the tyre usage and nothing else.

Teams learn about tyres every time they go on track, I know that. But the step in tyre usage after that test is huge. Well, actually, is race winning.


"Sheeps follow the herd"

No wonder there's so many new Mercedes fans around.


just so that it is not lost in translation, it is quite possible that mercedes made changes to their car which they used for the pirelli tests. those changes may have been validated during those tests which were quite lengthy and protracted. three full length GP distances.

regardless of what the tyres were ultimately doing, it was the car that changed. there were no FIA operatives present to check that the car was identical to that that was previously raced a few days earlier and even if it wasn't it still wouldn't matter. not only did mercedes steal a massive amount of testing they did it under the guise of 'helping' pirelli. that alone should ring a few alarm bells.

maybe i am only seeing shadows but i simply cannot write it all off to coincidence.


kenneth chapman: your comment is very well laid out, indeed.

I agree with you.

It is interesting, the aggressiveness, almost vindictiveness, of the Mercedes-defenders, non?


@ Kenneth you said "it is quite possible that mercedes made changes to their car which they used for the pirelli tests" then went on to say, a mere sentence later that "regardless of what the tyres were ultimately doing, it was the car that changed."

A few things mate:

Firstly if you could make such a conclusion from a supposition of your own making, without any evidence in support, then I fear it impossible to reason with you.

....But here we go.

Secondly (and I'm framing this in the context of your inferences) it is quite possible that Mercs made NO changes to their.......

Thirdly and most importantly; No matter how awesome an automobile is technically (whether Bike, Car etc) the most significant factor in its relative performance is its relationship with the rubber rings that contact the tarmac. So for you to state "regardless of what the tyres were ultimately doing" is a non-argument.

Fourthly, "there were no FIA operatives present to check that the car was identical to that that was previously raced a few days earlier and even if it wasn’t it still wouldn’t matter" you kind of shot yourself in the foot with the end of the sentence. For it matters not how the car compares to the previous race as long as it complies with this year’s regs and there are no modifications made throughout the entirety of the test. And oh yes there were FIA delegates at the test.

Lastly, like most of those who see it differently you negate the critical ruling that all parties (Mercs, Pirelli and the FIA) were equally at fault. What that means in layman is that the FIA (Charlie and the Lawyers consulted) sanctioned something that maybe they should not have.


Minding pointing out where the ruling blames each party equally? The relevant section is #40. The only thing Charlie was guilty of was giving advice which was not binding but which Mercedes and Pirelli took to be binding (key words "consistent with sporting fairness"). Mercedes also looks pretty innocent, see #36 (3) and when Pirelli lies to Brawn #9 'second hearing': "Brawn said that Paul Hembrey had confirmed that all competitors had an equal opportunity. "

Pirelli on the other hand, not only lied to Mercedes about having contacted all the other teams and provided them with a similar opportunity. To make it even worse, according to #40 (4) (ii) and #40 (4) (vi), "nor was there any evidence that, the assurance ... had in fact been acted on at any material time" because they didn't contact even a SINGLE other team.

Some real gems in there like #35 (2) & (3) where Pirelli provides their jusitification about why they lied to Mercedes, which is effectively that complying with providing an equal opportunity was never possible. Or #36 (9) (1) where Mercedes says they acted in the interests of ALL competitors.

I do find it dubious that they never justify their finding that everyone acted in good faith, because it's plain as day that Pirelli lied to Mercedes and never had any intention of trying to conduct this test in a manner which was fair to all teams.

In anycase, I HIGHLY doubt the test is responsible for Mercedes form. As the ruling states in multiple places Mercedes gained some advantage and were punished for it. Insofar as this whole "the test made mercedes fast" thing goes, the other teams should theoretically catch up via the test that Mercedes missed. End of that story.


It's pretty important that there would be an FIA delegate at the test - to prevent the team changing the car's set-up. I doubt Pirelli would have cared what Mercedes were doing in their garage as long as they got their data. Likewise I doubt Mercedes would have done as much set-up work and testing as everyone seems to believe.

I'm pretty sure there weren't FIA delegates at the Mercedes test.

Why did you think there were?


@ frique, did i ask you to reason with me? why cut and paste my comments? is it not possible that changes were made to the car post the prior race and pre the pirelli test? it was merely a supposition which you have chosen to ignore.

if there were changes those tests MAY have validated them during the test, irrspective of what the tyres were doing. the whole pointb here is, do you have any evidence to prove me wrong? are you saying that the improved performance of mercedes benz means zippedy doo dah? yes, mercedes benz may have made no what?i am merely making a proposition based on the current performances.

thirdly, don't propose to lecture me on the relationship between tyres and track. if the cars balance and downforce were altered pre test then irrespective of the tyres being tested the team would have been able to monitor what was happening in the back room.

according to reports published, the only changes made were to suit the tyres being tested, which by the way were explained fully to rosberg and presumably hamilton if he was spotted sans camouflage.

on the matter of the FIA's attendance, yes i may well be wrong as everything i have read so far indicates that it was a private/secret test and there were NO FIA officials providing oversight each and every day, but obviously you have conflicting evidence showing that the test was being scrutinised by the FIA in its entirety. i would welcome your published evidence to prove that very point. as i said i may well be seeing shadows where there are none.

just one more point before i finish, i would like to pose for you a question. do you believe that mercedes undertook these private/secret tests as an act of pure unadulterated altruism? despite all the additional miles being put onto their engines and the logistics of maintaining the team and the back room for those three days, that there was nothing in it for mercedes benz whatsoever?.

your substantiation of these points is now eagerly awaited.



Regardless of any justification, And whether you blame, pirelli, the FIA or Mercedes, a few points that no one can deny is:

1. Mercedes took advantage of the situation for their own benefit. No one buys the rubbish that they wanted to help Pirelli. It is the same reason Ferrari and Red Bull turned down a test with their 2013 car.

2. They found a loop hole and got off with a widely recognised "very light" punishment

3. They went out of their way to hide the test, which in itself indicates guilt. Extra security, different helmets, Hamilton tweeting that he was in Florida etc

Good on them for sorting out their embarrassing tyre issues, but the sneaky underhanded way they did it, was a slap in the face and disrespectful to all of the other teams that abided by a widely understood agreement to ban in season testing using a current car.


After Mercedes secret test, the following GP they showed up with a sensor pointing to the front tire, some say it was a temperature sensor, some other said it was a camera, what ever it was, it was defenetly learned after the test...

So there is the proof, or evidence...

I am a Mercedes fan, but this time I will side with the other teams, it was an unfair advantage. oh well.


Come on ... Teams have been using tyre sensors and cameras nice McLaren started using them in 2003 (see Scarbs) - usually on Friday practice.

Sorry, no conspiracy here guys!


Come on... Teams have been using tyre sensors and cameras since McLaren started the practice in 2003 (check with Scarbs) - usually they only use them on Friday's practice sessions.

No conspiracy here guys!


How do you the camera/sensor was learned after the test? With respect you may believe that to be the case, but you do not know it .


Merc have improved their car so much, would be good to compare the car they started with in Australia and the one they took victory with in Hungary.


Why? Every car has pretty much improved since Melbourne . It's called evolution. Seem to recall that Redbull were quite bad back in Melbourne so guess it means they must have done something illegal too?


"Hungary was clearly a breakthrough and showed that the team has definitely got its act together now and that the new Pirellis suit it."

As you say, it remains to be seen how they perform at the more demanding circuits like Spa, but it does look as though Mercedes have benefitted from the change in tyres, and it was that rather than the controversial tyre test which has made the difference.

It ought to be remembered, however, that Mercedes were not one of the teams most prominent in demanding that the tyres be changed, with Brawn saying on several occasions that it was up to them, not Pirelli, to sort out their problems with the tyres.


All that went before is of little relevance now that Pirelli have introduced new tyres. Whatever new information Merc might have gained from the private test is useless now, but I can see why Luca would want to tie that episode to the resurgence of Merc. It's called gamesmanship, and Ferrari will do whatever they can to discredit their rivals, just like they tried to win the championship of 2012 by claiming some phantom yellow flag infringement from Vettel.


And also the way they won both championships in 2007. Ferarri have not "won" a champs since 2004, so when the chance to win another one off the track seemed possible, them and Red Bull wanted Mercs out because they knew once you qualify on pole 70% of the time you could do real damage to anyone.


I don't think it's worth analysis. LDM should be charged with bringing the sport into disrepute for those comments. The FIA should get tough on owners/managers that make ridiculous comments like this as it just harms the credibility of the sport.


You're kidding me right ? Not even a supporter of LDM but what he said is exactly what majority of fans think. Except Hamilton and Merc fanboys of course. Merc did gain from the tests, statistics and numbers don't lie. Simple as that.

The fact that Merc did not end up with a huge fine is simply because Brawn is not Ron Dennis, Todt is not Mosely, and as usual the people who wrote the regulations were too dumb to state clearly what teams could and couldn't do when Pirelli came to them for help with tweaking the tyres.


Not even a supporter of LDM but what he said is exactly what majority of fans think....

I am not saying you are wrong, but please can you tell me how you know this? I can't help thinking it is simply your opinion presented as if it were a fact.


He just feels it, I guess.

On this question, to see it from one side takes decidedly less critical thinking and reflection than the other. And yes, usually the majority are firmly planted on the "less thinking required" side. People are lazy, F1 fans even moreso. Simple as that.


"should be charged with bringing the sport into disrepute"

Secret test?


Yes so top secret that they got approval from the FIA first. But then Ferrari didn't test a car over two years old either because I'm sure the 2011 car they tested wasn't the start of 2011 spec!

Where do you draw the line, they can all throw mud, it only damages the sport as a whole. The FIA investigated and found errors across the board between themselves, Pirelli and Merc which was why Merc got banned from the Silverstone test and Ferrari spent two days heading in the wrong direction.


I should add that Ferrari are my team, but I dismay at their post 2000 change to preferring a win in the court room rather than on the track.


That shouldn't make a difference, the rules state the car should be two years old, not 18 months.


"Yes so top secret that they got approval from the FIA first".

Top secret enough to get sent to the headmaster and banned from the YDT..

"But then Ferrari didn’t test a car over two years old either because I’m sure the 2011 car they tested wasn’t the start of 2011 spec!"

Too bad the FIA don't agree with you, but hey, don't let the facts get in the way of a promising Ferrari bash...


The Ferrari 2011 car had a completely different suspension than one used in 2012 and 2013. They switched to pull-rods, remember?. Thus, the difference between the last 2011 car and the earliest 2012 is an abyss.


This article is biased/not biased about x driver and or y team.

That should cover about 25% of the comments.

They have done a good job but you always feel that RBR are going to be able to finish the season in front in both championships. It should be a great end to the season!


RE: the article (rather than any driver/team bias comments) I think that only looking at Mercs performance post tyre test is only half the story. It's pretty evident they've got on top of their issues now.

The question is, what did Merc gain from that test? The answers reside in the difference in race pace they've exhibited pre and post 'tyregate'. With that answered then look at all the other top teams in F1 and see how they've improved their respective race pace - are Mercedes an anaomly in that respect? I suspect so, the team famed for poor in-season development have suddenly out developed everyone else on the grid.

There are far far too many coincidences in that little lot for me to accept that Merc gained nothing from their tyre test.

I fully expect a Mercedes to qualify on pole for the Belgian GP, and certainly expect at least one silver arrow on the podium - if not on the top step.


If your argument is that 3 days (blind) testing gave an advantage to Merc well surely this was nullified by the 3 day driver test (where tyre type was known) which all the other teams participated (bar Merc) in Silverstone.

Your argument just doesn't hold, and neither do the points raised by LDM.

It's too early to state that Merc have solved all their tyre problems and will compete for victory at all the other tracks.


Merc up to Barcelona:

- Eats Tyres, and has done for 18months +

- Reknowned for poor in season development

- Race wins, zero.

Merc Post Barcelona:

- Tyre issues seem to be largely resolved

- Now around 30s faster over a race distance, an anomaly in peformance gain terms.

- Race wins, three in five.

Lets see what happens at Spa...


on what evidence do you Mercedes-apologists refer to, in your assumption of total integrity of this and that?

is there any doubt that Mercedes has gained comparative advantage and at the same time flouting the rules, and governship?


I don't agree... Merc have had the quickest car all season (based on quali) an they only took off with race pace when the new tyres were introduced for Hungary and they had never used those tyres before.

It's pretty clear then that the only reason they're suddenly so quick in races is that these new tyres don't fall to pieces on their cars.

Luca is talking out of his backside and not for the first time.


So would you say that mercades are favourites for spar, not only in qualifying, but the race too?


Red Bull will always be favourite for Spa - that is the only current sponsor's product they stock!

Mercedes are probably favourite for pole in Spa

Daniel Marshall

Perhaps as Spar is on the calendar a street circuit around Londis might be considered after all.


That's a Lidl optimistic, don't you think?

Sorry, Dave, but thanks to autocorrect for the laugh.


Yeah, my bad. Put that one down to auto correct or something along this lines.


Spar, Tesco, and possibly Sainsbury.



Good one !!!


What Hungary showed is that Pirelli were messing with the credibility of the sport when they rolled out their 2013 tyres.

Here was a situation where drivers were cruising around on delta times, flagging through other drivers as they came up to overtake.

So what happened at Silverstone was the best thing to happen for the sports reputation otherwise we would have had a very unfulling season with only 3 teams happy.

As for Mercedes, credit to them for finally getting on top of their high tyre wear for the car looked good and just needed decent tyres on which to race on >>> best of all, the Mercedes (including Red Bull) can't be accursed of having got these new tyres through politics >>> it's all thanks to destiny.

Regards Lewis, for the longest time he has been known as a tyre shredder but judging from China 2013, Bahrain 2013 and Canada 2013 perhaps of the two Mercedes pilots he's the one most gentle on the tyres.

We saw a similar trend in 2012 where Lewis was getting the most out of the tyres compared to Jenson.


'So what happened at Silverstone was the best thing to happen for the sports reputation'

I can't agree it helped F1's reputation, but yep ultimately in the long run it might have been the best thing for the sport overall.

It might have hurt Pirelli's reputation, but that's assuming Pirelli had much of a reputation left to protect...


Best thing to happen?

If you mean it showed how teams abuse and misuse a product and then blame the manufacturer of said product...yeah, Silverstone exposed that.

(Begin Fantasy Simulation)

If I was Pirelli, I'd be on my way out of F1 with both middle fingers up as I walk backwards out of the paddock area so all can see my hands yelling:

Learn about directional arrows and what LR and RR means. Also look up spec air pressure range.

Cambers - not for now it will blow your mind.

May I suggest to all you genius engineers a Pirelli Dealer Basic Training Academy 10 minute WebEx training presentation in case you need help figuring these cylinder things out?

We provide free crayons for notes taking.

Good luck in 2014 F1, suckers!

(End Fantasy Simulation)



Everyone and their dog knows Pirelli's talk about use of unsafe parameters was just a gimmick to save face in the midst of ferocious fan anger that was beginning to translate to market damage.

How do you explain Perez tyre explosion when McLaren complied with ALL the tyre recommendations from Pirelli?

The only explanation is tyres too rotten to be fit for purpose. Thank God they are gone.



Let's say I'm Honda. You buy a Civic and take it off-roading. It's my responsibility to tell you not to?

You pay for the product, use correctly, or use it incorrectly - but at your own risk. Once the teams went way past the lines into unsafe territory it was up to Pirelli to tell them to knock it off, and ask FIA to enforce safe use. Also at that point Pirelli actually dummed down the tires to prevent such use.

This is really directly comparable to putting the hydraulic fluid into the fuel tank and blaming the hydraulic fluid manufacturer for the issue.

Therefore, as it was the teams who were not able to use a high-tech product correctly in a high-tech sport, my fantasy simulation above is quite applicable. They deserve to go into 2014 on blocks, hat in hand begging for a tire manufacturer to come into the sport.


You miss one very vital fact. Pirelli were aware of all the abuse you mention, since they did not raise any concerns before the Brit GP you would have to conclude that they approved every one of the "performance enhancements".

Only when the tyres disintegrated did Pirelli start calling it abuse in order to salvage the tatters of their reputation.

Just as Merc got approval from the FIA for the tyre test, the teams had approval from Pirelli to use the tyres as they did.

I know you don't like it but these are the facts.


Er...yeah...something like that...



I wonder who coined this "delta racing" crap in the first place?

Since the drivers did so much moaning and groaning, I bet you it was a driver who's driving style didn't suit the tires. Therefore, while pole times and GP distance times were quicker vs. last year (even without blown defusers and flexies) we had some genius driver with no post-secondary education tell us about 'delta racing" - a term he may have overheard his well educated engineer use and figured...hey, let me adopt this word into my toolbox - after I google the definition of course.

This concludes our F1 comedy minute today.


You're going black anc white again goferet. And in this tire issue, there is plenty of gray...nearly all gray in fact.

What about how teams used directional tires?

What about cambers?

What about low pressures outside tire spec?

Come on! Don't try to tell me teams used the tires as spec, if there was performance to be had by not using it within spec. Surely we know better.

As for the Delta driving...didn't we beat this horse to death? What do you call driving with limited horse power? With limited minimum weight? With minimum aero elements? With certain track layouts?

Everthing in F1 is to a delta, that's why a GP can only last 2 hours or less. I'm sure we could do some GPs. I already mentioned this many timed, and I'm surprised a stats man like you overlooks the fact that poles have all been quicker in 2013 vs 2012, and 2013 GP race times have been same or quicker than 2012. So if poles are quicker, and race time is same or quicker (even with more stops in some cases) what Delta are we talking about here goferet?

I have to say, between you and me, your recent comments are quite one sided. More along the lines of how you choose to see things, not perhaps allowing for posibility that it's otherwise.


Sebee, why do you keep up with these strained arguments?

When the junk tyres were on the cars, there was a huge groundswell of disgust from F1 fans. Now that they are gone, the exact opposite has happened; there isn't even the slightest whimper for their return.

You know what that proves? The hatred for those tyres was total among F1 fans. They and the "delta's" are gone and will never ever return. I can bet that after all the bad publicity, should the argument ever arise, Pirelli will be strongly on the side of durable tyres. 🙂

"What do you call driving with limited horse power? With limited minimum weight? With minimum aero elements? With certain track layouts?"

Every last one of those things is under the control of the car designers; there is no 3rd party in charge of a silly lottery as Pirelli was with the tyres.


Tyres deliver poles?!!

Its the cars that do that, sir. The tyres are just not meant to melt like 3rd rate goo when asked to do quali times over and over... So the people shouted and the gods of "the spectacle" were banished.

Normalcy has been returned to F1, that is why there is no outcry (aside the lone moans and groans from the dagger gift giver, Montemozolo).

The rest of the F1 crowd, drivers, team folk and fans just simply all love the new "non-WPF show" tyres - long may they reign! 🙂



Fans were led by a concerted effort of Teams and Drivers complaining. Fans followed like sheep.

2013 should have never been changed. They should have been left exactly as they were introduced. Instructions to follow use direction, camber and pressure limits should have been forced by FIA and the whole matter would have been done.

I say again...those tires that apparently were so bad delivered 1s faster poles vs. 2012 and same or faster GP total times vs 2012 even with more stops.

How many times must I repeat that last part Quade? 🙂


"there was a huge groundswell of disgust from F1 fans"

Not all of them.


@dean cassady

"the entire brew-haha about the tires was manufactured by a special interest group"

Really? I am quite sure that at least, 99% of F1 fans are not part of any "special interest group" conspiracy theory.


Hugy, I think that was 0.5s SLOWER ... in that they could go slower b/c they had a big lead to allow it.


At the final laps of Hungary, Hamilton was told to improve his delta times to half a second quicker. The key word here is delta times. In the last GP.


Car designers don't design tracks. They have to operate within set parameters, including the tyres. It must grate if your car suits the tyres at the start of the season only to have them changed to something less suitable because your competitors whinge about it.


the entire brew-haha about the tires was manufactured by a special interest group, the only issue is, what one, or which ones.

the specification was established, they were the tires.

The blow ups at Silverstone was a result of the manufactured 'groundswell', and ill advised introduction of new binding agents.

There is something seriously contrived about he entire tiregate; if any of it gets out, it may be interestng, a real tiregate.


You say "best of all, the Mercedes (including Red Bull) can’t be ACCURSED... it’s all thanks to destiny?" Haha! I agree.

...Funny what typo's can do. 🙂


Merc has used a different tyre strategy for Rosberg in the last few races compared to Hamilton, making it impossible to say anything about who is better or worse on their tyres. In Canada Rosberg and LH both started on the softs, then LH came in for mediums while NR was fitted with another set of soft tyres.


Nico had to take the softs because he ruined his tyres with the wheel banging with Massa and an extra stop was needed..he couldn't have made it till the end in Canada. So far Nico hasn't shown to be better in race pace; obviously his race strategy is dictated by the starting position and where he finds himself in the race -just look at Hungary 2013-! Mercedes race control knows how to adjust themselves, it's up to the driver to make up places and for the best! Team will follow.


totally agree with you about Silverstone...Thankfully no one was seriously injured, but glad it happened because such a public show of tyres bursting made sure things matter what was being said and done behind the scenes.

Re the Merc, I get the sneaky suspicion there may be more to with the other teams this is a WIP.

As for Lewis, I've said quite a few times that when necessary he can adjust his driving style when required...and the way he's begining to be more frugal with his attacking style of driving is begining to pay of...obviously the new tyres and a car that is moving forward in development also help but credit to him, folks expected him to fall flat on his face ( and I guess many still do) with his Move to Mercedes...but it's not looking so bad now is it? 😉


No, what Hungary showed is that Pirelli brought different tyres. Pirelli's only crimes were to have done what they were asked to do (provide non-durable tyres), only then for teams to run the tyres improperly (swapping left and right-rear tyres over) and to give in to politicking on the part of Red Bull and Mercedes. The issue is nothing more than a smokescreen and a lot of people have been stupid enough to fall for it.

unF1nnished business

+1 Exactly!!!

It's good to know some people have their eyes wide open.


Yup. Squeeky wheel gets the oil.


Anyone that claims a free 1000km test in which you can do whatever you want with the car (beside the tyres that Pirelli chose to put under) does not help you in car setup/development/understanding of the car characteristics etc., is lying or sincerely clueless.

They benefited hugely from the test, learning a lot about the car.

The so called young drivers test that was changed into a regular tyre test, does not even come close to their illegal test in terms of valuable data because the teams were very limited in what they could test or do. Which is why drivers like Alonso and Kimi stayed at home because there was not much to learn or try out.

Mercedes cheated and because of that they are now the best package on track. Any title because of it will be a farce.


Maybe they cheated so the FIA rightfully punished them, there were banned for testing in Silverstone... but let's stop with the constant whining fans who bring this story again and again! Mercedes AMG has been bringing updates to their car and refining it since day 1. This 2013, we've seen them working their azz off like the other teams! Read the articles, videos which are provided here and there... Good results would always come with correlation between data and track! About time they did it, they've upped the game after all the money and efforts being put in that car -fast since winter testing-


the punishment, not being allowed to go in the YDT, is pathetic! It was carpet bombed in the media, Mercedes staff sullenly bemoaning the lost opportunity of the test, but it often looked like they were holding back from breaking out in laughter.

The only appropriate punishment for such a breach should be disqualification from this year's championship.



It is always a matter of balance between corporate interest and investment to have someone pay for our sport. That is why the FIA was against the wall here. Renault has already shown us how to use corporate weight. Only McLaren got hung out to dry so far - amazingly.

I think you are where I was a few years back - you are looking for a pure sport. There is no such thing. Corporate influence and money/greed has tainted all pro sport. Want pure sport, get a few mates and kick the ball around, because you can't find pure sport in TV. It's all mainly intended to sell us things.


It is this exact thinking, not in the rules I must add, that has lead to this ridiculous situation, where a team can openly cheat to advantage, and get away with it completely.

Season tainted.


Considering Mercedes contribution to F1, maybe exclusion would be a bit far.

I thought immediate test for all other teams except Mercedes with same tires Mercedes got. Also, a fine, which would have to be sufficient enough to cover costs of test.


You got it right K.

I wonder, when reading 'user' feedback sites, like this one, about massive avalanches of rhetorical countering arguments, when they occur, as is the case with your seemingly well-reasoned comment has been posted.

I have been paying very close attention to these patterns, and such responses to seemingly well-reasoned comments, suggest to me design behind the 'backlash'.

I would hope that JA takes a look at such obvious patterns and gets his people to review the subscription timing of such contributors to verify their independent status, for I fear corporate manipulations in the explosive growth of 'shill-for-hire'.

Anyhow, that aside, good, well-reasoned comment; don't be disuades by the seemingly overwhelming avalanche of strange rhetoric that your comment has provoked. I see it as a clear sign of the validity of your comment.

Keep up the good work.


Dean, it seems obvious that we are not going to be able to reach common ground on this issue as it seems you are determined to believe every conspiracy theory and wild internet rumour, rather than look at things in a calm and logical manner.

I do believe that there was no "corporate arm twisting" by Mercedes, in the same way that I do not believe (as you do) that the posts disagreeing with your point of view are an example of "corporate manipulation" by Merecedes. Why would the FIA allow themselves to be bullied by Mercedes? A team that has only been in the sport for 3 seasons? I don't see any evidence anywhere that Mercedes threatened to leave, and I don't think the FIA would be that bothered if they did. Even if the FIA believed that Merc would be willing to bin the millions they have already spent on the 2014 engine, no doubt Ferrari, Renault and Honda would be able to fill the void.

In your opinion exclusion from the YDT is a "laughable punishment" and only Exclusion from this years championship would suffice. What part of the test do you have the biggest problem with? The use of a 2013 car or the fact the test was carried out in secret? If its the 13 car that causes you the biggest problem, then don't you think the fact that 2 senior FIA officials said it would be ok is mitigating circumstances? Do you really think it would be fair and even handed of the FIA to exclude Mercedes after their own men said it was legal?

Maybe you think the secret nature of the test and the lack of notification is worthy of exclusion. As a Pirelli test it was their responsibility to notify the FIA, not Mercedes, who were simply asked to take part and could reasonably have expected Pirelli to have taken care of notifications. As for the secret nature, it's no different to the Ferrari Pirelli test, do you think Ferrrari should be excluded as well? i think the punishment fitted the crime, Mercedes gained a days testing and lost 3 days as punishment.

You still haven't come up with a theory about what exactly it was that Mercedes learned at Barcelona that, according to you, solved their tyre degradation issues. personally I don't think this issue has been solved at all. Looking at the 5 races since Barcelona that you say is proof that Mercedes gained hugely from the test we can see that;

Monaco, Mercedes were always going to be quick here, Michael was on pole here last year and Nico finished on the problem, Mercedes already had the quickest car in qualifying pre Barcelona, and surprised nobody by putting it on pole and winning from the front.

Canada, Lewis is always quick here and put it on pole, but could do nothing about Vettel from the start and couldn't keep Alonso behind him either. Maybe you think Lewis's pace dropped at the end of the race because he was tired, but it looked like tyre degradation to me!

Britain, Lewis on pole again but suffers a tyre delamination and finishes 4th, Nico gets lucky and inherits the win after Vettel's car retires in front of him. If Seb's car hadn't failed and he had won, would that have knocked a hole in your argument?

Germany, Lewis on pole again but suffers terrible tyre degradation and finishes 5th. The tyres used in Nurburgring were the same tyres tested by all the teams in FP1 at Canada and by Mercedes at Barcelona. This little fact that you have studiously ignored throughout kind of ruins your theory doesn't it?

Hungary, new tyres with a kevlar belt that dissipates heat better than the steel belted ones used in the first races, Lewis puts it on pole and keeps the lead to the flag, on a low tyre wear circuit in clean air throughout, he manages the tyres well and wins.

Personally I can't see any evidence of a special gain made in Barcelona, it's clear that there has been development of the car, and it has worked. It is equally clear that the tyre degradation issues haven't gone at all.

Mercedes (like Ferrari before them) were asked to do a Pirelli test, knowing that Pirelli are allowed to ask teams to do this, they agreed, no doubt thinking that there would be some gain for them in having a days running. They thought that they had spotted a loophole in the rules allowing them to run a current car and asked Charlie and an FIA lawyer if they could do this. Upon receiving responses from both men that it was allowed they went ahead. They should have checked with the FIA more than they did, and Pirelli shoud have notified the FIA and the other teams about the test. The 2 FIA men shouldn't have said that it was ok to use a 2013 car, this is why costs were attributed equally among the three.

I'm sorry Dean but there are no conspiracies that I can see here, a rule infringement was punished, and a portion of blame attributed to all 3 parties involved. That's it, you can see darkness anywhere if you look hard enough, you can find people on the internet who will tell you that they know for certain tha Mercedes made a huge gain in Barcelona, but you can also fnd people who will tell you that the Queen is a giant lizard! I choose not to join the tin foil hat wearers and make my mind up based on facts and evidence, rather than rumour.


Very well written with reasonable conclusions - +1


more rambling bluster and wild conspiracy theories, no facts, no answers to the points I raised, just more of the same paranoia and refusal to use any logic in your argument. Ultimately your opinions about Mercedes, the FIA, Pirelli and wether I exist or not, are your own, and you are entitled to them. But they are just your opinions, and as they clearly haven't been formed by any facts or evidence I won't be changing my opinion on this matter as a result of anything you have said.


And that is a good point to close this thread. It's getting dull now -Mod


I do not believe that you are necessarily a real person representing your own personal views at all.

There is so much distortion and expert innuendo, with traces of mixed truthes , taken out of context.

Why wouldn't a very large industrial corporation not take every step that they could get away with to advance their 'shareholder value'?

Is that what you are labeling (capriciously) such a theory, which in business school would be exclaimed as 'innovative genius'?

You don't seem to have any understanding of modern corporate practices.

But here is one thing for an alleged person to ponder, out of all the contrived pieces that form the pattern of these events, have you stopped to think about how 'just so' the piece is about Mercedes communications with C Whiting, how barely imaginably precise it was to diffuse blame across the three parties, garnering the IA complicity, but not really even possibly resulting in appropriate sanction anywhere?

Extraordinary; one in a million, at best; it is just not conceivable that all of these pieces lined up, 'just so' without design behind it.

And the one tactical genius of our time, in the centre of it.

That is a con-incidence that I will never buy.



It's not only the test that taints it.

Honestly, in my view it was the agreement to change the tires at all that taints it.

The tires were fine if used correctly. They have somehow found a way to get them changed mid season to a dummed down version even if the solution was enforcement of pressures, cambers and directional use of the 2013 tire as seen in first races.

So there are actually 2 points that rub me the wrong way in 2013 so far. The fact that tires were changed at all, and this test.


or is it possible that the large number of people replying has nothing to do with corporate manipulation, and everything to do with the original post being rubbish? K has no idea whatsoever what happened at the Barcelona test, and yet constantly presents his opinions as proven facts. Lots of people obviously find this irritating, hence the large number of replies, no conspiracies, just a lot of annoyed people!



"What was in it for Mercedes?'


How can you be for real?


Everything spent so far, and the minimum to come, plus negative branding of many millions (I'm sure some executive bean-counter at Mercedes, has the poop on it).

Plus, of course, ego.


So many championships have been called "tainted" over the years always by fans of teams/drivers who lost that I have lost count.

You would think this test was the be all and end all of Mercedes problems.

Testing with blind tyres and unable to alter the setup.

Come on.!! Really!!

So what was in it for Mercedes.?

I think an overlooked reason Mercedes did the tyre test was to give Hamilton in particular a lot more track time in the car.

Seems to have worked rather well on that front doesn't it.?


I certainly don't care who wins the championship on a level playing field.

If you honestly believe that corporate arm-twisting by Mercedes to leave the formula has nothing to do with the illegal test, and the laughable punishment, it may be that we will not be ale to reach common ground on this issue.

The original post, unlike most of James' material, is strangely one-sided, not showing the before statistics for Mercedes.

Also, the Mercedes 'change in fortune' will likely continue as they further adapt what they learned at the test; it is beyond question that Mercedes is preparing a raft of upgrades over the summer break, and will be stronger again at Spa.

This championship is tainted.


No I don't, which is why I don't pretend that I do! What I do know after 25 years of avid F1 observation, is that a 1 day test is useful, but not that useful. If it was just a days running that Mercedes needed, they would have solved the problem a long time ago.

As for "going over to the dark side" a bit melodramatic don't you think? You have to understand that it is only your opinion that "Mercedes have tainted their results", some people may agree with you, but most people, like me recognise that they have designed and developed a quick (but not perfect) car, and deserve the results that they are starting to get.


And you don't know that it was all sunshine and ponies either.

Lewis and Nico joined the dark side with their darth-helmets. What makes you think this is not representative of the whole team going over to the dark side in this test?

Bottom line - Mercedes have tainted their results with this test mess. Was it worth it? We will see.



...and the award for most replies goes to...


Ferrari is doing a test rightnow as well, they can do whatever they want. Are they now cheaters too, you really sound bitter, Mercedes-Benz were excluded from the YDT. Ferrari should stronger out of the YDT yet they are behind Mercedes-Benz who was excluded.


Calm down, Ferrari can't do whatever they want, they are using a 2011 car which is allowed by FIA and every other team can do the same, it is in the rules, the information we have so far is that they are doing what the rules says, so there is nothing which tell us that they are cheating. I think we have to wait for Spa as James said to have a better conclusion of this Mercedes improvement and a better understanding of where the championship will go.


Ferrari are dumb. They should use a 2013 car - the only sanction they'll face is exclusion from the next test (precedent) by which time they'll have won three out of the last five races 😉


No offense, but what credentials do you have to add any merit to your opinions/claims? You make very matter-of-fact statements that in actuality are based on your assumptions and opinion.

From an engineering perspective (and, no I do not have any credentials), it is only logical that a team that test tires in a blind test (i.e., Mercedes) can not learn as much as a team that tests known tires (i.e., any of the teams in the young drivers test). Did Mercedes learn anything about their car? Probably. However, Pirelli were not testing this year's tires and Mercedes did not know which tires they were running. So, logically, the improvements to the Mercedes car vis a vis tire wear of this year's tires were not simply the result of the testing.

I think I'll take James'/Mark's analysis, I believe they're pretty qualified:

"’s hard to draw too many firm conclusions about timelines for improvement..."


you are simply not stating the facts as published. pirelli are reported to have admitted that they allowed changes on the car to suit the tyres being tested. nico rosberg also admitted that 'of course i knew what tyres were being tested otherwise how could i give any feedback' and finally it was noted that after the tests mercedes were given data specifically for their eyes only.

these are the facts as i have read them. if for some reason they are not then so be it. it rather defies logic that mercedes would offer to 'help' pirelli if there was zip in it for them. the one question that hasn't been canvassed is that of the engines. were they given special dispensation re allowed mileage per engine or did they simply add the additional mileage to their allocation and lose out if they breach the regulations?


Well, apparently you have access to data and "facts" that the FIA did not have access to, because that is not what the FIA concluded in the tribunal.


They might be "facts as you have read them" but the wanton disregard of ALL the applicable facts, not just the ones that suit, before one comes to a conclusion takes away all credibility, Mr. Chapman. So please factor in a bit more or trust that an Independent Tribunal would have had access to more facts than you or I would. Or would opposing counsels just argue their respective cases using minimal evidence (the thing that matters in a tribunal coincidentally) or would they go for the jugular?

Another fact that we choose to ignore as well is that Brawn declined an opportunity to settle out of court so as to be given the platform for all the facts to be presented.

And I'd be wary if I were you, of using published articles as source of facts considering the vast sums paid out annually, following libel hearings for printing said facts.


Ferrari is doing a test as well now, they can fo whatever they, are they now cheaters too ?


You obviously have no idea how a tyre test is conducted!

Mercedes undoubtedly learnt something but in terms of car setup they would only have made changes requested by Pirelli. Any car changes would negate the comparison of one tyre type with another.

Mercedes did not cheat any more than Red Bull or ferrari do whenever they believe they can get away with it.

From a purely business perspective (in terms of prize money) Mercedes took a very carefully calculated risk which paid off. They would have been foolish not to have done it. F1 teams push limits whenever they see an opportunity. Mercedes are simply playing the same game as every other top team.

I would rather see Lewis take the WDC after the test than Vettel after ignoring teams orders not to overtake Webber.


"a free 1000km test in which you can do whatever you want with the car"

Do you have any evidence for that other than your assertion ?

Or are you just accusing Pirelli of lying for the fun of it ?

"The so called young drivers test that was changed into a regular tyre test"

Actually, it was changed to be both a young driver test AND a tyre test, so teams did get to try out new parts - something that Mercedes probably didn't do at Barcelona.


A fascinating part of the whole controversy surrounding the Pirelli tire test with Mercedes has been how people distort the circumstances of the actual test to 'solidify' their views.

Unless new information about the test has become public somewhere, it was my impression that Pirelli was the party setting the agenda at the test and that part of that agenda was a stable, up-to-date platform upon which to collect data to compare various tire formulas; formulas that they never shared with Mercedes.

This was not a situation that would allow Mercedes to experiment and make changes to the car that would undermine the data that Pirelli was trying to collect. It was not, if accurately reported, a "you can do whatever you want with the car" scenario.

There was enough meat to the story without pretending that it was something different than what it was.


"This was not a situation that would allow Mercedes to experiment and make changes to the car that would undermine the data that Pirelli was trying to collect. It was not, if accurately reported, a “you can do whatever you want with the car” scenario."

Because that's what they said?...

Ha... ha ha ha...



Maybe someone should ask them why they didn't choose Caterham.


Some people just want to be blind. They genuinely believe that you would beat RedBull just by running a 3 day test. Maybe Pirelli should have chosen Catheram. That would have brought some spice to the season.


Excuses! Excuses!! Excuses!!! Heheh! They've been more than adequately punished. Lets not forget that even the FIA too got punished over the incident.

A test is a test is a test. Merc had a sneaky one and got banned from one in which they could test new parts and get told exactly what tyres were bolted on. Its all equal now.

On the other hand, how about Ferrari? They not only tested with Massa, but ran WELL BEYOND the 2000km limit the test rules stipulate... Then took part in the Young Drivers and took part Silverstone tyre tests as well! Zooks!!

Now that's what I call having a seriously unfair advantage. Ferrari has managed to eat their cake and have it, all the while deflecting attention by grumbling as loudly as a convulsing hippo. Its Ferrari fingers should be pointed at, not Merc.


"They’ve been more than adequately punished"

Nope, not even close.


in your opinion, they havent been punished enough, but in the opinion of the fia they have. I guess the reason the fia didn't give them a more serious punishment was because 2 of their own senior officials had told Mercedes it would be ok to do the test in a 2013 car. Don't forget that...


Good grief, calm yourself down a bit. Here is the only fact: you and I do not know how much Merc benefited from that test and how much they lost out on by not taking part in the YDC - none.

They would have been developing and improving naturally anyway - they may have got better because of their internal development or because of the test or a combination of the two - we do not KNOW.

And the FIA heard the case against merc and levied their punishment. Done.


The point is they performed an illegal test. Testing is banned. It's not OK as long as you don't gain any benefit.


Point is Wayne, the act taints their success clearly as you can see.

It does for me and it does for many others.


Honestly Wayne, I would have no issue if they came up with some cool idea in the base a la flexi wings that pass all tests. Just like I was impressed by the DDRS they came up with a while back.

But this test - it was a step too far. Really it was.

Although I agree, there is clearly no level playing field in F1, and thus sportmanship goes right out the window in many cases as you rightly point out to be replaced with cunning ways. For some reason, this test thing really rubbed me the wrong way. The helmets, the lies, the info release only when there is no other way out...the feeling of let's huddle to come up with a believable story, the sense of panic when word broke. It just all has a bad smell to me.


Well off you go and watch Formula E then


Then you know as well as I that every other F1 championship over the last goodness knows how long should be tainted for you as well. Every other year there is some form of bruhaha over flexi wings, spying, blown difusers, deliberate crashes, engine mgt systems,off throttle blowing, insane stewards decisions, rule changes, passive DRS etc etc etc. All of these things affect the championship in one way or another every single year regardless of who wins the wdc.

And in the case of Merc, it's not like they held their test and suddenly all was fixed was it? They still performed appallingly in races AFTER this test.


From all the articles I've read on the subject, Pirelli and Mercedes had a set program for their "secret" test, in which Pirelli told the team what to do and when.

I'm not disputing that Mercedes didn't learn anything from the test, but the fact of the matter is, the FIA, Mercedes and Pirelli all took an equal portion of blame over the test. I suspect if it was blatant cheating, the FIA would have stripped Mercedes of all points (very much like the Mclaren punishment from a few years ago) and given them a massive fine to go with it.

I know there were rumours of Pirelli and Mercedes pulling out of the sport if the penalty was to harsh, but if they believed what they were doing was in "good faith" as the FIA seemed to accept... I think in a similar situation I would have considered making that threat too if my business was on the line. 🙂

In fairness, the whole situation doesn't look good to the non tech-savvy armchair fan. So I am not disagreeing with you 100%, but every team out there... no matter how big or small, will do whatever they can to bend/exploit/break the rules if they think they can get away with it. And sometimes, stuff like this is what makes the sport so damn interesting.


Would you care to post in the evidence to your assertions?? Saying to people they're lying or clueless doesn't give you 'opinion' any more weight.

If Merc ran the rest of the season using bricks for wheels it still wouldn't be enough for some people. This championship is tainted irrespective of whatever Merc do.


Evidence? In F1 results are all the evidence we have. They weren't winning and now they are. Even if by pure merit, the test now taints it.


What garbage performance was that? Germany on the one-off tire?

Come on Wayne. I know you like Lewis, and we're both happy to have another contender at the sharp end. But please don't tell me you see Mercedes as all rule following and pure and you don't see that the wins as I say above - even if on merit - are tainted to a degree by their actions - which let's remember were infact punished and thus confirmed improper.


This is overly simplistic and you know it. They have still turned in garbage race performances AFTER the test (that Charlie Whiting approved) was held.


Personally I don't think Mercedes gained much technical information from the test, certainly the FIA Tribunial who had all the evidence thought this way.

Funny how all the critics completely ignore this fact.

You think you know better than a completely independent panel of experts.?

I think the FIA used this as a test for the new Tribunal, the fact Ferrari is upset at the verdict is not a surprise.

An independent court never please everyone, buts it the fairest way to proceed.



So Ferrari and Co. had three days in Silverstone to test the same exact tyres that were raced in Hungary. Mercedes, on the other hand, had no clue what tyres they were testing at any one time, didn't take part in the Silverstone test, then went to Hungary.

Yeah, this spells favouritism, clearly.

Clearly, this is exactly what happened. That Hamilton had clear air in Hungary and was therefore able to nurse his tyres (unlike the other Merc car, among others) was a sheer coincidence that in no way played part in Lewis' victory.

Off with their heads and with them out of the way, let us talk about the other witch-hunt, the one about which team(s) is/are making a bigger farce of the resource restriction agreement, such as it is...


Here, heres the pacifier....


Sebee, I'll try to be as simple and helpful as possible. Pirelli is a tyre manufacturer. Amongst the various tyres they make are those for F1. While F1 can specify the qualities they would like for their tyres Pirelli still has to meet worldwide standards for manufacturing of all tyres including safety. A tyre failure on one type of vehicle is not necessarily a safety issue but a repeated failure of the product on that vehicle should be a matter of concern. Proper procedure would be to try to replicate the failure under similar conditions using the relevant vehicle tyre combination to determine which item was the causal factor. Since Ferrari couldn't officially test the tyres in season their hands were tied. To declare a safety issue without knowing if the W04 setup or their tyre was at fault would be premature, expensive and stupid.


To have a major failure resulting in injury or death would have left Pirelli open to lawsuits across its entire manufacturing range as a failure to test one product could be seen as negligence.Now perhaps you will understand why they wanted to test with Mercedes or even Red Bull with a current car, to protect their company worldwide. To have admitted to a known safety issue without taking the necessary corrective action would have been fatal in the world of lawsuits that we now have. Ask BP.


It has been stated by both Mercedes and Pirelli that the only changes made to the car were those required to maintain normal running, and to accommodate the different tyre types. There were no new parts used.

Suggesting that they ran "whatever you want" on the car is not supported by any evidence whatsoever. Thankfully, actual evidence was the basis of the IT ruling, not gut feelings or beliefs.

JA has now provided more evidence that, to my eyes, supports the view that only limited benefit was gained by the test. If you want to continue claiming otherwise, then that's your call - you're likely spoiling your own enjoyment of what looks like it turning out the be an exciting season.

Get Well Soon Murray

Didn't Perelli change the tyre compounds again before the last race, making a lot the data from Merc's illegal test that was run on the old tyre compounds irrelevant?

I'd say the young driver's test probably evens things out - and what they do from now on is relatively on merit.


"Didn’t Perelli change the tyre compounds again before the last race, making a lot the data from Merc’s illegal test that was run on the old tyre compounds irrelevant?"

How do you know what compounds they ran?


You really, really need to get your facts right.


I ask again....

Why would Mercedes risk their brand image for this test? What was on the other side of the scale? What was the ROI for this risk?

Wins - or I wouldn't do the test myself.

This is Ross making the call to do it. You know there was good reason behind it then, right? After all, some say his grandfather invented F1.



Right, Mercedes risks the team and brand reputation, risks tribunal, risks braking rules to help Pirelli out with a "future" tire. Did I mention to you the swampland I have in Florida...I did? OK.

Oh, and let's risk all of this to test a 2014 tire that has nothing to do with this 2013 chasis. Right? And Ross is the one deciding and agreeing to this? Right. Stop justifying and start asking why intelligent men agreed to this test.

So to address your points edward.

1. Liability and safety was the responsibility of the teams who were using the tire in wrong direction, outside of spec for pressure or camber. That's what a court would have agreed. I know our memories are selective, but please try to remember that during this tribunal it was exposed that Pirelli has very little say or enforcement abilty on how teams use the tire. Even the FIA has no rules to force direction or pressure or camber levels on teams until after this case.

2. If Pirelli was so in need of data for 2014 tire - which let's remember is far far away with plenty of time how about this? Pirelli go to FIA and say, hey FIA, we need to do some testing of 2014 concepts, need an extra day/distance allowed for each team at the YDT on grounds of safety. What do you think FIA would have said? I bet they would have agreed.

Exactly. And so...back to my original question above edward - because your response has not addressed it.


"The test was in Pirelli’s interest not Mercedes"

Yes, true, but Mercedes never benefited?

In any way?

Naive much?


The test was in Pirelli's interest not Mercedes. Pirelli could not openly admit to making unsafe tyres and not testing them. Triggering the safety clause in their contract carried a greater financial risk than any sanctions from any tribunal. Do you think the decision not to appeal was for F1's benefit. Stop being distracted by a black helmet.


My understanding is that they couldn't do what ever they wanted the test as the car had to be set up the same way for each tyre compound so that perilli could get meaningful data on the tyres. If Mercedes were constantly changing parts/set up etc the data gathered on the tyres would not be accurate.

I do see that it is possible that they bolted new parts on the car before the test started and were able to gather lots of data on that but as I was not there I do not know. Which I am assuming was the case for you as well?

Cheating (or pushing the limits of the rules) has always been a part of the 'sport' whether you agree or disagree with that. I imagine very few championship winning cars have not gone beyond what is allowed in the 'rules'


So what exactly was the difference in restrictions at the two tests that gave them this huge benefit?

Every lap you do in an F1 car has valuable feedback for the team, Alonso was a fool not be there, he didn't go because he was quoted as saying he felt the tyres would still be unsafe at Silverstone, unlike your made up story.

"I don't intend to go," Alonso, who finished on the podium at the British GP, told reporters during Ferrari's regular pre-race media briefing at the Nurburgring, "It's not a very safe thing racing on the same track with the same tyres. I don't have the feeling [that] I want to go.

“But if the team wants me to go..."

Your post stinks of sour grapes I'm afraid.

Ferrari are going backwards while merc and others continue forwards, its that simple.


You keep repeating the same thing yet have failed to produce any evidence to substantiate your claims.

Not only that, but the FIA tribunal did not find any evidence to support your theory. Perhaps the reason there is no evidence is that it only exist in your imagination. The benefit for Merc is self evident but what would be the benefit for Pirelli? Remember Pirelli are entitled to run tyre tests under their contract so what actually do you think they would have gained helping Merc cheat in such an obvious fashion?

Nothing to gain and everything to lose, it does not make any sense for them to get involved in such activities.


"You keep repeating the same thing yet have failed to produce any evidence to substantiate your claims."

This is an internet forum not a law court. What proof do you need, a signed confession?



You want everyone on here to not express their opinions as fact?

Good luck with that.


Internet forum or law court, we are entitled to know what the assertion is based on. Clearly it was not expressed as an opinion but as a matter of fact. If you can't back up statements you claim to be factual then don't make them or expect to pulled up on them.

Yes a signed confession by Ross would be proof, do you have one?


They weren't winning, and now after the test they are. That is evidence enough for many.

This judged by consumers who may buy know, the ones that Mercedes is trying to seduce by being in F1 in the first place and ones that may now buy something else.


Sebee, it was the permission (sort of) from the FIA that I always come back to. With that in place, how could they then have come down hard on them?! As I said at the time, this was a decision coming out of the FIA (or an associated quasi-judicial body) that I fully agree with. That would've been the same no matter which team it was. The decision made sense to me, and the penalty was fair (if anything, it should've been less).

Having said that, I also said that there should never have been the confusion to begin with. The FIA should've had clear rules and procedures to follow in order to set up a test. That they clearly didn't doesn't surprise me in the least, as the FIA has been garage-league for quite a long while. Hopefully they clean up their act after this episode. It's a very important area to tighten up on. I'm not holding my breath that the FIA will get it done.


Come on Sebee, do you really believe the average Mercedes buyer cares, or even knows, about the test?


Are you guys telling me that Mercedes taking liberties with rules and basically cheating doesn't have an impact on brand image?

Alexander - Mercedes A Class? That's a Mercedes? It's a glorified Smart at best. Mercedes begins at E class. I'll let C63 sneak in. 🙂

Jake - they weren't winning and now they are. As I said in other places, even if they are winning on pure merit as some like to believe - it is tainted by the test. You deny that point, you lie to yourself, because you nor I know what they did in that test.

KRB - I know it's a genaralization. But as you say, it is how it is. When a cyclist comes back into the sport after a 2 year ban for doing something illegal, do you look at him as a pure sportsman? Of course you don't. Same here - this test taints the purity of these wins. There is no way around it. You know how I can prove it to you? Put Ferrari into this circumstance and same results after the test, or RBR - what would you think? Sometimese this team swap helps perspective.

TimW - porridge? Come on? I'm not saying the test is a sole reason for success. But clearly it doesn't help that they started winning after the test. As I said - taints it, takes away purity of success. Perhaps I'm just to idealistic.

Edward - you know who was have been liable in lawsuit? The TEAMS - for not using the product as specified. One of the other things that came out of the Secret Test Case was how little say Pirelli has and how little they can do to enfoce proper use of their products. I know we have selective memory, but don't overlook that point. Pirelli couldn't do much to object and even FIA didn't have the rules or enforcement ability at the time about tire use.


No it is not evidence for anyone with an open mind and a fertile brain . Pirelli is a major manufacturer with world wide and platform wide interests and liabilities. The benefit of the test to Pirelli was in mitigating any liability in case of product failure around the world. Imagine a lawsuit over tyres by a company with a history of not testing its product after known failures . Helping Mercedes was not the focus of Pirelli this time.


an overly simplistic analysis if ever there was one! They hadn't yet won a race this season before the test and after it they did! Is that it? You might as well say Ross Brawn had porridge for breakfast for the first time ever the day before the monaco Gp and suddenly they started winning, therefore it must be the porridge that did it!

A one day test does not, and never has turned a losing car into a winner. The Mercedes had been a fast car prior to the test and was a fast car after it, the (slight) upturn in form after Barcelona has a lot more to do with natural development, Lewis settling in and in Hungary a different construction tyre that suited their car. We don't know if Mercedes has totally eradicated their tyre degradation problems, I assume if at high load circuits it does return, you will post a suitably contrite apology on here? In all your many and increasingly hysterical posts on this subject, you or the other two posters who agree with you still haven't come up with a reason for the huge tyre degradation suffered by Mercedes at the Nurburgring on the same tyres they had been testing at Barcelona! This point on it's own clearly rubbishes the idea that Mercedes made a massive gain at the Spanish test, which I assume is why you have all chosen to ignore it.


Your first paragraph is basically how many see it, I agree. But it's an utterly simplistic mob way of thinking.

Correlation does not imply causation.


"They weren’t winning, and now after the test they are. That is evidence enough for many"

Is that it, that's all you've got?

You don't think it is a bit of stretch to go from they improved therefore they must have tested a whole heap of parts at the tyre test?

Alexander Supertramp

Yeah, I won't buy Mercedes because of that damn Mercedes test. I was really deeply marked by this outrageously illegal test! I don't care that the Mercedes class A is one of the best hatch backs on the market, I'm a man of principles.. Heck, I won't even care that Mercedes start winning nor will I, as a consumer, attribute or connect those wins with the amazing know how of the great car manufacture that is Mercedes Benz.


They were left a loophole that they took ull advantage of. The ruling was that they'd broken the rules but in good faith. If your criteria applied to every team and driver who had broken a rule somewhere to gain advantage then the track would be looking pretty sparce



Exactly right. Ross saw an opportunity, grasped it with both hands and then drove a coach and horses through it 😉


You make a lot of assumptions there, for which you have no evidence.

You say "a free 1000km test in which you can do whatever you want with the car (beside the tyres that Pirelli chose to put under)" but this doesn't make any sense. There would have been no value to Pirelli in a test if tyres in which the car spec was constantly being changed, as you allege. So why would Pirelli have gone to the expense of putting on this test - for Mercedes' benefit and not their own?

Pirelli said the only changes made to the car spec during the test were those needed to make it suitable for the particular tyre being tested. Are you saying they lied? They set up the test to help Mercedes because they hate Ferrari and Red Bull?

In the most recent test, the other teams tested the actual new tyres and yet Mercedes won the race without testing them (at least not knowing which of the tyres they had tested was the new one). I would say Mercedes lost more from missing that test than any gain from doing the blind tyre test.

I feel sure James' conclusion is correct, that the new tyre construction simply suits the Mercedes, irrespective of prior testing. The interesting thing is that we might have expected Lotus to be the main loser, but they were still very competitive in Hungary.


"at least not knowing which of the tyres they had tested was the new one"

Really?... that clueless are they?


You mean that if the title doesn't go to your favourite driver it will be a farce. If you really think that Mercedes have suddenly turned a dog of a car into a championship winner after one test then it is you who is "sincerely clueless".

Mercedes have shown steady progress through the year, from finishing 3rd and 4th in Malaysia (pre Barcelona test) to winning their first race at Monaco ( a track where they were always going to do well). The truth is the gains made by Mercedes have a lot to do with the new tyres suiting their car better and lewis settling down in his new team and delivering his full potential and not much to do with any "magic bullet" learned in a one day test.


"You mean that if the title doesn’t go to your favourite driver it will be a farce. If you really think that Mercedes have suddenly turned a dog of a car into a championship winner after one test then it is you who is “sincerely clueless”."

You mean if it doesn't go to your favourite driver?


that doesn't make any sense


Quite the contrary. It was a Pirelli and they did say that Mercedes were allowed to change nothing on the car because it needed to remain static in order to evaluate the tyres.

Therefore the car could not change otherwise you learn nothing about the different prototype tyres Pirelli were testing.

Now whereas the other teams, they were allowed to change their car parts and setup and evaluate their own performance improvements on the days the teams were not evaluating the Pirelli tyres. Mercedes had none of this freedom to try different parts and setup.

Anyway, how long do people expect Mercedes to suffer extraordinarily, for ever and ever and ever?

Like James said, they now have average tyre life. The control tyre is no longer a performance differentiator (should a control tyre ever have been?) and now the team that designed the fastest car should win.

Now we can talk about the fastest car design, and no longer about cheese tyres and driving to delta times.


Mercedes fixed their car with the test, the tires, while not irrelevant, were not the key factor in the test for Mercedes.

The apologist view that Mercedes 'couldn't have' gained anything to improve their car's performance, is obviously, OBVIOUSLY false.

Consequently, Mercedes gained unfair advantage.

The fact that it is the Ferrari chief is a red herring for all those people who want to slam personalities, rather than look at the issues at stake; in this di Montezemolo is simply a messenger who can get heard in the media.

For me, it doesn't make sense, all of the disputing the fact that Mercedes got an unfair advantage.

The punishment is extraordinary in it's meaninglessness.

So, for people objectively looking at the goings on in Formula One, we say, this is clearly NOT RIGHT.

This is in a well-established pattern of Ross Brawn, as the posters slamming Ferrari ought to know; but the scale of the manipulation of the governance is a new low water mark, so to speak.


Considering the engine they have, the money they are spending, the technical team they pulled together and Ross Brawn in charge, Merc were always going to get ontop of their tire issues by midseason! Ferrari are looking worse and worse the more they cry about "fairness"


Well said mate! I don't understand why some people fail to see that! Mercedes Amg is no longer the team they were in 2010-12! they're in a different mindset now, they showed they were serious about their commitment in F1...It's good for the sport!And I'm looking forward to the second part of this season, i hope they can mount a serious challenge to RedBull if the others can't...


"they showed they were serious about their commitment in F1…"

So.. pouring billions of dollars into the sport for the last 15 years or so as engine supplier and now builder doesn't show commitment, but running an illegal tyre test does? Right. Gotcha. 😉


They were trying to get by on the cheap the last 3 years ... Now they're pouring the money in, to match up to RBR.


Winners win, losers cry 🙂

I for one have to eat my words about Mercedes. Far from self destructing from an excess of egos as I expected, they've actually got it together and taken the fight to RBR.

You can question how that how happened and all the factors involved (and yes the test was probably a big one) but to have any team come from behind to have a crack at the championship is always a good thing 🙂


It ain't over till the fay lady sings.

I think Mercedes will hurt Ferrari and Lotus and actually help RBR to the 4th by gumming up the works...or podium.


James surely the advantage gained is unrecoverable by the other teams even though they effectively got the same test in the end? Mercedes got tyre info several races earlier which would allow them to develop their car in a certain direction or at the very least a better set up direction due to more mileage at an early stage in the championship? What are your thoughts?


I also think that the hotter temperatures in Hungary helped Mercedes because they were hot enough to cause their competitors to have the same problems they have at a lower temperature window. Combined with the work that Mercedes have done to rectify their problems this effectively leveled the playing field.

It will be interesting to see whether Mercedes will be competitive at a track that is a few degrees cooler, but still hot.


Don't worry about that, what about Webber thumping Vettel on the topgear track.

Vettel will be screaming!!!

Webber to Vettel "move over your too slow" Ha Ha

Would love to see Kimi and Alonso do the topgear track in the dry.


If you have an entire team of tire engineers dedicated to checking your tires and performance data for 3 days offering suggestions on suspension setting and torque delivery you are bound to improve the car greatly. Any suggestion that the young driver test was an equalizing event is fooling themselves and the spectators. Mercedes should have been banned for the rest of the season. Given his iron hand over F1 I suspect that Bernie knew that the test was going to happen and understood that it would bring some challenge to the season championship while keeping the car companies involvement in the series assured.


Exactly right.


Great piece for looking behind the more or less policital statements from teams.

I believe it is quite absurd to have a testing ban in Formula 1. No real life training (which other sports don't do that?), and no technical development based on test in a man-machine sport, where a huge part of the fascination is constant development and the race between constructors. CFD and windtunnels are fascinating, but it's quite a laugh to hear about "windtunnel correlation" influencing the championship, simply because you're not allowed to do a test, which small boys driving a go-cart can do.


"So, although the championship table tells a very obvious story, with Mercedes scoring almost double the points in the five races since its test compared to the five races before, it’s hard to draw too many firm conclusions about timelines for improvement."

C'mon guys! You both know fine well there are different timeframes to:

- Change setups on the existing car to improve tyre use.

- Build new parts to better adapt the car to the tyres given the new information.

- Modify the setup on the modified car to further improve tyre use.

- Hone the above 2 steps.

The starting point for this cycle was the Barcelona test. I'm no Ferrari fan, but LDM is absolutely right (for once). The illegal test has tarred the Championship and could have serious implications for the competitiveness of the field next year too [I'm thinking Lotus and budgets].


Ferrari also conducted an illegal and even more secret test. Horner is not now holding Luca's hand as he was quite shocked to hear about the Ferrari test all the while he was being encouraged to protest Merc Pirelli.


At the risk of defending Ferrari; the Ferrari test used a 2011 car. Furthermore, that test was not illegal by the rules as currently stipulated.

Due to the changing diffuser regs and the corresponding changes this will make to the car aero-map*, you'll have some fun trying to apply the lessons learned on a 2011 car directly onto the 2013 car. But nonetheless, Ferrari performed the test and they didn't do it because they fancied clearing the cobwebs off their 2011 car, so they deemed it a worthwhile exercise.

*From that, there are changes needed in setup rake angles, the corresponding spring rates, dampers and subsequently anti-dive/squat geometry to run the car in a roughly equivalent downforce state.

The Ferrari test and the Mercedes test are not comparable. Not by the rules or by the relative effectiveness.


I'm not giving my opinion, I'm paraphasing the tribunal finding, the same tribunal who made the final decision. Recheck and you'll see that they accepted that the Ferrari tests were about as legal as the Pirelli tests. They had all the info not us. If we can accept their conclusions for one, then why not accept them for all parties mentioned.


Oh and ask your technical adviser does he still remember the Spanish guy climbing in through his office window in QUB. The Keir building strikes again! hahaha 🙂


Are people STILL going on about the Pirelli tyre test? A test using tyres that are not currently in use? A test initiated by and run by Pirelli?

And at the same time pretending that all teams - except Mercedes - did not recently have a 3-day test. A test using the current Pirelli tyres. A test where teams controlled the running and were able to test new components.

Yet, despite not being there, Mercedes were somehow the beneficiary and all the other teams did not benefit? Ridiculous!

I am terribly sorry to those of you that were rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of Lewis, in a Mercedes, trundling along behind the Caterhams, but the facts of the matter are that Mercedes have clearly invested massively in the 2013 car, including recruiting many highly talented people (Pirelli were *not* involved in this - in case you wondered).

This investment is now starting to pay off and seeing Lewis in with an outside shout of the title is clearly unacceptable for a small (but highly vocal) group of people. These people have decided that, regardless of the actual evidence, the Pirelli test is the sole reason Mercedes are winning races. However, reality does not match up to the fantasy.

BEFORE the Pirelli test the results were:

Grid (LH/NR): AUS 3/11, MAL 4/6, CHN 1/4, BHR 4/1, ESP 2/1

Race (LH/NR): AUS 5/DNF, MAL 3/4, CHN 3/10, BHR 5/9, ESP 12/6

That's 3 poles and 2 podiums. Hamilton was outside the top 5 only once and in their worst race Mercedes still had a car in the top 6! With normal in-season development it would hardly be a shock to see Mercedes winning races.

After the Pirelli test the results were:

Grid (LH/NR): MON 2/1, CAN 2/4, GBR 1/2, GER 1/11, HUN 1/4

Race (LH/NR): MON 4/1, CAN 3/5, GBR 4/1, GER 5/9, HUN 1/DNF

Lewis' results from Monaco to Germany are not that much better than those from Australia to Bahrain (practically the same). Nico inherited the British GP win and Monaco is typically won by the pole sitter (Merc have had a quick qualy car from race one). Hungary is the first race where Lewis really got a grip of the car and hooked it up for qualifying AND the race (but he still owes Jensen a pint)! Honestly, anyone not supporting Red Bull should be grateful that the Merc is competitive otherwise this championship would be dead in the water.

When someone looks at the facts and figures and STILL goes on about the Pirelli test, while pretending the Young Driver Test never happened, I would simply ask them to take another look at the evidence and set any bias/dislike to one side (more in hope than expectation).

The truth is that whoever wins the F1 title over 19 races will do so because they developed the car better - and coupled it with a great driver.


If the Pirelli tyre test was unimportant to Pirelli and Merc they wouldn't have run it.

Maybe they had too many tyres, you know, what with them exploding all over the place whenever anyone looked at them.... ... yeah right.

The point is, whether Merc gained or not, it certainly LOOKS as though they did. After three and a half years of lame ducks they hold a secret test and a few weeks later..hey presto!!! A new challenger for the WDC. Luca is right. It stinks.


Glad to hear someone more cool and objective, most comments are too extreme (or emotional) usually

It will be fun since all 3 top teams have fast cars, good development and great drivers

I am leaving Ferrari out this year, even if I do think FA deserves another title


So before the test the leading Merc was:


AUS 3/5,

MAL 4/3,

CHN 1/3,

BHR 1/5,

ESP 1/6

and after it was:


MON 1/1,

CAN 2/3,

GBR 1/1,

GER 1/5,

HUN 1/1

OK. No step forward in relative race pace there then. :-/

Aside from Red Bull, none of the other leading teams have had the same tyre wear issues; therefore their scope for performance improvement (on the thing that really matters - the tyres) is relatively reduced.

So pointing toward the Young Driver Test is a complete fallacy. Mercedes had more to gain from a tyre test this year than any other team; that has been borne out by their performances post tests relative to all the rest.

In May, they would have been delighted to swap a private session with their race drivers in Barcelona and have Pirelli focussed on them alone for a token penalty and the other teams having a few days testing with kids.


"OK. No step forward in relative race pace there then. :-/"

Not if you're a Merc fan... it's all above board and simply excellent in-season development.

I think those who've watched F1 for years know exactly what's gone on with this one... I'm sure I'll be reading about it all in twenty years time in the 'life and times of Ross Brawn'.


good one.


With full FIA and media oversight to the proceedings.

When Alonso and Kimi don't go, because it's not worth it; what was it worth, especially compared to an unlimited rein with both drivers over three days?


Except that it was no longer a "young" drivers' test, it was a full in-season test with GP drivers, no limitation on the test race distance or car setup/development. In the worst case scenario, the Mercedes ban only put things a little more levelled for those not involved in the Pirelli test.


James, I would like to know if you could help me on this..

Do you know if I can get some old(historic) data from f1'telemetry?

I would like to do some exercise on top of these numbers, and would like to know if that is possible, or even if you could share some.

If that is not the case, I would be able to create some model if I could know at least the set of informations (without actually the values). So I could work with fake numbers, but the model applied in real numbers would work.

Thanks for your time!

BTW, mercedes did the famous test with tyres that are not even used on F1 this year anymore. Ferrari and others did test using the tyres that will be used hereafter. So, the "thing" that Mercedes did that no other did was hire the fastest driver on the grid. Just dont see who does not want to see it. The challanger is not Mercedes, but LH.


Great piece James. Any chance you could do something similar for Ferrari? They've clearly had traction troubles for the last 3 seasons and I'd love to know if they are being hampered by the Ferrari engine, compared to say Renault who have been mighty at traction heavy tracks. Sauber too had to abandon their rear diffuser solution at the beginning of last season as they couldn't get it to work and I have a hunch the Ferrari is simply not good enough in that area vs the Merc/Renault. Cheers.


Ferraris 2013 traction problems first showed up in Monaco. Remember how many people got past Alonso so easily at the hairpin?

I believe Ferrari's tyre whispering prowess actually comes from having poor traction (except when the first lap engine map that allows them to rocket off the start line is engaged). So long as it doesn't manifest as wheel spin, poor traction puts less stress through the tyres. By coincidence, Lotus has poor traction too, when compared to Merc and Red Bull.


The Lotus has poor traction? For the last couple of seasons they've been very quick at tracks like Bahrain, Hungary etc although I guess they are more temperature reliant than some of the others.

Tbf the Ferrari was struggling with traction at Malaysia too; Alonso and Massa were all over the place going into the final corner. On higher fuel loads though the problem seems to disappear somewhat.


Ferrari in 2010 and for half of 2011 had great traction so it's not the engine. Ever since Ferrari brought a B spec car at the rear almost for silverstone in 2011 they have suffered with traction but have been better in higher speed corners. Even last year Ferrari had the same issues.


But in 2010 the exhausts were nowhere near as developed as they are now. Once we reached 2011 Ferrari have just really struggled when it comes to developing rear grip out of traction zones, especially compared to Lotus and Red Bull.


Yes I agree with you but the problem is not the engine. It's as you say the exhaust problems Ferrari have had since mid 2011 with the blowing effect.


Will you be doing a review of the new Mercedes rear rims with slots, James? They are probably the reason for Merc's upturn in form, so if they are found to be illegal it will change the pecking order for the rest of the season.


Mark Gillan has done analysis on it. Coming up soon


Looking forward to that! Summer break is a nightmare (miss the F1 show, pressure, Saturday & Sunday wow! 🙂 Only 2 weeks left!


Any discussion about "fairness" in F1 should be ignored. Simply bring up budgets and the big teams (and their fans) run and hide. I think we've all had enough of this crap. F1 will never be fair, but at least it can be entertaining. Now if only the stewards would be more consistent and not penalize aggressive young drivers, we would have a really good show.

Side note to JA on F1, I really can't imagine starting my day without this blog... Thanks!


--- Gasp ---

Whatever do you mean? That some of the big teams are spending more than they're supposed to?? Not among the teams that cried foul about the Pirelli test, surely!!


You don't think Mercedes are also spending more than they're supposed to?


Thanks, tell your friends


Now shouldn't you rethink closing this thread. It will die a natural death, just be patient. Compliments to interesting topics and great insight and moderation.


Since Mercedes got serious about F1 and invested heavily in top technical people. It was only going to be a matter of time before they unlocked that cars massive potential. I also believe having someone like Hamilton finding his feet as the cars proved is very good timing. There is not doubt he is driving the car differently and finding its limits in different ways.

The progress since Monaco has not been earth shattering and as the graphs highlight - it's only Hungary where they seem to have found their feet. It's clear that the thermal degradation is under control but really their tyre performance/ management in the high speed stuff is still to be seen. Im certain they can fight with Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus on a regular basis in the remaining races and I think they have a genuine horsepower-straight line speed advantage that just keeps materialising with improved tyre performance - that Merc sounds like several thousand angry bees steaming through a tin pipe.

Im still very angry at the ruling of the tribunal and believe there is still lingering damage done to F1 as a result- even if I believe they gained little more benefit than most overs testing new components and tyres at the YDT. Im more concerned of seeing Lotus drift back with little investment in development- but I can only hope that someone takes the fight to Seb and Red Bull and if aint Kimi then my next best would be Lewis.


May I suggest that a more apt comparison would be Mercs form prior to the test and after the test. In any case it is evident that Mercs is spending a huge amount of resources, just like McLaren, to aggressively develop their cars. So eventually their performances should improve throughout the season. How many former technical directors/team principals do they have on staff again? How many high profile engineers have they hired recently?

Would someone kindly remind me of the reason(s) Speed TV and others had renamed the FIA, the “Ferrari International Assistance Agency”?


I'm afraid all the data shows is Hamilton's relative performance to Vettel and Kimi in the last 3 races. It does not rebutt the point that Mercedes has improved after the illegal tyre test.

We would need to compare Hamilton's performance in the first 5 races with the data above, to make the point that Mercedes did not benefit from the illegal tyre test.

So I'm quite at a loss about the point this article is attempting to make from the very limited data. It doesn't say one thing or the other. So it neither rebuts nor affirms LdM's very good observation about Mercedes' fortunes after the illegal tyre test.

It's like looking at a limited set of fossil records and remarking to the evolution biologists that the fossil records do not support evolution. And looking at the same limited set of fossil records and remarking to the creationists that the fossil records do not support creation either. How does this add to the discussion?

What is the point being made here?

We could look at the data and say to the Hamilton supporters, the data does not show conclusively that Hamilton is the better driver; and say to the Kimi supporters the data does not show that Kimi is the better driver; and to the Vettel supporters the data does not show that Vettel is the better driver. All true statements, but how does this add to the conversation?


They are those in any field of sports who play and

"gun" fair and accoringly they are those who barrack

and beat the drums for their team, and I unashamed

beat the drum for Ferrari,however some of the coments

above are way beyond the pale.The Editor of J.A site

forbids me to express a true thought to express

comment in particular comment(3)of this topic.

My gripe is this, and would the kind Gentleman admit

the test in Barcelona by Mercedes was a huge and I mean huge benefit to the team,using current drivers

in the current car for three days unsupervised by

FIA,not only did they do chassis align and its tyre

management and much more, in the last (5) race's the

bottom line say it all, the sad part of it all is the

other (11) teams were not given the same opportunity.

One does not have to be brainier to call they cheat.


It was inevitable that someone would rear their head and declare foul play considering Mercedes upturn in form. I think your analysis is 100% James, Mercedes upturn in form is not completely down to the illegal tyre test. In Monaco qualifying was king and in GB the lower temps eased their degradation. Germany showed that they still struggled on certain compounds meaning that Hungary is the only outlier and the reason for it is quite obviously the new tyre compound. Add in to the mix Hamilton's new found confidence and sense of ease with his new team and its quite clear why they have scored more points.

I just want to finish by saying that for Di Montezemolo to cry foul play is quite simply a case of sour grapes and, to be honest, a bit hypocritical. Ferrari have not built a car capable of winning the championship at the start of the year since 2008, when they finally did this year they mucked it up in the development war and have found themselves slump from having arguably the beat all-round package to being in a sort of competitive no-man's land between the front runners and McLaren/Force India. They flatly need to up their game and forcing internal debates into open forum, completely needlessly, is frankly unprofessional. Does Montezemolo have so little self-confidence that he needs to earn extra man-points by scolding Alonso in public? Its embarrassing! Ferrari are a great team but have so many issues at the minute, they need to look at themselves first before they point the finger, they get the most money from the FIA pot year on year and yet Lotus, with a significantly lower budget, are now on top of them on performance, they need a reanalysis and quick!


You're confusing the issue of illegal test and benefit gained. Whether Merc benefitted from the test or not is irrelevant. It was illegal.

The fact they seem to have made progress - coincidentally not long after their illegal test - and the fact they only received a slap on the wrist must grate, and Pirelli have also "upgraded" their tyres to something that doesn't suit Ferrari, and no wonder LdM is miffed.


The combined issue of the illegal test and benefit gained was actually the point I was trying to make, i.e. can one determine whether the test caused the new performance? This is something that has already been discussed and thus is a fairly interrelated issue. Specifically with the Mercedes/Pirelli tyre test, the argument I was trying to put forward was that there were exceptional circumstances in each of the subsequent GPs meaning that the actual benefit gained is very difficult to determine. That is except for Canada and Germany where both cars featured high deg, except for Lewis in Canada who held just a slightly bellow average deg. Consequently the upturn in form can not be attributed to the test. Undoubtedly the test did allow the Mercs to get some sort of advantage but to assume that it took them until Hungary to unlock it is bizarre. Mercedes scored more points in Monaco and GB because in Monaco no one could overtake them and in GB temps were lower. In Monaco they still had high deg it should be noted. Therefore the new tyres are obviously the reason they have got new found race performance. Is it fair? No, I agree with you that the punishment was somewhat disproportionate but then again it was quite unfair to allow Ferrari to get away scot-free. It is impossible for you to outline to me how much of a performance advantage Mercedes received from the test and likewise for me vice-a-versa, what I'm trying to outline is that Mercedes only received a genuine upturn in form once the new tyres were introduced. The issue of the test itself is somewhat irrelevant, it's been dealt with and settled, as I say the punishment was disproportionate but it is what it is. McLaren were dealt a pretty hefty blow in the 2007 spying scandal compared to Renault escaping scot-free if you remember and sometimes that happens, sport can be unfair. It should also be noted that Mercedes scored more points post-Spain because Lotus and Ferrari underperformed. Lotus had a three-race lull between in the three races to follow Spain and Ferrari have been in a perpetual decline since Alonso's second place finish in Canada.


The experts examined the evidence,determined guilt or innocence and handed out all necessary penalty. Three parties involved were found equally guilty. Why the obsession with Mercedes ? Why not expel the guilty parties and get this over with permanently.


Mercedes are now "doing the Red Bull". Qualifying on P1 and controlling the race from the front, managing the tires and gap.

Everything Red Bull was doing for the last 3 race is in danger, because they are trying to do exactly the same as Mercedes are doing at the moment. So if Vettel can't qualify on P1 and can't really overtake Mercedes because of lack of the straight line speed, he can't really save tires. This is where winning races gets difficult.

I hope to see more from Red Bull in the second half of the season 🙂

Alexander Supertramp

Mercedes have had the fastest car for the biggest part of the season. The car had great pace, but it was hindered by the way it used the tyres. The fact that Mercedes are starting to win isn't completely due to test, it's more a matter of understanding the tyres/having tyres that suit Mercedes better. It was a matter of time before Mercedes could harvest the quali speed into race speed and apparently the new tyres helped speed up the process. However, even though we are racing new tyres, I reckon it's possible that whatever Merc learnt/didn't learn during the Barcelona test is still usefull in the current tyre situation. I believe Mercedes made a small to medium leap in Monaco, a leap that might not have completely been cancelled by the introduction of new tyres. On the other hand, the "advantage" gained compared to other teams has definitely been cancelled by missing the YDT. So please, let's eliminate the Barcelona test as a variable for Mercedes' current form, Mercedes is where it is because they built one of the fastest- if not the fastest- car on the grid.


FWIW, Pirelli today said that Mercedes' performance in Hungary was not down to the change in tires, but to something they had done. Maybe it is all down to the new wheels.

Alexander Supertramp

I reckon it's a combination of updates -apparently there is a nice article coming up regarding the subject- and for the biggest part better fitting boots.


So they didn't really need to do the test after all then...? Thanks for clearing it up.


Nobody will ever find out how much advantage was to Merc with the Test. They did the test and the tribunal gave them the verdict in form of YDT.

Every team pushes the limit of the rules every single season (some caught and some are smart enough), such is the state of F1.

There is now no point going back to history.

The real question is can the Merc keep up with the RB / Vettel and stop them from 4th consecutive title(s).


Dear Red Team, don't waste the summer holidays whining and blame-shifting! The Drinks Company and the Silver Arrows are beating you up at yo own game...


It's too early to say that tyre degradation is a past subject for Mercedes, the team has yet to prove consistency in this domain. I think the improvement of tyre management and the arrival of Lowe in the team is not a coincidence. It's clear that the team benefited of his skills and MacLaren's hisrotical good tyre management even if He said He has not involve in the improvement.

It's not engrave in marble that Lewis Hamilton can maintain this kind of concentration and performance and deliver strong results with his hearts problem.

It's necessary to be carefull with that and remember that the gap with Vettel is 48 points in the championship and the RBR car is a natural winning car. The situation lets only a little room thinking that we will see Vettel driving skills limit if not qualified on pole and don't able to make his modus operandi win.

It's a different game when he has to fight in the park. As prove times and again he's not an overtake driver, he becomes nervous and damageg often his car


They cheated, they got away with it, it's over.

At least it was one of the greatest minds in the sport who pulled it off, and not just some schmuck.

The rest of the season, may very well be more exciting for it, but the taste is bad.

Go Lotus! Go Kimi!

I feel like some pulled pork.


Mercedes and Redbull were lobbying for different tyres after the 4th race of the season- way before the "secret" test had begun. Whilst their concerns were performance related, Pirelli's concern was safety related. Mercedes and Redbull had already shown at that point, that they had genuine pace except, in the case of Mercedes, that the heat in the rear tyres couldn't escape and instead caused them to degrade quicker than normal. For Redbull, the tyres didn't extract maximum performance of their aerodynamic capabilities.

Now of course, Mercedes knew already beforehand about Pirelli wanting to conduct further testing and Mercedes were more than happy to oblige and of course they gained an advantage. But the onus was on Pirelli to conduct the test AND not Mercedes as argued by the lawyer. FIA race director Charlie Whiting knew about the test as well- it is only that once the teams found about it- that they chose to go public with it for some sympathetic vote of confidence from the media and F1 fans, which was nothing more than a smear campaign to threaten and disgrace Bernie and his commercial partners- that F1 is somehow "rigged" and that the FIA is incompetent (in a way true- but not for the sake of secret tyre test). But in this case it fell flat on their faces, mainly because of what happened in the aftermath.

As for Pirelli, they come out of this the biggest losers. Their brand has been severely tarnished after what happened in Silverstone and almost everyone had a field day poking jokes at how god awful the tyres were, when the fact remains the FIA insisted that they keep using these non durable tyres steel belt tyres and were NOT allowed to change to a kevlar based tyre belt. Pirelli, had genuine concerns over safety and the FIA didn't give a damn. Politics within the FIA and the teams (Ferrari mainly/probably) stood in the way of Pirelli making the right choices for the sake of the sport- they were far too submissive and gave in to politics. They knew the tyres were crap..... but the FIA strong armed them and told them to stick to it or face potential future consequences (i.e you are not going to be a tyre supplier in F1 anymore)

So I am not angry at the secret test- in fact I am delighted they did it, and I was absolutely delighted to see the tyre blow out in Silverstone AFTER that secret test- not because I wished it for Pirelli- but because it just proves how incompetent the FIA really are, they didn't allow Pirelli the capacity to develop their tyres and they even had the audacity to reprimand Pirelli for the test. Absolute farcical if you ask me! God, I can't stand the FIA for their incompetence and Ferrari for their constant moaning and groaning!

Go Lotus and Kimi! The purest team on the grid......


My understanding is that in the interest of safety the FIA could overrule the requirement for all teams to agree to the change. They did not do so for one reason and that is that Pirelli refused to declare the tyres unsafe. No conspiracy required just Pirelli trying to save face.



I have to disagree that it was down to the FIA. Pirelli made the tyre that was unsuitable and Pirelli could have forced the change on safety grounds. The FIA were guilty of their usual incompetence in not dealing with the need for Pirelli to test tyres.

You also suggest that the Pirelli/Merc test was for the new 2013 tyre when in fact the majority of the test was for the 2014 tyres. Only part of the test used the 2013 tyre, I do not know the distance they covered with it.


Jake an unsafe tyre by Pirelli would be linked to all Pirelli tyres anywhere in the world. To have that in writing would be a lawyer's dream.


Jake- I didn't want to complicate matters but you forced my hand.

First of all the teams were upset that Mercedes got a head start of testing the Kevlar based tyre belts in Barcelona and were not informed about it- that is the FIA's fault for not doing that, not Pirelli's.

Secondly, Pirelli, FIA and the teams eventually came to the agreement that they could run the new kevlar based belt for the Friday practice sessions in Montreal. They did it, but it was damp in the morning session and only drying up in the second session. The data for the second session was the only relevant one that the teams could extract data from (as most GP races are dry). Who was the driver that managed the most laps on that session? Alonso 48 laps to be precise. Multiply 48 laps by 4.3= 206 KM. Massa did about 180 KM. That is 386 km of testing in total for the team that did the MOST laps! How many KM did Mercedes get out of the "secret" test in Barcelona? 1000KM. Thats a lot more!

So essentially, the teams were upset that Mercedes got so much more test mileage out of the tyres and the teams refused to use the kevlar based tyres because of that reason alone. So therefore the teams, and mainly Ferrari, put pressure on the FIA to not use the Kevlar based tyres for Silverstone as Mercedes were going to get a huge comparative advantage- whilst completely dismissing Pirelli's safety concern.

Whilst you are right, that Pirelli refused to declare the tyres unsafe, it was actually the FIA's decision not to run them for Silverstone, even though Pirelli held private reservations over their safety. The reason they didn't want to declare them unsafe was for commercial reasons and if they had done that, teams like Force India and Ferrari would have held huge tantrums over Pirelli declaring them unsafe. Pirelli, in order to safeguard their future do not wish to create divisions with other teams, so that is why they didn't declare them unsafe.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but yes they should have after what happened in Silverstone. But its a good thing the tyre blow outs did happen, because it just shows what a political animal F1 is- that Ferrari only cared over how well these steel tyre belts were running relatively to the rest of the field and didn't give one iota consideration to the science and data illustrating the consequences that would happen when driving these non durable tyres in a high speed track like Silverstone with huge lateral loads and what it could do to the tyres. The rest as they say is history! I blame the FIA for this, it is crystal clear! But because they are such Ferrari lovers over there in Paris, they didn't make the correct decision, so there!


Well said.... Not sure what 'purest' means though.

Pirelli should have gone public much earlier with their safety concerns, instead of allowing the FIA to tarnish their brand in such an embarrassing fashion.


Pirelli had concerns well beyond F1, LIABILITY.


When I said "purest team" I sort of meant that Lotus are the least likely to be playing dirty politics within the FIA (out of the big teams), they focus more on their performance on the track, rather than lobbying for changes in the regulations! On the other hand Ferrari and Mercedes I believe to have very strong political influence within the sport, both on a commercial level and within the FIA. But you are right, "purest" actually doesn't really mean anything- just said it for the hell of it.

As for Pirelli, in hindsight they maybe should have gone public with their concerns, but I still think from their perspective, it wouldn't have been a good idea. The reason is because they want to maintain good relations with the FIA and the commercial partners and keep their concerns behind closed doors. So if Bernie and the FIA are upset at them for whatever reason (like going public with their safety issue), that would have been the end of Pirelli in F1 for sure....


good one, karim.

I agree.

good writing.


I think you could add a graph of the Monaco race too. I think we would be surprise tha Mercedes was treating well the tyres that time and on the next races they failled again. You are comparing three huge diferent tracks and making a wrong conclusion about the tyres degradation on the Mercedes. Hungaroring is a track that, even with high temperatures, don´t destroy the tyres as fast as at other tracks. Hungaroring is more like Monaco than another permanent circuits. I think they still strugle with the tyres. The average speed of Hamilton´s race was poor in my opinion compared to the 2012 race. We can forget that during the practices and the qualifying the 2013 tyres were about 1s quicker than 2012, and during the race the times were not that quicker, and there was nothing that indicated they wouldn´t be 1s quicker than 2012. I think Mercedes still struggles with tyre degradation.


James, I would like to offer some some constructive criticism as I find the way you lay out the graphs quite poor. Can I suggest that you take a leaf out the way academia publishes and adopt the following conventions.

1. Always have a caption for a figure; it helps readers get an overview of the article before reading the full text.

2. Include axes titles (including units) this prevents the need to go hunting in the full text when you want to know what the graph is about.

3. Graphs are often pixellated; presumably this is due to them being exported (from Excel from the looks of it) at too low a DPI. I use a handy Excel Plugin (XL Toolbox - to prevent such issues.

Many thanks... Mark



If you can show the average lap time for races prior to the secret / private test & show a similar comparioson between the 3 of them, it will show the delta they have covered post the test - any chance of seeing that?

Looking forward to ti,



It wouldn't factor in the car developments - everyone is forgetting that the teams have brought many updated parts to the cars since Spanish GP, it not just getting on top of tyres that counts

Ferrari has ton backwards sinc then - nod that's down to vs development


Good point - what I do wonder is if the development on the car post the test was significant as compared to developments prior to it...

Is there a way if we can number of new parts that has come on to the car?


Luca knows that tyres in Hungary were a new construction that all teams needed to understand and adapt to.

He just deliberately threw that 'bone' out there knowing very well that there's a lot of foolish dogs out there that'll chase it anyway.

Well done Luca...


@ frique, your reply to my response is lacking any substance. i put forward, in a non aggressive manner, my answer to your somewhat full frontal attack on my post. you now come back with absolutely nothing except a veiled attempt to dissuade me from commenting on material that is in the public arena. i am fully aware of the legalities.

i specifically asked you to front up with the substantiation that the FIA were there, monitoring the activities of mercedes and pirelli during the entire three days of the 'private/secret' tests that were carried out. your response? zip?

either post the evidence or apologise. you simply cannot make those assertions without being able to substantiate them. my assertions were qualified as being more of an inquisitive query than a bald statement of fact.

i have absolutely no problems whatsoever with anyone who questions my interpretations or opinions and if i am in error then i will certainly put my hand up. i am still awaiting your response to my questions re the FIA and also the question that i put to you re 'mercedes altruism'. lets hear what you have to say or will you simply try to evade the points raised.


James, did you read my conspiracy theory about the secret test ?


It seems to be that a lot of the people posting are jealous of mercedes and in particuar hailton. You guys should be happy that red bull are in a fight.

Lets be real. Be real guys. Would you be so upset if it had been williams that had done the secret test. No you would not. So just be real and honest about your feelings.

Any way hamilton and merc are ready for the fight so red bull and vettel better be ready.


As someone above put it, another sheep...


well david, i'm certainly not jealous of mercedes. why should i be? it is the mercedes backers that are over defensive and refuse to accept that what they did has in any way given them, mercedes, an 'unfair advantage'. that was exactly what the tribunal did in fact state.

you question the response, had it been any other team? williams for example. yes, my response would have been exactly the same if wiliams had all of a sudden won three of the last five races when prior to that they had been nowhere.

your suggestion that we, i, are dishonest is entirely without merit.


Thanks for the excellent analysis as usual James and team,i would also like to add that the improvement in the performance from the mercs coincides with the change of exhaust system to the rear more akin in size of exit aperture to the red bulls,compared to the rest of the field that have retained a much smaller aperture,Really looking forward to the next races hoping this improved form continues.


I most certainly agree with you. I also would argue that many of the nice folks around here are too harsh on Mercedes. They really did not break the rules (i.e., cheat). They at worst may have straggled the spirit of the rules. So I think we should stop characterizing their action as having cheated. LDM seems peeved that the FIA is no longer performing chart wheels to penalize other teams (such as Max’ favourite whipping team McLaren) in order to apparently benefit Ferrari.

Mr Todt seems to be far more even-handed and diplomatic in his dealing with the teams than his predecessor – who had strike an incredible high level of genuine fear in all the other teams. So far Mr Todt has granted LDM two of his many cherished demands (in- season testing and team orders). But, he obviously will not apparently cruelly penalize other teams in order to benefit LDM’s team


Plz note that my post above is a reply to post # 41


Personal belief, no data to back it up.

I believe that LH benefited from the seat time in this test. Got to work on his braking technique with the Mercedes. He looks more comfortable in the car than he was prior to the test. He does seem to extract more consistent lap times than he did earlier in the season when compared to Nico.


Roman Grosjean said his so called lack of ability was really not due to him but to a fault in the car's setup. Once Lotus listened to him and corrected the problem he has turned into one of the fastest, most exciting drivers on the grid. Kimi also had a problem with the steering. Corrected now look at his performances, so confident that not even Seb in the Redbull bothers him. The Merc problem was with the car.


no sheepiness here...but whatever we say about tyres and Merc's illegal test...we are still in for a great season - has been so far, all the bruhahaha about tyres aside. RB are still the team to beat, Ferrari has gone backwards since Spain, Merc/Hamilton have been entertaining and Lotus/Raikkonen just keep plugging away and coming 2nd - now there's a combo due another win. Pirelli did as asked - made a tyre that couldn't last, and the teams have used/misused the product leading to blowouts...who's at fault, Pirelli for doing as asked, or the teams not staying withing the parameters. Whichever view, it's still given us entertainment, and the next half of 2013 will be a stonker...


well alexx, without being pedantic about this issue i do feel that you need to revisit your use of the word 'cheat'.

in my lexicon 'cheat' is a very clear, concise and apt descriptor of someone 'who gained an unfair sporting advantage'. this latter term was in fact the finding of the FIA international tribunal into the 'secret/private'tests.

i do still feel as though this years results will be competetively diminished in substance due to the undue influence of a third party, namely pirelli. i still cannot get past hembery's statement, when he was reported to maybe have said, when challenged over the trash tyres, 'what do you want? do you want to see red bull run away with another championship'. that was my recollection of reported events and i have no way of verification apart from the fact that they appeared on many different sites.

assuminmg for the moment that those words were in fact used then IMO it is quite wrong for a third party supplier to be able to influence the outcome of a world championship sporting event.what it suggests to me is that there were other agendas being played out and they were not only a minefield for the players but a complete disaster overall. the possibility that there could have been a fatality cannot be ignored, and all for what? an artifially introduced'frisson' of pleasure for some mythical circus attendee.


sorry to double dip here chaps but whilst we are commenting on the pirelli/mercedes 'secret/private' tests maybe someone could help out with answers to one further nagging point in the whole saga.

i seem to recall that pirelli said that they had invited teams to test in april 2012 and that the test, that was in fact held with mercedes, occurred some 12 months later! why was it only after one year that this occurred? why was mercedes chosen to hold the tests and not williams/force india et al?

was it all pure chance that mercedes, who were notably deficient in tyre management, chosen?

perhaps i/we will never know the full extent of all the issues in play but it does make for interesting conjecture now that mercedes are knocking on the championship door.


You might have inadvertently put your finger on something significant. If you were having a failure with one item of a particular unit it would make sense to first check the item, later the unit and finally the combination. As a major manufacturer, with a company to protect, Pirelli would have been keenest to use Mercedes if only to verify that the car and not the tyre was the defective component. If the tyre remained untested it could have presented problems for Pirelli.


why mercedes and not maclaren? besides the make up of the tyres tested were, i seem to recall, a new construction for the current tyres and tyres for '14. the latter took up supposedly 90% of the testing time.

now this brings up more questions, such as, how do pirelli simulate the prodigious 'torque' that the '14 engines will have, into a meaningful test with a '13 car when it is common knowledge that the differences are 'major'?

as i have stated before, rosberg said that he was fully informed of what the tyres 'were' in order for him to successfully test and i presume that hamilton was privy to the very same data. that data, combined with the lap times, delta times and the overall performance monitoring by the back room would've yielded massive amounts of interesting data for mercedes. it would also be interestin to know what the 'eyes only' report given to mercedes post test by pirelli contained.

this whole episode has somewhat tainted the season for me.if a team introduces an element that is borderline and it is subsequently found to be suspect then it is removed and that team is back to square one. this is somewhat different as any knowledge that mercedes gained cannot be 'unlearned' or removed. this is where mercedes were found guilty of gaining an 'unfair sporting advantage'. finding all three parties guilty of certain infractions means nothing really. the banning of mercedes from the YDT was in fact suggested by mercedes so they had already factored that into their thinking as a fall back position.

did mercedes suffer as result, absolutely not. look at the results, plus the fact that they were given all the new tyre data post YDT. in summary then, and IMO, the whole season is now affected by the sudden turnaround by mercedes post the 'secret/private' tests.

i also presume that you have searched and found the published articles substantiating that hamilton has himself said that he was 'struggling' to get to grips with the braking problems, even since winter testing of the new car.

anyway, time to move on now.


They had to have the information from the tests, just a small legal matter.


Who was the first to suffer problems with the W04, Lewis and this was at the beginning of the season, remember the car in the gravel after no braking. Not a driver problem, a manufacturing problem. Kimi had a steering problem, Grosjean had a setup problem. Once these problems were corrected the drivers were able to do their jobs. Why is it any different for Lewis,he already knows how to drive.


@ Sebee. Hope this helps to clarify things for you, also it should help you and others to understand why Mercedes had to be given results from the Silverstone tests.


well edward you have opened up another line of conjecture vis-a-vis the silverstone test results.

consider this. mercedes have literally thrown hundreds and hundreds of millions of $'s into their team and so far, up until monaco have literally zip races in their pockets. an abysmal result, all things considered.

other treams have fared better with the trash tyres than mercedes and they looked as though they were not going anywhere. that is, until they came up with a possible solution but needed to put a lot of testing in place in order to validate the new approach. how convenient would a 1000km test under the guise of a pirelli test be?

the very substance of the pirelli test was to look at the new tyres for 2014 but how can they do that without having a '14 car, very very difficult. maybe that was only a smokescreen for mercedes to try the new set up on the car. no one can be sure that the car that they raced three days earlier was the same car that they used in the tests. if this scenario has any cred then it was worth getting a slap on the wrist as the current results rather prove a point.if you also factor into this the need for hamilton to get massive testing under his belt to assist his adaptation to the 'new' brakes then that alone is a worthwhile result for mercedes.

there has to be more to this than the oversimplistic explanations given by the three entities during the course of the enquiry. maybe i have a suspicious mind but having watched F1 and GP racing prior to the very genesis of the WDC i simply find too many unanswered questions that appear to have been buried....for the moment. it really does bear some further thought. as i have said many times...nothing is ever quite what it seems in F1.


Hamilton like Raikkonen has enough natural ability to handle problems without the seat time and testing you are suggesting. Ferrari used a 2011 car for testing 2013 tyres etc. The tribunal had a lot more than overly simplistic explanations to examine. You have those many unanswered questions because your assumptions and suppositions prevent you from accepting facts. One who locks himself in a cage cannot blame those outside for his lack of freedom since it is he who has the key,


you still seem to be evading the issue that you raised re hamiltons 'ability'to handle the mercedes brakes by introducing straw issues re other drivers!!!

the published facts then, according to you, are rubbish? if you really want to test this then search online for information and i suggest that you start with the 'mail online, august 11th' for starters then keep on going, as there are many more reports, all quoting hamilton himself. i mean, that if hamilton is such a great driver as you infer then how is it that rosberg, a second tier driver, has no problems with the brakes and hamilton has been in the car for some4/6 months? great natural ability.

you can't forever be locked into denial and expect to post with any degree of authenticity without indicating any qualification.

as for the legal matter surrounding the YDT tyre data being given to mercedes could you please confirm where this was recorded. i was not aware of it but i would like to know the details.


Hamilton seemed to handle the brakes pretty well in Hungary!


if you care to search it out you will find that it was hamilton who claimed that he coudn't get used to the 'new brakes' and that he needed more time to adapt. this was some two/three months ago. seek and you will find.

i am fully cognisant of the facts as i have read the tribunal findings from cover to cover. have you?

if you are willing to accept the findings of the tribunal as the all embracing truth the that is fine. i simply don't always believe everything that is put in front of me. that is my prerogative. on the other hand if you believe that mercedes did the test out of the goodness of their heart and gained absolutely zero for their troubles then that is fine but also very naive.

as for the other points that i have raised you appear to have simply chosen not to address them? that is also fine by me. finally, the homespun philosophy 101 you dished out is quite childish really.

might i suggest that you open up your mind to some alternatives and learn to question rather than blindly believe everything that you are told.

and again, seek and you will find, hahaha


It's pretty obvious that the test had nothing to do with their improved performance. They came out with a great car during the winter, slowly fixed it's one flaw and are now reaping the benefits.

Maybe Ferrari should try to get a working wind tunnel before they point fingers at other teams that have clearly done a much better job this season.


zoso, could you please explain for me what is so obvious considering the dramatic rise in the mercedes performances post the test as opposed to the relative performances pre test?

results would indicate otherwise.


james, did i mention hungary? no. the comments i have made re hamiltons troubles with the brakes have been well aired in the past. the last comments i have read were published just prior to germany. they were hamiltons comments not mine. that is why i suggested to edward that he look at this in a different manner rather than claim that hamiltons natural talent could/would overcome all obstacles when obviously the problem had been there for quite some time.

obviously he has now mastered the new [to him] brakes but my point was that this was post the 'secret/private' test with pirelli where the amount of testing would have been invaluable to the team and hamilton.


We said at the time of the test that Hamilton mastering the brakes on the Mercedes could be one of the key outcomes and he's not been too shabby since then


thank you james....that is what i have been saying all along. the test wasn't simply based on the fact that mercedes were totally sympathetic to pirelli and gained nothing for themselves. of course they took every opportunity by cheating [gaining an unfair sporting advantage] when the chance arose.

this was all apart from what they gained vis-a-vis the tyres.


Ferrari were mad to let their technical director Aldo Costa go to Mercedes. Ever since his departure it's been a struggle, and look at Merc now! Brawn knew and worked with Costa for many years at Ferrari

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