F1 Winter Break
Montezemolo: Mercedes form since its Pirelli test damages F1 credibility
Scuderia Ferrari
Posted By: James Allen  |  05 Aug 2013   |  11:51 am GMT  |  274 comments

Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo believes that Mercedes’ form since the test it conducted with Pirelli in Barcelona in May damages the credibility of the championship.

Since the test, Mercedes has won three of five Grands Prix and moved ahead of Ferrari into second place in the Constructors’ Championship. Mercedes has 208 points and Ferrari 194, with Red Bull on top with 277pts.

In a wide-ranging interview in Corriere della Sera, which was reproduced on the Ferrari.com site, Montezemolo welcomed the return of testing next season and made comparison with the situation we had this season where its restriction led to confusion over what kind of testing was permissible, which ultimately led to the International Tribunal hearing over the Mercedes test. This concluded that Mercedes had breached the Sporting Regulations, but had done so in good faith and basically found Mercedes, Pirelli and the FIA responsible in equal measure for the situation.

“We will finally have testing again and not a farce like what we saw this year with one team doing illegal testing, without even paying the right penalty for it,” Montezemolo said. “In this case, I would have expected more clarity and courage from the FIA.

“On the other hand, the benefits gained by the team that carried out the secret banned testing are watched by everyone. Before then, it had not won a single Grand Prix, then after the test it won three out of five races. These are the sort of serious incidents that affect F1’s credibility and alter the championship.”

Mercedes scored 72 points in the first five races of the season and in the five races since Monaco has scored 136, almost double the number.

At the same time, Ferrari has done the opposite; 117 points from the first five races and only 77 from the last five.

The Mercedes has had consistent qualifying pace throughout the period with seven out of ten pole positions, but the difference is clearly in race performance and specifically tyre management.

Monzezemolo also used the interview to reiterate that he felt he needed to intervene and publicly tick off Fernando Alonso because of “some attitudes, a few words, some outbursts..”

There has been a feeling recently that Alonso was running the show and this episode may well be aimed at recalibrating things at Maranello. It’s a calculated strategy, Montezemolo knowing that Red Bull is unlikely to take Alonso and there is nowhere else for him to go.

But he also put Felipe Massa on notice,

“Felipe is a quick driver and a great guy. But in the past days, we were very clear with him: both he and us need results and points. Then, at some point, we will look one another in the eye and decide what to do.”

Massa has had several stays of execution; in recent years his career has been a prevailing trend of underachievement with occasional runs of form.

Montezemolo is clearly irked by the general state of his team and experience suggests that when he gets irked, something needs to change; he gave team boss Stefano Domenicali the thumbs up for his work, but encouraged him to be tougher and to make hard decisions. It may be that this time Massa does not escape the axe.

Last year the team left it until late in the season for Massa to prove his form, which he did in the closing stages. It will be interesting to see if there is any movement in the transfer market by Ferrari once F1 comes back off its summer break. Nico Hulkenberg is at the top of a short list of possible candidates, but it is understood that the Ferrari management isn’t wildly excited about any of the options. There has been speculation about an offer to Kimi Raikkonen, as a possible hedge against a fall out with Alonso, but its unlikely that he would go there to partner the Spaniard.

If the F1 team is toiling a little at the moment, Ferrari’s road car operation is in the form of its life with its strongest ever net cash position at €1.2 billion and net profits for the first six months of 2013 up by 20% to €116 million on revenues of €1.17 billion. Sales in China slowed, while the US and UK were both up, with the UK taking over from Germany as Ferrari’s leading European market.

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people were trying to turn the f1 world upside down when rbr was found pushing the tech reg to the boundary.

But they somehow seems ok with Merc cheating.



Luca on another rant?.....[mod]

On a serious note James, does Luca do much good for the team or do they succeed inspite of him??? he's always sticking his oar in somewhere with an opinion, but yet I never hear/read people saying good things about him.

I think Merc's exclusion from the YDT went someway to restoring a sense of fairness for this season, I think LDM is just hurt Ferrari yet again are going nowhere this year. As for comments about credibility, Ferrari are the paragon of sportsmanship....oh yes 😉


Let me put in a different perspective Elyssa , yes it s funny to hear from Ferrari about sportsmanship and credibility....But i am afraid he s right. When you change technically the rules (see tyregate), in a middle of a championship, then you can clearly contest the credibility of this sport..even the final result....Some peoples will say that it was done for safety, however it does not remove the fact that some teams like Lotus have done a better job than the others and ended up penalized instead of been rewarded.Let s not forget that Pirelli just did what they have been asked to do....

So in resume if we want a credibility in F1, you need to remove Ecclestone ....


+1 -- and for the two following comments, too. Had wondered out loud a while back where 'Monty' had been hiding and now we know -- guess you could call this the something of the "Full Monty" re:the movie of the same name?


Sorry, I'm confused, whom exactly is he trying to attack or shift the blame to?

Is it the FIA, Mercedes, The council, the media, his team, his drivers?

What is the argument?

If this is about his comments regarding the performance increase of Merc-Pet., then it seems to me he was simply making the observations of any fifth grader.


I believe the "hominem" Galapago was referring to is Luca himself, i.e., Elissa attacked the messenger, not the message. If that was the case, Galapago is correct, Elissa did indulge in such fallacy. She also committed a "tu quoque" fallacy in her last sentence.



Desperate team boss blames everyone but himself and his man - the Team Principle.


And he thinks F1 has any credibility to lose? What planet is he on?


OK, that's a good one Rick.

***** for you sir!


Even if that is the motivation, what he says is not wrong.


What he says is wrong because Merc's punishment fit the crime. What people overlook is the fact that Merc got permission for the test. Now whether people like it or not, whether it was wrong or not, it wasn't illegal. If people want to blame anyone then it is the FIA who are most culpable. What do people want? Merc to be barred for the rest of the season? There isn't any other punishment that will satisfy these people, including Luca.


I was hoping to read where LdM would say Merc's tyre test for Pirelli hampered Ferarri's progress but unfortunately it's all about clutching at straws and it,s the wrong pieces of straw for that matter. If LdM wants to save face over Ferrari's recent free fall, wouldn't it be more plausible to say that the midseason tyre change has harmed Ferrari more than any other team (even if we all know that might not have been the case) and allowed RBR and Merc to come right up?

Strange part of it is that people keep saying Merc gained an advantage without coming up with solid proof that they did gain an advantage. Does anybody have proof of what they did at that test? So what if they started winning races after the test? How could you possibly say they were never going to win races before the end of the season? Since everybody has an idea of who would win what races during the course of the season based on what each car does to it's tyres then why did we bother with the rest of the season after Spain? Why didn't we assign points based on each team's performance after the first five races?


Permission was the crux of the story. Here is the quote from the tribunal "(ii) in recognition of the fact that the testing would not have taken place but for the bona fide, but misconceived “qualified approval” which was given on behalf of the FIA."

It doesn't take much understanding of the English language to see what is being said here. The tribunal believes Charlie when he says that he told Mercedes that such a test would be legal given certain qualifications (a rule change). This was 'misconceived' my Mercedes into the idea that they could conduct the test that they ultimately did. However they believe that Mercedes acted in good faith.

Personally I find it impossible to believe that Mercedes were acting in good faith, for the simple fact that approaching Charlie and asking him for the test shows your bad faith because the idea is absurd on it's face. One team using current cars and drivers conducting a mid-season test with the sole tire supplier, and no knowledge of what each set of tires are???? Absolutely ridiculous.

Thing of it is, like so many cases it's all about what you can prove, and ridiculousness does not a crime make.

Based on the quoted judgement of what infractions were committed the punishment was just. Clearly the court of public opinion ruled differently 🙂


Added to this, there may be trouble with their in/direct Fag sponsorship, Marlboro, aka Phillip Morris have cancelled the Wroom launch shindig at that lovely Italian Ski resort, indicating that all is not well and belts are at least tightening.

Also, one fine day in the near future, Santander may actually have to do a real addition of all their assets and realise that they are sitting on a mountain of bad debts in Spain and beyond. Without their money, FA looks to be on ever shakier ground. Not the best time to get twerked by Horner I reckon !


There is an article about the fact that Lotus is in real financial troubles. Long article with all the details...I hope it will be published here and commented by James, but I think Lotus might really dissapear and Kimi will either join Red Bull or Frari or will simply leave F1 again.


What?! Finance and VC guys don't like to burn good money at the alter of F1 Gods? You don't say? 🙂


Stepped into Ferrari store in San Francisco. Empty - no shoppers. Items quite chap looking and all made in China - everything! Except for a V10 2002 engine block - $62000. Made me wonder how profitable that retail venture is as well. Bet you same store sales are down big time.


You think this year is worse than last year or the year before for Ferrari store shoppers? Why?

The article quotes some pretty good financial numbers for Ferrari as a whole. While the prime SF real estate where that store is located surely costs a fortune, Ferrari can easily afford it. That store is 100% about image. Ask yourself, where is the Lamborghini store? Also take a look at the Ferrari store online. I've liked them on Facebook and this whole year I've been making fun of their insane prices about one a month! OOOOOH look leather gloves for only $649 dollars!

I do wonder though, just what kind of volume does that store do?


Ferrari Store is trying to be Apple Store. Except no one has the type of desireable high value product. Ferrari store is filled with China made knicknacks and clothing at huge mark up - very much like WalMart, except as I said - hugely marked up, red and says Ferrari on it. It's all cheap stuff really. I can't see how these "image" stores don't start shutting down soon.

As for Lambo store, who cares? Many of these brands are over extending into areas they should not be in. We could have a whole discussion about branding. As an owner of a Ferrari, would I feel better or worse knowing that the official Ferrari Store is selling child seats with Ferrari branding on them for kids to poo and puke on. Such product lineup diversification under same brand sure adds tons of prestige to the actual Ferrari car, righ? I say good on Lambo for not making potty size adapters with Lamborghini branding on them. Although clearly that appears to be their eventual goal, as they follow Ferrari model.

Every brands now wants to be everything to everyone. Is that not against the idea of luxury brand in the first place?


"Before then, it had not won a single Grand Prix, then after the test it won three out of five races."

Nobidy can argue with that statement, it's fact. Add in that Mercedes had struggled with it's tyres for at least the last two seasons then after a Pirelli test with their 2013 car and race drivers it appears the issues are largely resolved.

If Mercedes couldn't 'design out' it's tyre issues with two entire new cars I'm pretty skeptical that it could suddenly stumble upon a solution to it, ironically after that private test with Pirelli and their 2013 car/race drivers.

Coincidence? In the twenty five years I've followed F1, I've learnt that these sorts of things are very very rarely by chance.


Ferrari did some testing recently, cue some amazing results 😉


I wonder if there will be a protest by Red Bull and Merc?


I'm sure that the test didn't hurt, but you are right, the Mercedes didn't change as much as the tires changed for Hungary, as we all know.

And we now know why the three teams blocked the change to these tires 3 races ago, it was to keep Merc on the back foot.

Now who was the third team? Clearly Ferrari and RBR voted against the Silverstone tire change but who was the third? Torro Roso?


Do not think it was RBR that blocked the change they were actively campaigning for longer lasting tyres. Ferrari, Lotus and Force India had the biggest advantage on the original 2013 tyres.


The facts are that it was Ferrari, Force India and Lotus who did not want the tires changed.

Mercedes and RBR wanted them changed..


yeah that's right, they learned the magic secret of prolonging tyre life after a one day test! Then forgot the secret at the Nurburgring, then remembered it again at Hungary!!


Some people can put whatever slant they want on Mercs performance, but the fact is some teams are just falling backwards. look at Hungary. New tyres and a lot of testing yet Merc came to the race without any knowledge of the tyres and beat EVERYBODY else on pure performance. What do the detractors attribute that to then? The private test on redundant tyres?


@ ****Paul*** let's exclude Nurburgring?

I wouldn't. Why? Germany's is very significant here because it's the only track this season where the tyres tested by Merc in Spain were used. The fact that some posters are willing to ignore Merc's Germany result just shows how skewed the arguments about Merc's tyre test are. "Yea let's take all the results that help discredit Merc's improvement and disregard the singular most important result that rubbishes that theory". Try again.


+ 1

It was about time someone mentioned Merc's test was on redundant tyres.


You've almost made the point I was getting at blackmamba. That is, to go from having real difficulties pre testing(lets exclude Nurburgring here as that was on one-off tyres that no one had tested!) to then appearing to solve issues they've had for at least two years doesn't stack up.

As I said, I've watched the sport for many years, and this is just too conincidental for me to accept at face value of 'a bit of good luck'. Even rolling back to last years tyre spec Merc were murdering them in their 2012 car. Why would the 2012/13 amalgamated spec tyres suddendly suit their car so well given they're more fragile?

The turning point for Mercedes this season wasn't the switch to new tyres in Hungary, it was sometime after their test at Barcelona and prior to Canada. Sure Monaco was all about Rosberg nursing his tyres, but others had the same issues that day. Then we go to Canada where Lewis stated post race he had no tyre issues and could race, so could others, but it was a vast change. Then on to Silverstone where without tyre failures we probably would have seen two Mercs on the podium at a high load track. Germany was a one off with completely different rubber from the rest of the season so not really indicative, back at Hungaroring again Mercs issues appear to be fully resolved.

It's quite clear that whatever happened in the 4 weeks between Spain and Canada Mercedes didn't just make a little step forward, they made a stride that jumped their race pace upwards of ~0.5s a lap. Then you ask what happened in that period - the test - coincidence? Very very rarely in F1 does something happen like that within the boundaries of fair play.


Can you explain what happened in Germany then?


Germany was raced on one off tyres, so I'd just forget that race as any form guide.


Listen to yourselves.

Look past your obvious hate and look at the facts.

The tyres used in Germany were a one off, they will not be used again, so any form from that race is irrelevant.

The tyres used in Hungry are the tyres that will be used for the rest of the season.

Hungry was very got and Mercedes survived and would have won regardless in my opinion, because Lewis would have been a lot harder than Button to pass.

The next race is more stressful on the tyres, so if Mercedes win convincingly here, Them they are real contenders.


Germany was raced on one-off tyres so I'd forget that as any form Guide?

No. Germany's tyres didn't come from nowhere. Guess where they came from! They were the very same 2013 tyres tested by Merc in Spain which were to be tested by all the teams in Canada then raced in Britain but then put aside either because conditions in Canada didn't allow them to be tested or some teams objected or both. Now how ironical is it that Merc struggled in Germany on the very tyres they tested but win comfortably in Hungary on tyres they were not even allowed to test along with others at the YDT? I'll allow you to answer that question truthfully then draw your own conclusions.



The tyres is Hungary weren't the 2013 tyres or the later spec tyres Pirelli tested, so obviously it's inclusion as a race result is not needed


The result does not fit with the theory so we will just ignore it. Yes, that's good science. Actually what Germany demonstrated is that the Merc is particularly sensitive to tyre characteristics in a way that does not seem to trouble other cars. Clearly that issue has not been rectified completely. The good news is that the new tyres are better suited to the Merc. Combine that with the progress Merc have undoubtedly made with the issue and things are looking up.

There is no need for a massive conspiracy theory just a bit of progress on the development front and a lucky break with the new tyres. Given all the new talent Merc have taken on board why are people surprised the car is getting better. It would be surprising if there was not an improvement in the car.


If the tyres had suited Mercedes (and consequently your argument) I doubt you would be quite so anxious to discount the result 😉


You also can't argue with the fact that Hamilton's tyre exploded at Silverstone.

Tyre issues largely resolved ?

Moreover, if Mercedes struggled to do anything with the tyres for two seasons, why would a single test make such a difference ?


because testing is soooooo valuable. even a tiny bit of it pays large dividends. hence why it's so tightly regulated.


...and of course, his was the only tyre that exploded...



you've got it summarized very well.

totally agree.


It is not quite that simple though is it?

Mercedes have not won any races convincingly until Hungry and you should not loose sight of the fact that the tyres have changed at the last two races for safety reasons and the tyres used in Hungry are now with us for the rest of the year. These new tyres obviously reduce Mercedes tyre management problems.

I think that Mercedes win in Hungry was not as dominant as it appeared because unusually red bull did not seem to get the best out of their car all weekend.

So it is not clear if it is possible to tell how much the tyre test helped compared to the change of compounds and construction that we now have.

Ferrari should be more worried about why they are going backwards recently while Red bull, Lotus and Merc are still moving forwards.


If you ask me it's down to simply track time. While they didn't get the highest quality track time while testing with Pirelli it still had massive value.

A lot of the hate can be erased by the fact that Mercedes have always had good single lap speed. I seem to remember Red Bull being in a similar situation and eventually developing that into race pace. Probably inevitable that over time given a quality car you would be able to figure out the long game.

We'll see in the coming months if having to sit out of young drivers testing will hurt them.


I think Luca's comments regarding Mercedes are ill judged and smack of sour grapes, and let's not forget Ferrari also carried out tests with Pirelli using an older car, and all the teams except Mercedes took part in the later "young drivers" test at Silverstone where they were able to use current tyres putting Mercedes on the back foot. In addition Mercedes results in the German GP were relatively poor. Beyond that we have still not had concrete proof that Mercedes now have a handle on their rear tyre issues because they have yet to race on a circuit with high tyre energy input, but Spa is coming up, and will demonstrate conclusively the case. Hungary while hot is relatively slow.



Sour grapes indeed. Irrespective of whether Mercedes have moved forward, one thing is for sure, Ferrari have gone backwards!


Sour - OK.

False - NO.


Oh! I see. You were the fly on the wall!? - but how come it did not work in Germany?


I think we are a little at cross purposes here. The point I'm making is that we do not know if Mercedes benefitted in any tangible way from the Pirelli Test. The improvements now beginning to show may well be as a direct result of hard development work from the Mercedes team in further analysis of the problem. Yes we all know about the high ambient temperature in Hungary, and that the Kevlar belted tyre now introduced dissipates heat better. What we do not know yet is if the improvement will be enough on circuits with high lateral loads that increase tyre temperature so rapidly. - I hope so! The cynics will say they learnt something of use, but unless one was a "fly on the wall" the fact is we will never know, and frankly I couldn't care less. It was a peerless drive from Lewis which I hope is one of many to come.


Different spec tyres to those tested by Mercedes, so....


with a Kevlar belted tyre that dissipates heat better than a steel belted tyre, and a brilliant drive from Lewis of course. Next!!


Hungary. 50C track temp.

Next! 🙂


@ Richard

Beyond that we have still not had concrete proof that Mercedes now

have a handle on their rear tyre issues


Lewis says if tyres were able to hold in Hungary, they pretty much can work anywhere.


Lewis is a driver, not an engineer, but he may be right. It's a question of which is the greater of two evils, high ambient temperature, or heat generated via high energy input. Let's hope he's right, but Spa will put it bed.


I hope the tyre issues are gone for good, lets go back to racing. Let's talk about real car developments. Hungarian race has been the only race in a very long time when tyres was not the main point of discussion. This is Formula One for Christ sake. Let the best drivers in the world race to the very limit and entertain the viewers. That's why we pay huge amount of money to watch it and that's why we love it!


@ Richard

True, Lewis isn't an engineer but he talks to engineers everyday and they tell him things


He's absolutely right of course.


When you see a bitter comment like that you know it's from LDM or Helmut Marko.



You forgot that other 'impartial voice of reason' - CH 🙂


+ 1 🙂


No one knows what Merc did at that test, there were no FIA there as well. So, in general they did all what they wanted.

I just wonder if someone feels different to Lewis understanding that Merc is "cheating" somehow ?

What would you say about Merc, in this the same situation, if there were no Lewis in the team, say Merc had MS instead?


That's the problem with the lack of transparency and he way the tests were conducted. Who knows what was done? We only have their version of the events and they have every reason to be less than forthcoming. LDM is right to call it out and its not sour grapes. Even if they did not gain a tyre advantage HAM who was struggling to come to grips with a new car had the equivilant of 3 GPs to refine his braking in the new car and get more familiar with its handling. There is a double standard in F1.


It is sour grapes because Ferrari realise they could actually finish 4th in the championship as the car is not developing as they had hoped. Even when they had a good car qualifying ability of the 2 drivers ensured they started races in traffic and made it difficult to chase down Vettel. It may shock some people but some teams do actually improve their car as the season goes along. Did people really expect Merc to stand still for the whole season? That's unrealistic. Look at McLaren and how much their car has improved from Australia.


The McLaren argument is not a fair one as their car was a dog at the beginning of the season. Ferrari did start with a quick car instead where gains are more difficult.

The Spanish GP the SF won with a huge margin but after that it seems they fell extremely steep, in only 4 races they are the 4th team with a big gap. Monaco showed they lack mechanical traction out of corners, that could indicate trouble with the tyres.

It is not just developing.


LDM is plain and simply wrong ......the credibility of the sport is damaged by super fragile tyres and multiple blow outs at Silverstone.... the very same tyres that gave Ferrari more of a competitive edge relative to Mercedes.

Sour Grapes!


I beg to differ.

He may be sour, but that has nothing ti do with the fact that what he says is not wrong.


I recall Ferrari strectching the concept of a media day by using the opportunity to its maximum by doing straight line tests!!!


Come on Sebee, Mercedes are far from the only team in the pit lane to stretch the rules. You have to admit there is more than an element of the pot calling the kettle black here.


Yes Tim, you're not wrong.

Simply, the "brovado" needed to do this test, how it was done is so in your face vs. engineering solutions or ideas applied within the on-track time frame work, that it just doesn't sit well with many. That's all.

Nothing wrong with pushing and trying to gain an adventage. Simply, this test is one heck of a way to do it. Like I said, leaves a really bad taste in your mouth.

And before Elie and others think I'm bitter, I'm not. I love development wars and ideas and solutions to problems F1 seems to find. I've said as much here a number of times. But these ideas need to be developed within a framework of rules. And braking the testing rules in 2013 was a huge advantage play. Honestly, I don't think it was worth it. Suddenly Mercedes was getting ink in nearly all media, and it wasn't good ink either. I'm not sure it will translate into lost sales, but it sure off-set tons of marketing dollars in those publications.

I admit, I'm not fond of Mercedes this year. I don't like Mercedes for the agressive nature of their assault on McLaren this past off-season. As if there is no integrity or ethics, or corporate partnership or history between these two. Like a big corporate bully, they drove up a van with giant $$$ on it and said - come, work for Mercedes, and be sure to bring as much data about the fast McLaren with you as you can. A 2-for-1 play by Mercedes to not only beef up their development team, but hurt a competitor who for 3 years in a row has made the factory team look like a distant second.

All I'm saying is...there is a right way to do things, and a wrong way to do things. But perhaps it is this approach that's needed to challange this RBR team. But as Ferrari have proven past 3 years, richness and buying up other team's assets is not everything.

One think I agree with is, regardless if I like how Mercedes got here - we have another player at the sharp end. And watching these 4 teams scrap for it in the second half will be enjoyable to say the least.


Monte and apparently Sebee are both bitter.. And whilst many are angered by the secret test not matter what the gain was. What was Red Bulls penalty for running illegal holes in the floor or running illegal exhaust maps even after clarifications were made ??- holy smoke talk about calling the kettle black !

Mercedes would have learned more from the data they got from Pirelli at the YDT - compiled from all the teams with the same rubber than they did with the unknown rubber at the secret test (the tribunal made reference to merc not having direct knowledge of the tyres) Also I don't think the loss of that YDT should be taken lightly because Lotus had component changes -Front Wing , Side pods.Rear Wing and exhaust outlets that all worked!. Mclaren and Red Bull had some upgrades too that proved fruitful - so did Ferrari - but they just had more that did not -Awww 🙂



Personally I don't see the Mercedes test as any different to the dodgy RedBull engine map episode last season. Red Bull spotted a loophole in the regulations and they exploited it - fair play to them. In the same way Mercedes saw an opportunity with the Pirelli test and made the most of it. Ferrari have conducted a number of tyre tests using an older car this season - why are they bothering if there isn't a benefit?Championships are often won by very small margins and unless the teams are prepared to push the boundaries they won't win them.

It's all part of the game 😉


Exactly Tim



I agree that pushing things is F1 DNA. But there is a difference to pushing in the base and via permitted methods, vs. this testing violation. Just like spoiled fish this one didn't leave a good feeling in the stomach. Sure, it sits in the gray zone like so many other things. But this one was quite close to black. It's one thing to design a flexing car that passes all the tests. It's another to run a test to clearly get a one up on the competition.

I've said it before. This exact test should have been immediately permitted for all but Mercedes - immediately. That was the only fair way to put this behind us. The YDT without Mercedes was 50% justice.


It is 100% sour.

The 2013 tyres did no favours to high downforce cars ie, Mercedes and Red Bull initially.

Now the teams have learnt more about the tyres added to the new tyres from Hungry onwards, he is just bitter because it has improved all the top teams bar Ferrari.


He does like to talk some rubbish.

Since the test, Merc won Monaco because they were out front and drve at Marussia speeds safe in the knowledge they couldn't be overtaken. Tyre wear was negligable in Canada which has always been a rather unique race. They might have won Silverstone but the blowouts showed that they and several other teams had found performance by swapping tyres left to right. They destroyed their tyres at the Nurburgring when on high fuel loads and most commentators are putting their Hungary performance down to the new tyrs working well with their car, and ironically they're the only team not to have tested on them.

I know he's not happy with Ferrari's current form but he really needs to work more on deflecting criticism.


+1 Andrew. Also, I might add, Ferrari have been known to push the limits of the rules in the past on more than one occasion, all teams do.

I think the ban on testing was silly, I understand the need to save costs but these guys are spending silly money anyway so what harm is a bit of testing in the grand old scheme of F1.


I agree that the total ban wasn't good but the previous free reign where they would hire a full test team, build specific cars and throw endless bits at it was not sustainable. Next years 4 tests is a good medium I feel, though they could probably do with being spread out a bit more.


I wonder what would happen if, someday, Ferrari got everything they wanted - Bernie out, tyres the way they want them, unlimited in-season testing - and still don't win.

What will Luca say in hi interviews then?

Scuderia McLaren

Why wonder. That did happen. They got all their planets aligned about 1999... The result. 6 Constructors world titles and 5 Drivers world titles consecutively for the prancing horse. They had the tyres, driver, rule makes, tech people all working in unison. It was devestating for the sport. In time, those parameters were slowly undermined and Renalt emerged, but only just.


Yeah one driver that purposely crashed into guys to win a championship even when "having planets aligned"

His young prodigy dogs his team mate even with all his planets aligned

A team that bought half the technical geniuses in the sport

and still needs a secret test to defy the rules

Common thread begins with G ends with N

Scuderia McLaren

No idea what / who you are referring to? I missed the point Ellie, sorry.


Ferrari did have their day, during the M Schumacher era; and we got stiflingly boring predictability from a team using different rules from the other teams.

It wasn't okay then, and it's not okay now, with Mercedes getting a different set of rules.

The private, illegal test should have resulted in Mercedes exclusion from the 2013 championship.

Obviously it is NOT a coincidence that they are doing so well now.

I know all of the Lewis fans can easily overlook this 'minor infraction' since it puts their boy up at the top, but what Luca says is just the stone cold truth, Mercedes DID gain unfair advantage by the test, and the exclusion from the YDT is a pathetic mask of a punishment that doesn't wash with those of us paying objective attention to the goings on.


@dean cassady

I have to tell you that your post made me smile 🙂 You claim to be taking a subjective view of the situation and then leap to a completely unproven conclusion - presumably based on your own team preference - the conclusion/opinion is then presented as if it were absolute fact.


+1, presenting personal opinions based on nothing but biased adulation of one particular team or driver,(and therefore hatred of all the others) as absolute fact is par for the course among a lot of posters on here.

This isn't football, it shouldn't be about "I support Utd and so I hate City! Over the past few years I have become a Lewis Hamilton fan. This doesn't mean I don't have respect for the other drivers, or that I am blind to Lewis's faults. I think Alonso is brilliant, Kimi never ceases to surprise me and I think Vettel is clearly something special. Of course I am happy if Lewis wins a race, but if one of the others wins one, I don't throw my hands up in the air and say "it must be because they cheated!" Lewis drove a brilliant race in Hungary, and I'm sure he will do it again, but there will be races where someone else is brilliant, and I will say "well done Fernando/Kimi/Sebastian.


@dean cassady. Why do you say it was a private illegal test ?


No FIA oversight, just FIA permission.

Mercedes weren't to blame, the FIA were.

Get over it Dean, the tyres they tested are now redundent. All the other teams got their opportunity to test the new tyres at the YDT with their race drivers and new parts.

Oh and before you try I'm neither a Mercedes or Ferrari fan.


oh come on.

Now denying the facts.

I said it was a private illegal test, because it was a private, illegal test.

No FIA oversight!!!

Come on?

What is going on with this stuff?


That's pretty rich from Ferrari; the biggest error in 2013 was the introduction of wretched tyres. In fact, it is thanks to the Merc test that we now have a more sensible tyre regime after the explosions.

If the test was truly a help, then it is safe to say Mercedes would have made the same (or vastly greater) improvement after the Young Drivers Test from which they were banned anyway. In the Young Drivers Test, they would have known exactly what they were testing.

I for one am happy to see the back of those chewing gum tyres. We are now back to real racing that's exciting and not manipulated by Pirelli.


"In fact, it is thanks to the Merc test that we now have a more sensible tyre regime after the explosions."

What has one got to do with the other?


Its obvious. Pirelli claims the Merc test was the best and most relevant for tyre development, because it was done with a current car. Fallout? Sensible tyres for the rest of the season and next year testing will be done in-season with current cars.

It was the very same marginal nature of the tyres that caused them to explode and forced Merc to the tests. The tests caused introspection, and that introspection forced changes.


Come on Quade...not this again!

Mercedes had a 2 month head start. Even you can't ignore 2 months in F1.

Mercedes had no restrictions imposed on them in their "not-secret-darth-helmeted" test.

Let's at least not be blind on one side when we talk about this subject. Luca has a valid point here.

As for the tires, we already covered it. Used correctly, they were just fine.


The Mercedes test was not unrestricted, they used the set up from Barcelona and could not change or adjust any parts. they were a vessel for Pirelli to get some miles on some future tyres including 2014.

All the other teams were given the same opportunity at the YDT With current drivers and the majority chose to go with young drivers in the knowledge more would be gained testing new parts.

Now no doubt Mercedes benefited somewhat from their test but not as much as the others testing tyres that will be used for the rest of the season along with upgrades.



The truth is we don't know what the motivation was, it was likely to be a combination of several things, not necessarily car development related.

Giving Lewis extra time in the car could be considered as a benefit.

Any assistance Pirelli needed to get rid of the current tyre which obviously did not suit the Merc would have been a benefit. The characteristics of the Merc car having any influence on the development of next years tyres could be beneficial to Merc.

There are several realistic alternatives to the "fix the tyre deg issues" that Merc could have considered as reasons to take part in the test that reside in the grey area of legality that all teams venture into. What I am saying is that it not a foregone conclusion that Merc went into this test in order to deliberately cheat.



Agreed with your statement fully. And it is this unknown, and this range of possibilities that is tainting the Mercedes run of recent performance.

I must differ with you however on the 2013 car use. They specifically wanted to use the current car, and tried to find a way to do it. Why ask or insist unless that is the goal? They knew they could have used the 2011 car without seeking permission. And it is this insistance to use the 2013 car when they could have just used the 2011 car that further blurs the situation. Why insist? Obviously there is a clear reason. And I say again, why risk such a thing to help develop 2014 tires that won't run on this chassis anyway? See my point? You MUST ask WHY!

Of course we will never learn what they achieved at that test. But I've said this a number of times - one word: Ross. Do you really believe this man pushes for this, and gets this opportunity to run the 2013 car and just runs around on "blind rubber" and nothing new on the car? No other agenda? Black helmets? Seriously Jake.

I put Ross insisting on 2013 car for this test with apparently "no hidden agenda" in the same category as Schumi having a brain fart in 2006 Monaco qualifying also not having a hidden agenda.

Sure, we don't know 100%, but we can be pretty darn near the correct conclusion as to why this happened. The fact that majority here seem to feel the Merc test had no hidden agenda and majority feel that Schumi had a hidden agenda in Monaco is quite interesting to me, as these men are cut from the same cloth.



Where was the risk? They had what they believed to be express permission from the FIA race director and the head of the FIA legal department to conduct the tyre test using the 2013 car. They may have expected the other teams to call foul but they obviously believed they were working within the rules as interpreted by the FIA.

If they new they were completely in the wrong they would have done the back door deal that Niki brokered. That just leaves the question did they gain an unfair advantage. This is the hardest part to deal with. Even running the tyres blind they would still have an idea of the general performance level of each tyre and as has been said by many, you don't run the car for 1000 k and learn nothing. The counter argument to the tyre knowledge is that they would have gained the same level of insight into the new tyre behaviour from the 2011 car without the controversy. An advantage, perhaps, was it unfair, provided Pirelli offered the test to all teams as they claimed, then not unfair. Opinion on what advantage they would get from running the car ranges from the ridiculous claim that they gained a second a lap to the claim they gained nothing. Only Merc actually know the truth here and we can only speculate. It helps to think about this as a learning curve. Initially as you start out with a new car the curve is very steep and you learn a great deal. As you build up the running time on the car the curve flattens out. The data you collect from subsequent runs in the car is essentially the same as you have already collected. At this point teams use the data from the previous runs to drive the development and improvements. You run the car some more and you have new data that tells you how the developments are performing, This goes on until the team change their resources to the next seasons car. How much Merc gained would depend on where they were on the cycle. If there was no new parts to test then the gain would be minimal however if new parts were being tested the gain could be significant.

I guess in the end it depends on who you believe as there is no concrete evidence that Merc tested new parts.


Right...Mercedes would risk the hard earned brand corporate image to help Pirelli develop 2014 tires. Come on guys...wake up and smell the rubber burning.


"Mercedes had no restrictions imposed on them in their “not-secret-darth-helmeted” test"

There were restrictions on the way the tyre test was run, (blind test, no set up changes and no new parts), and there is no evidence that these restrictions were ever breached.

"As for the tires, we already covered it. Used correctly, they were just fine"

That statement is incorrect, McLaren had a tyre failure and they were running the tyres within spec! Clearly there was a serious issue with the tyres.



"So just as I can’t prove the were running it outside the parameters" Exactly! Therefore everything related to that statement is just an opinion.

However my statement that you are wrong at least has some basis in fact as it is based on evidence from a team that should know the parameters.

Now, you could argue that the team is lying, but to what end?



Even Pirelli didn't have the data of what teams were doing. So just as I can't prove the were running it outside the parameters, you can't prove they were running within. And if running outside gained advantage, I'm sure all teams would have tested the tires to see what running in opposite direction, lower pressure or higher camber would do for the performance of their package.



I did not personally inspect every car checking the tyres were on the correct side or the pressure was above minimum and I suspect that you did not either. This makes your statement that all teams were using the tyres outside the recommended spec to be "just your opinion". When McLaren announced that they were running the tyres as per Pirelli requirements, why would anybody think they were lying. Pirelli have an advisor to each team and they would know if McLaren were less than honest with this statement.

The only conclusion that any sensible person could reach is that there was a weakness in the current tyre.


As Jake said, McLaren ran the tyres to the letter of what Pirelli advised. Yet, they had an explosion.


I suggest you look into past JAonF article on this.

Say it with me now...pressure range, also say this with me now...directional tires, and many teams running them opposite direction.

Everyone was using the tires outside spec to a degree if there was perceived advantage to be had.


Ha Sebee! I see you haven't yet accepted the fairness of the International Tribunals verdict. That verdict cancelled out any advantage Merc might have garnered from their blind test; at the YDT, teams actually knew exactly what they were testing as against Merc not knowing for certain what was bolted unto the car.

The punishment was fair and any advantage neutered.



"You and I both know, the only way to make it right and fair 100% was to give same test immediately(as soon as it was possible) to all other teams except Mercedes"

Which happened at YDT. What else do you want? Be honest if Mercedes had struggled in Hungary like they did in Germany, you would be very very happy and won't be talking about testgate by now..isn't it?

All the teams except Mercedes were allowed to test the new tyres with their racing drivers with FIA oversight, and they also tested the new tyres with their Young drivers without any restriction. They were allowed to test new parts, change set up, test the new tyres etc whenever their young drivers were behind the wheel. They had access to the data, they had knowledge of the tyres they were testing (which Mercedes didn't have at Barcelona).

If excluding Mercedes from such an important test was not a fair punishment, because they were able to minimize the effect. Then one can also argue that a driver who finished at the podium after being sent to the back of the grid as a punishment wasn't a fair punishment. Because the punishment being as hash as it was did not affect the driver. Mercedes was punished, but unfortunately for (Red Bull fans), they were able to limit the damage.

How do you think that you stand a better ground to pronounce a fitting punishment to Mercedes than those that had every details and evidences?


James have you ever considered a comment quota to stop one user posting the same comments over and over again on each thread?


I have. There is no choice.

Funny that the verdict for YDT was quite lame in my view. Only when current drivers were permitted did the punishment approach what I felt was an appropriate range.

You and I both know, the only way to make it right and fair 100% was to give same test immediately(as soon as it was possible) to all other teams except Mercedes.


Right...development of car moved up 2 months canceled out. How exactly do you cancel that out?


Stop the moaning. Give us all the 'facts' of this secret test since you know so much. I need some details. The tribunal reviewed the test and issued a suitable penalty. Maybe you should have testified at the tribunal



How far beyond 2000km did it go? Enough to justify in/out laps or pit lane movement, or straight line tests?

And what is the rule anyway - single test, or multiple tests allowed with 2 year old car?

Again, I just don't feel that Ferrari going a bit over ina 2 yaer old car is as newsworth or as much or a rule bending as Mercedes using current car, with both current drivers only, at a track that still has F1 GP fresh rubber on it.



So the Ferrari test that went well beyond the 2000km limit the rules allow was "perfectly legal?"

I now see where you are coming from. Rules have to be applied entirely without bias.



Your point is taken. But because Ferrari used a 2 year old car, it wasn't news, and really - I just didn't care about such a test. It was Mercedes using the 2013 car that created disgust.

Ask yourself, why a perfectly legal Ferrari test with 2 year-old car was dragged into this in the first place? Many have. The only answer I can come up with is "to take heat off Mercedes in the Tribunal"

I understand the power struggle here. I know who's wallet is paying for the sport I enjoy. Yet, I can't help but be conflicted about that reality some days. Today is such a day.


@Sebee, be honest, did you know that Ferrari tested at Barcelona a week before the race there? It came to light after the Mercedes saga. So no team goes around announcing that they are testing. If Charlie had told Mercedes, that they cannot test, I don't think they would have tested. Blame FIA not Mercedes. This is F1 and all teams are exploiting the loopholes in the regulation. There are no saints in F1 grid. The saints in the grid are running at the back (the bench markers).


+1 Well said.

The fact the tribunal reviewed the evidence and reached a reasonable conclusion is not enough for some (Red Bull?) fans.


Danny - We can't because it was a "Secret Test" - you get it !!!- that's what everyone is "Moaning about" - and Bloody rightly so. !!

Still I don't think it was earth shattering and anyone with any sense would know they would have learned more from the data from the young driver test anyway- because the tyres were a known quantity.


Isn't the fact that there is so little detail enough? Isn't it enough that no one anywhere found out about it if not for some dedicated fan on a hill far away due ti access and photo restrictions? Black helmets? No one allowed to even stand around the circuit. Put the two and two together man!


Well said.


Hello James. What is the opinion within the paddock and commentators regarding Massa's ability and form?

Is he so much worse than 2007 & 2008, or is Alonso that much better? I'm inclined towards the former, and I wonder if Alonso is bad for a team's chance of the WCC. The last time that Ferrari had two equal drivers, Massa was performing, and they had two WCCs from three attempts, one of which was arguably due to Alonso costing another team their WCC. Where would Ferrari be if Massa was finishing on average one or two positions behind Alonso in each race, or if they had two equal drivers and both were performing to the level that Massa used to.


I think you are right. MAS hasn't been the same since his accident and that's a shame. I would love to see a quality driver in that seat next year - if for no other reason to see how much ALO is supposidly squeezing out of the chassis


That's rubbish . Of course for the media and to the general public comparisons between 2 driver are relevant , but each team knows very well what driver what "squeezing" out of the chassis . They have telemetry and can see how many times was at the limit a particular driver etc. Look at Toro Rosso . Buemi and Alguersari . Both are genius , or both are average ? You can't tell. The team knows the answer . That's why they are missing .


Many people will look at a potential Merc title as fraudulent and the result of cheating. He is right, they started winning after the illegal test.

It is odd to see the difference in reporting of this illegal test though.

Rest of the world media calls it cheating and illegal and how Mercedes gained from it, yet the British media calls it a private test and hardly mentions it unless it is to comfort the viewer it could not benefited Mercedes.

Just shows you how important it is to have a British driver in your team, eh? Imagine RBR had done an illegal test like Mercedes and Vettel winning it all. The British media and fans would be calling for World War 3 with Germany and Austria.

None of the people defending Mercedes now would defend RBR.


Interesting parallel you draw there, with RBR.

It's almost as if you're trying to forget that 2 out of the 3 victories Mercedes enjoyed after their (positively evil!) test, didn't have a Briton behind the wheel of the car...


I agree that the British F1 press are shamelessly biased on the whole but there are exceptions to this rule, such as this site right here.

It's odd because in other sports, football for example, the British press are much more even-handed.

The fact that Pirelli and the FIA itself were basically colluding with Mercedes in their "secret" testing makes the whole thing *more* disgraceful, not less.


I'm sure didn't mention RBR who've been doing all sorts 'illegal' modifications that somehow couldn't be replicated in the lab.

RBR is far from being angels if that's what you were implying.

Other teams benefited way more than Merc from the 'YTD', but of course that simple logic is conveniently beyond you....


"All sorts of...... " specific examples please, I bet you don't have any, you just want to destroy the name of a team because they were successful or you don't like the driver.


They continued to have significant tyre problems after the test, too.

Correlation is not causation.


Yes, we all saw those problems with 50C track temp in Hungary.



Diff? Right.

Perhaps it was the rubber Mercedes helped develop...not so secretly now. 🙂


Diff rubber dude


Right...and while heat was an issue for Mercedes in 2012 it appears to be resolved now after the not-secret Barca test.

Wow...how easily you guys look the other way. BTW, for sake of integrity...I would feel the same way about this under these circumstances regardless of which team did it.


Different tyres now dude, Pirelli changed the construction @ Hungary due to all those failures @ Silverstone which affected many teams including Ferrari!

Merc learnt some tricks for sure during "the test" and my understanding is this is where the tyre swapping was first discovered, this has since been banned.


Hungary was with completely new tyres, or are you going to ignore that as well?


New tyres.


+1!Nuff said.


It must be said, you have a point.

Now, can't paint everyone with this brush, but 25-33% of comments dismissing the test are likely in this categorty. Add to this 25-33% of anti-Ferrari fans, and 25-33% who are not fond of Alonso and the few % that is left see it as it is.

Now Luca may be bitter, sour, or even envious he didn't come up with the idea. This possibility however, doesn't make his point invalid.


Ahh! so 1% of the comments are from people who see the it as it is.


The F1 tribunal was a success in most independent peoples view. The fact Ferrari don't like it is no surprise.

I remember the days a lot joked FIA stood for Ferrari International Assistance.!!


You make it sound as if LDM is the voice of truth and justice and doesn't have an agenda.

Let me ask you this, do you think good old Luca is spouting off in this manner because it's the truth and needed to be said, or is it, maybe, perhaps, because it may bring Ferrari some kind of advantage down the line?


Even if he has an agenda, what he says has a level of validity - surely you can't deny this. Not like anything else can or will be done, so he is just making a valid observation.

As for advantage down the line, this test loophole has been exploited. No one dare do this again in 2013.


The tribunal also opined that the Ferrari test was as legal or illegal,your choice, as the Pirelli test. No one knew about it until the trial. However what punishment should be given to Pirelli and to the FIA as they were all in it together.


Ferrari used 2 year old car. I don't care how close that is to 2013 car. They used a 2 year old car, and so I don't care. Rules followed. Test all you want with 2 year old car.

Why FIA dragged Ferrari into this? My guess to not vilify Mercedes alone. They do toss good amount of money at F1 after all. A customer of F1 if you will. You treat customers nice, right?


And the justifications, both open and implied, that it is okay that MErcedes 'got away with it' because Ferrari 'got away with it' for so long, is 'rubbish' as the POMs say.

It damaged the credibility of the sport when Ferrari did it (at least they did it with a bit more subtlty and class), and this corporate manipulation by Mercedes completely undermines the entire credibility of this year's championship, since now, Lewis Hamilton is the leading challenger and looks to have a decent shot (as anybody else) to the title.


I agree with you, K; and strongly disagree with James on this one.

Of course Mercedes are flexing their corporate muscles wherever and however possible; a very skeptical person might even conclude that the recruitment of Lewis Hamilton was partly to gain a political advantage with the British-centric F1 media. But obviously, Lewis is considered by myself, and many other astute observers as certainly in the top tier of four current drivers.

The claims associated with being "...clear on the facts: ..." are as clear as mud! This process involving the FIA, an organization which can only be viewed as being complicit with the breach of the rules, then the 'independent Tribunal' was about as non-partisan as the fox guarding the hen house.

Even if I didn't believe that Mercedes has gained a massive advantage by these actions, and even if Mercedes was on the brink of a break through on their tire management, the perception of unfairness and advantage gained should be enough to have had Mercedes excluded from the 2013 Championship.

It is clear to I and other objective observers that Mercedes used their corporate threats of withdrawl from the series that skewed the FIA response. The entire process, through the 'independent' Tribual was a smokescreen for the FIA to save face, but it does CERTAINLY as Luca says, severely damage the credibility of the 'sport'.


Oh my god! I have heard it all. So Merc hired Lewis only because they wanted to gain favour with the British media, so that when they conduct a private test they wouldn't be tarnished through the press? Gaining political advantage indeed! Ha!


I'm definitely with you Rob, do you want to borrow my tin foil hat?!


Fans, there has to be a Gribowsky angle to this somehow... maybe BE used monies saved in the Gribowsky deal to secretly fund the BAR/Honda/Brawn/Merc team to bring a British driver on board in order to placate the Germans by giving them something in F1 to cheer about? The original goal may have been to spur Nico to greater heights but it's backfiring? And now, instead of 'happy' Germans, he only has 'placated' fifth estate Brits? And hence, the whole brilliant master plan is slowly falling apart... Who's with me here?


I included my opinion that Lewis is indeed a top tier driver; obviously he is, but if you had the choice between him, and an ugly, poorly spoken... someone from a non-English speaking country, of similar calibre, definitely, no contest, go with Lewy.


Are you employed by Mercedes as part of their media management team?

Or if you have any financial or political affiliations, you should state them.

I publicly state that I have none.

You write as if you have no idea of the high stakes hat are going on, and what might be done to create a maximizing environment for success in a venture.

Yes, indeed, I believe that these organizations would consider the favourable slant a driver would bring to a team, absolutely believe it to be well within the realm of possiblity, if not probability.


Saying they started winning right after the test is a totally simplistic argument. It asks one to strip out any context when deciding the facts. "Hey, they didn't win any of the first 5 races ... now they've won 3 of the last 5 ... how did they do that?" This assumes that everything that went before determines what happens after.

Just Luca being Luca.


Good point. The problem for the anti Mercedes posters is, if they take the post-test results in context, it then undermines their argument.


You're absolutely correct.

My belief is that plenty of the media need to keep certain teams/drivers sweet in order to speak with them, especially the British drivers for the British press (likewise for other nations). The questions asked of them are rarely anywhere near as pointed as those asked of the likes of Vettel, Alonso, Grosjean, Massa etc.

If you ask a question/write an article a team principle or driver doesn't like then don't expect to be speaking to them for a while. As we now have F1 stories all the time thanks to the internet, having a driver/team who won't speak to you is a big issue. The net result? A reporter who is less than optimal.


Why are you going on about the British media? That's ridiculous. Mercedes is a German firm.

As for British drivers, they exist in four separate teams on the grid:

It would be just as ridiculous to say that the British press is biased toward McLaren, Force India and Marussia.

Or is the jibe really targeted at a particular driver? If that's the case, then it really has no place in a discussion about a tyre test; drivers can't just walk up to Pirelli to conduct those.


It has nothing to do with British or any other nation.

Let's be clear on the facts: they did the test, were prosecuted for it by FIA, an independent Tribunal found that they had breached the Sporting Regulations, but said that FIA, Pirelli and Mercedes were equally in the wrong - hence the division of costs for the case.

You can put whatever slant you want on it, but those are the facts of the matter and that is how we have always called it. We always billed it as a secret test.



It was a Pirelli test. It was Ferrari that did a" secret test" with Fillipe.



But it was an illegal test. Breach of regulations is illegal. "You guys" (to lump every British commentator/media in the same group) keep calling it a secret test or private test like it was all within the rules, while it clearly was not.

On Sky and BBC, when they mention it, it just gets a chuckle out of the commentators and "haha funny, forget it people, look a popular British driver/his team is winning".

Why not call a rose a rose? It was an illegal test they benefited from. But instead the British media is pussyfooting around it, if they even care to mention it in between talking about what they ate at what restaurant. The other European and even American media is calling it an illegal test and how it altered the championship in an unsporting way in favor of Mercedes.

If they win a title, to a lot of people it will be a tainted, fraudulent title.


K... I don't always agree with James on every subject. But you asked a question and he answered it- what the hell more do you want. Call the f/ing test whatever you like and your right only about one thing - if Mercedes do win there will always be some speculation about any perceived advantage in some circles all over the world- that's happens with everything not just this subject matter.

Just because Skysports have a nonchallant reaction to something you disagree with it doesn't mean James does too . He's always called it pretty straight as I see it. To me those guys at Skysports are a bunch of jokers - I don't take their opinions anywhere near the way I respect James opinion. Stop shooting the messenger- he's the best one at this sport - I can tell you that much for sure.


If Mercedes is British, then Nico Rosberg must be British too. No? Wonders and abracadabra!

I wonder what we'll be hearing next?

This might just be the way World War III kicks off.

Please take heed all! For the sake of peace, Mercedes, Lewis, Nico, Ross Brawn are all ILLEGAL things. 🙂



you should stick to watching other European channels because you don't seem to understand English, I've heard it referred to as an 'illegal' test several times on british tv, magazine and websites many times.



If they win a title, to a lot of people it will be a tainted, fraudulent title….

Not for me! If that test is so precious that Mercedes is winning now, why other teams are not winning after the YDT? Mercedes has a very good car from onset don't take that away from them, and it's only time before they sort out their race pace and I honestly hope they have done that. My opinion didn't count when Red Bull won with a flexing wing, so I don't think your opinion will count if Mercedes wins the title.


Relax and have a good long sleep. I am neither a Pom or a Merc fan, and am quite satisfied that the punishment suited the crime.

I also think that if you leave aside the Murdoch/News LTD media outlets (which show little objectivity or class worldwide), the British media in general is one of, if not the least bias of all the nations.



If they win a title, to a lot of people it will be a tainted, fraudulent title....

Not for me it won't. I doubt Mercedes will win the title and I suspect, therefore, your fears are unfounded. But if they do, I for one will be delighted and will not lose a minutes sleep worrying about whether Mercedes did or didn't gain an advantage from the Pirelli test 🙂


Huh is Mercedes British ??


you got it totally right K!


I have no idea what you are talking about


James, there has not been a single word from J Todt, the man in charge of the FIA!

Isn't it high time he emerged from his hideaway and answered some direct questions put to him by you on behalf of fans and spectators of this sport, and faced the music regarding this pirelli test???


More like Mercedes' form damsges Ferrari's chances Luca. Don't be such a fuddy duddy and work on your own team old chap. So sour!


I see. So Mercedes tested a bunch of compounds it couldn't identify and gained a lot, while Ferrari and the rest tested at Silverstone, with identifiable compounds, then raced these compounds in Hungary without being able to make sense of them — and that's Mercedes' and Pirelli's fault?


I completely agree. Mercedes doesn't get to test the new compounds that the rest of the field does, yet they win in Hungary. Could it be that the Mercedes is just a very good car this year and the team finally figured out how to work with the tires? Luca needs to focus on his own floundering team. I don't see how he can praise Domenicali yet bash the team. Isn't Domenicali in charge of the team...? This just reads as a warning that Luca expects Domenicali to fire some people.

Alonso is a great driver, but I am getting the feeling that he may be a big part of the problem.


'...I don’t see how he can praise Domenicali yet bash the team. Isn’t Domenicali in charge of the team…?'

Bashing Domenicali would be too close to home - he then would be bashing himself...all politics


I have been saying this for a long time and glad to note that there are other people who share my opinion. Alonso indeed is a big part of the problem. Even though the entire car is designed as per Alonso's desire and driving style, as a driver, his input nor his judgement has helped the team improve the car.


Before then, it had not won a single Grand Prix, then after the test it won three out of five races.


In the interview, before having a dig at Mercedes, Luca made it clear that he has been in F1 since the 70s so envies no one.

But with statements like the one above, Luca just comes across as bitter if not entitled.

I mean if the fans could know that Mercedes' problems regards the tyres have been with over heating rears at hot track temperatures, one would have thought Luca too would know this >>> But NO!!!

Lets look at Mercedes' first win last season in China, it was at low track temperatures at a track that doesn't punish the rears.

Then lets look at Malaysia 2012, Mercedes were competitive in the low temperatures so much so they were taking the fight to Red Bull only to get hit by low fuel worries.

Next up, was China and again Mercedes scored a podium and would have done better if it wasn't for the softs that lasted 6/7 laps.

Then came the challenge of the heat in Bahrain were Mercedes really struggled during the hottest part of the race only to pick up speed once the sun had begun to set.

Everybody knows the car park that is Monaco, even the rival drivers were of the view that Mercedes will be hard to beat there after their impressive navigation of the 3rd sector in Barcelona.

All in all, the FIA made the right decision for the evidence indicates Mercedes didn't gain an advantage from their Pirelli test because they still struggled in hot conditions as show at the Nurburgring and the fact that Horner/Luca are bitter about the court case outcome should be seen as a compliment for Brawn and his troops for this means the team has officially arrived.


I interptet this as your support for Mercedes actions, as declararion that actions were fair and sporting, ruling was also fair and you are OK with all of Mercedes actions because they got their way? Is that about the jest of it?


You're making an awfully big assumption that you know what happened at the secret test (i.e., Mercedes learned about this year's tires). That assumption is contrary to what the parties involved have stated (on the record) and what the FIA determined in its hearing.

Mercedes was punished because it wasn't "fair and sporting". However, that does not necessarily mean they gained some miraculous insight into this years tires. They may very well have gotten some insight into this years car (which the FIA said was possible), but it's highly unlikely they learned anything specific about this year's tires given the parameters of the test.



See my earlier response.

Ross did not believe there was a risk as he had documentation from the FIA giving, what he believed to be, permission to run the test with the 2013 car.

I think the biggest thing Ross had to gain was having Lewis in the car for some track time.



You learn things throughout the season. You see what other teams do. You understand what you could have done. And when you have a nice opportunity like this, you test out a theory or two.

Let me flip this on you Jake. Please explain to me how someone as bright as Ross takes such a risk for the team, the brand, himself without balancing it off with an obviuosly reward/benefit. I'll hang up now and listen to your answer....



Please explain how driving around the track for 1000k in a tyre test allowed Merc to understand more about their car and it's issues than the thousand and thousands of kilometers they had previously done, with the ability to make set up changes and test new parts. This is the bit I don't understand.


Yes, people always tell the truth. Especially after they do something wrong. Did I ever tell you about the swampland I have for sale in Florida?

So you pound 1000k (was it each driver) and figure out the issue with your car. This is by far the worse thing that could have happened in this test - sporting and fairness wise for 2013. And it seems pretty clear that it appears to be exactly what happened. Distance at current track on current tires with F1 GP rubber still on the tarmac is one heck of a data gathering spot about your car, what could be wrong and how to fix it.


@ Sebee

Spot on.

Remember we live in the real world where everything isn't black and white but a murky grey.



At least give me that this Mercedes thing was 90% gray...you know, close to black. It wasn't some 50% gray thing. I have to say that you being a very knowledgeable fan, I am disappointed that you accept this matter so easily. Clearly we know factors played a role in the judgement, like Mercedes spending huge sums on F1. But surely you see that this test contributed significantly to Mercedes improving their from. And since they did it against the rules, you should not be so accepting...unless you're a massive Lewis or Nico fan.


The FIA were at fault for giving what any reasonable person would take as a green light for Mercedes to do the Pirelli test. Without that, Merc could've been in deep trouble. But with it, any penalty beyond what they received would've been hypocritical in the extreme.


Sour grapes, pour old Luca.

If you had a faster Ferrari you wouldnt be saying this.



Exactly, he is simply trying to deflect the attention away from the, somewhat, uncomfortable truth - yet again the Ferrari is simply not good enough.



If I were Luca I'd also be sad coz, I fired Aldo and now Aldo has made a quicker car than mine ! LOL



As for poor old Massa, am not sure he's the one Luca was referring to when he implied Domenicali needs to take hard decisions

Ferrari feel indebted to Massa after he crashed whilst driving their car back in 2009 so no, Massa is there to stay and a podium will see him clinch a new contract and seeing as Massa goes well at Spa, the new deal may come just in time for Monza.

As for Ferrari's monetary success of their road cars, I guess that doesn't mean much because the company has always had money.

I think Ferrari doesn't care too much about their profit margins to the point of Luca saying he wants to scale back the amount of cars they roll out.

So yes, at Maranello, I think Silverware is valued much more than profits because with Silverware comes respect and ironically more profits.

In other words, F1 titles mean to Ferrari what the BAFTAS mean to actors.


Of course Ferrari is not focused on the money. Why would they be? Are you aware they receive a lions share of the 50% given to the teams by Bernie; irrespective of performance?


The idea that Mercedes were cheating is wrong because they thought they had followed correct procedure in taking part in the PIRELLI test. I mean let's be clear Mercedes gained very little from the test, and any knowledge gained was more to do with the car than the tyres since they did not know what they actually were. Since then the tyres have been changed which because of the heat dissipation are more of an advantage to Mercedes and Red Bull than Lotus and Ferrari. The idea that the test has somehow been labelled secret is ridiculous because nothing of that nature can be so, certainly not for long. It was just a case of Pirelli and Mercedes going about their business in a professional way not wanting to attract unwanted and undesirable attention.


Ferrari get more money than any other F1 team under current arrangements with Bernie in a sweetheart deal because they are 'special'.

It seems Montezemolo wants to be very special indeed and have F1 formulated in a way that suits his team.

If he doesn't stop trashing others, doesn't start to work with the other teams for the common good, and doesn't drop the Great Panjandrum persona trying to use politics to increase performance rather than proper teamwork development, Ferrari will languish in mid-field.

And that would be a great pity.

The time has gone when Ferrari could dominate the FIA and push its own self help agenda that way. Perhaps it is time for Mr M to move on too.


Spot on. Ferrari under LdM has been the team that has undermined the ability of the F1 teams as a collective to get a better deal from Bernie Ecclestone....so I have no sympathy for Ferrari, securing their own F1 commercial advantage, to poach the best drivers and engineers....when many other F1 teams are on the verge on bankruptcy.

Tornillo Amarillo

You say "Nico Hulkenberg is at the top of a short list of possible candidates..." (for Ferrari in 2014).

Sweet, finally it starts the talking about a top drive for HULKENBERG! I felt it was me the only fan of Hulk.


No. I also would love to see him in the Ferrari. Lewis fan.


He is correct. However, coming from the head of Ferrari it comes off a bit odd considering how much people feel Ferrari has bennefitted from the FIA


How can you gain an advantage by testing 2014 tyres when we're now running 2012-compunds? Idiotic.


"Idiotic"? Perhaps one should get their facts correct before all the name calling!


so what're the facts?


Compounds have not been switched to the 2012 spec! Tyre construction has reversed to last year's but compounds have remained 2013 spec - which is significant!


agree with you....


They tested the new DRS, exhaust system, new wheels, etc. it was not only the tyres. They had 3 full days to test anything....nobody was watching, so they could go completed wild. Not an advantage?


Where is the evidence that they tested these new parts? As you say nobody was watching so how do you know?

Actually the evidence would be in the data collected from the test as there would be significant variances in the tyres due to the car changes. I would expect that the FIA looked very closely at this data as part of the investigation. Since nothing was mentioned you have to assume there was nothing unusual highlighted.


And where is the evidence they are not? In F1 teams are pushing rules all the time, so it is certain they tested everything they could. Can you provide real evidence that they did not? Thank you.


It's easy to moan about F1 generally and rival teams in particular, but Ferrari's key problem is that they simply haven't produced a fundamentally competitive car for the past few seasons. I don't see Alonso's slight moan over the Hungarian weekend as meriting the apparent 'dressing down' he recieved from Luca. Much as I respect his achievements at Ferrari and elsewhere in Italian industry, he'd probably do better to focus on his team and less on moaning about others in the media. By their standards, Ferrari have underperformed over the past few years and Luca is as responsible for that as much as any other team member - arguably more so.


I guess I'm not the only one who is numb either LdM's righteous complaint against Mercedes as well as his clear hypocrisy therein. Everyone knows that Ferrari has certainly been a beneficiary of favorable FIA treatment in the past- as many teams have been. It's simply part of the sport to seek favor from the authorities and chastize others who receive it.

What's interesting to me, James, is that in the round of comments from LdM that is getting around in the media, he spoke about Domenicali as Team Principal. LdM was compliementary, but he also said something to the effect that Domenicali needs to "get tougher" with team personnel. Is this an indication that Allison is just the beginning of a raft of personnel changes, and could these extend to Domenicali himself? Ferrari has gone four seasons without a championship under his watch and seem to be worse off than when he got there, so it's probably time to start asking questions about his suitability for the role. (As it is for Whitmarsh at McLaren, I think.)


Please just shut your trap, Luca. Things get worse every time you open it.

The development on this year's car has quite clearly fallen behind the likes of Red Bull, Mercedes and Lotus - leading to poor results.

What to do? Blame the drivers, obviously.


Why doesn't this grouch -Monte start talking when his team is winning- oh ,sorry cause they haven't won in a while!. He's clever enough to rightly point out the arguably inequitable tribunal decisions. But anyone with an an ounce of sense would have predicted a Mercedes win at Monaco even back in March given their quali speed and track layout.

For 3&1/2 years many have asked when will Mercedes sort out their tyres issues and if they didn't do it at their secret test then they would certainly have learned even more from all that lovely data at the YDT from Pirelli- and accumulated from all the teams one would assume- and therein lies the biggest irony IMO!. not to mention the gelling of the Merc new tech line up!.

What Monte should ask himself and his team ( which Im sure he has off the record) why is it the Mercedes situation has not changed Red Bulls or Lotus's relative pace at the front ?? Why is it that slowly Mclaren are inching their way into the top 8??- Is this the real reason for his stress and anguish. Because surely if Mclaren start challenging Ferrari- both he and his management will come under the spotlight !!.

Another great irony is that Ferrari road cars are doing so well in such a difficult global financial situation. Perhaps Mr Di Montizemolo should be running his team like a successful business and not a "family" where we have one hungry younger son taking all the reward from an "underprivileged" no 2. Maybe it's time to bring in a competitive no 2 son and have him push the selfish- greedy No1 son all the way. Maybe both the "father and uncle" can stop running the family business and bring in someone else who does know how it to run it properly. Because running the team the way it has been since the early 90's has long been irrelevant !

The last irony!- the last time the team had a different principal and a fantastic team player driver they won !!- ha ha and HA!


I really think that this is his desperate state and it is more dictated by the fact that others are now stronger both on and off track, something that Ferrari mastered fully in early 2000s.

I do not think that people treat his seriously, I mean media or fans. Yes, he is not happy, yes...he is desperate, but it will not change the fact that Lotus, Mercedes and Red Bull are stronger and will be stronger yet again next year.

I do not believe in Ferrari winning a title anytime soon anymore.


Ferrari's continued extra money from Bernie for competing damages F1 as a credible competition far more than one test for Mercedes does.

The extra money they get because of their "history" could pay for hours in the wind tunnel or extra development that is not afforded to any other teams.


Yeh but there's a limit to spending though.

On the Mercedes test, seems to me there are too many on here downplaying its significance. If that's the case, then you wouldn't mind if Ferrari or Red Bull carried out a similar test?


There may be a limit to spending but do all teams spend the same?

Would the other teams, be grateful for free money? I think we all know the answer to that.


They were given an even better option at the YDT where they would know the tyre compound they were running.

Most teams didn't even take the opportunity to run their top drivers, including Ferrari, who only run Massa. This tells you exactly what Ferrari think could be gained from the Pirelli tyre test, not much, as it was not even worth Alonso's time to run in the car.

Actions speak louder than words.


Mercedes Won in Monaco, nothing surprising. Schumacher put it on pole (before 5 drop penalty) last year with a slower Mercedes.

Mercedes won in Silverstone because Vettel's car failed.

Mercedes won in Hungry, where Vettel was unfortunate in being stuck in traffic, and Hamilton drove superbly.

Ferrari are overreacting.



Whats the alternative, let Redbull runaway with the title, with no one challenging them? That would be great for the spectators Mr Luca di Montezemolo.


Ferrari’s beneficial recompense for being the ‘mainstay of F1’ and its failure to deliver results in spite of this cash kick-back also damages F1’s credibility.

Scuderia McLaren

Here here.


If Mercedes form since the Pirelli test damages F1 credibility then Ferrari's lack of form since the Silverstone tyre damages Ferrari's credibility. Why can Mercedes understand but they cannot?

Montezemolo is just doing his best to stop people asking Ferrari awkward questions during the break.


^^"since the Silverstone tyre test"


This may be slightly OT, but LdM is 66 yrs old and will probably retire within the next 3-4 yrs. He is the architect behind the modern day Ferrari which has turned from a loss making Italian sports car manufacturer of the 70s and 80s, into a global brand today. Does LdM have a successor ready to take over from him when he calls it quits ?


Luca needs to quit bitching about other teams and fix his own team's loss of competitiveness first. Until he does that, none of this whining has any credibility.


This incarnation of Mercedes are amateurs at cheating and damaging F1's credibility next to di Montezemolo. The guy for all his achievements seems to think himself above judgement.



In other news, Ferrari's inability to win despite a virtually

unlimited budget damages Ferrari's credibility.



But there's a cap on spending. Something RBR get around by having two teams?


"But there’s a cap on spending."

No there's not


It's no wonder Ferrari can't solve its problems, if its leaders are so poor at simple logic.


More sour grapes coming from Ferrari and Montezemelo! The fact remains, that the Pirelli tyres were deemed to be too unsafe for F1- as much as it worked in Ferrari's favour. Even so, Redbull and Lotus were still ahead of them in terms of performance on racing day in any case. I think Ferrari are just making excuses for their own inadequacies (bar Alonso) and a poorly designed car


"good faith" with black helmets???? HAHAHAHAH!!!

Scuderia McLaren

It's an interesting phenomena... Old people can become bitter and twisted. In recent years its become apparent that Luca is losing his charisma and aura (for want of a better word) and is starting to present as a repetitive, impotent, bitter person. Ferrari need less yap and more doing. There is so much talk coming out of Maranello at the moment.


What about all the tests Ferrari have done this year, albeit with a 2011 car but who knows if they tested 2013 components and some of those tests were also done with 2013 tyres. There is no way they are not gaining an advantage from those tests. People in glass houses...


This summer break has been filled with Monte's words. LOL

First, complaints about Alonso.

Now, complaints about Mercedes and Pirelli.


A classic case of pot calling kettle black.

I,am sure Mr Montezemolo would like to go back to the Schumacher years when Ferrari were having tyres made especially for them and no one else.


You mean the same tyres that were 1.8s slower than Williams in 1997 and yet Schumacher dragged that Ferrari to the title fight, or the 1998-99 tyres that catapaulted Ferrari a good 1 second+ deficit over Mclarens, and yet Schumacher gave Mika a healthy sweat ? The F2000 that finally took the title had just one problem compared to Mclaren, it was terrible on its tyres. Maybe Bridgestone forgot the Ferrari specs ?

The 2001-2006 era had Renault winning twice, Mclaren and Williams using expanding Michelins in 2003. And Bridgestone placing its bet behind the sole Bridgestone runner that had any chance of winning a race - Ferrari. If tyres were all that mattered, Zsolt Baumgartner and Tiago Monteiro would have been double champs!


Obviously unlimited testing and one tyre manufacture concentrating solely on your personnel requirements adds up to no advantage whatsoever.

Silly me.


The testing rules were same for everyone. Nobody put a brick wall in front of Mclaren,Williams or Renault to stop them from testing. The top 3 teams had two testing groups each, so they all tested endlessly.

Err..Mclaren was on Bridgestones and did pretty well in 1998,1999,2000 and 2001. And FIA changed the tyre regulations in 2005 specifically to cripple Ferrari. So yeah, silly you indeed ..


Of course LDM is bitter, his special "in" with the FIA cultivated over 35 years no longer exists and he is having difficulty dealing with it. In the "good old days" when FIA still had the word FERRARI in it, such a light tap of the Mercedes knuckles for a blatant offence of the Sporting Regulations would have been unheard of- think Mclaren's unheard of fine for "spy-gate".

Basically Cheating versus Industrial Espionage. Which IS worse? The Tribunal obviously thinks Industrial Espionage - something that happens on a daily basis in the "real" world is far worse than cheating.

That being said, other sports - cycling, Olympic disciplines, Cricket etc. think cheating is far worse and sanction individuals many years after the fact,

For the ordinary fan these discrepancies in ethical standards are hard to swallow, especially in light of favourite teams and drivers.

As for FM, he should return to Sauber and NH should try working with FA for a couple of years.

Alexander Supertramp

He is entitled to his opinion, but there is a pattern of entitlement in most of his comments. Whenever things arent't playing in Ferrari's favour, then they are bad for F1. I'm no fan of RB, but those guys show the way it should be done, yet LDM doesn't waste an oppurtunity to remember us that they are just a drinks company and that Ferrari is still the best team. That's the guy's- and for the matter Ferrari's- problem: they live in the past which prevents them to tackle challenges in a progressive manner. They have won nothing since Kimi's WDC, surely the proud Italian team should take at least some blame for that. Oh wait no, it's because "aerodynamics play to big a role in F1 and that's not right". I'm not expecting them to win a championship anytime soon, I believe they lack the ability to be creative with the rules. Same goes for LDM, he is not the all-knowing visionair he thinks he is.

Btw James, you mentioned yet another Ferrari test in a recent article..Anything worth mentioning on the subject?


I'll bet if Ferrari were winning he would not be complaining.

Merc did something wrong, got punished - fairly or unfairly - get over it and get on with it. Absolutely no use pointing the finger.

By the way James, did Merc's/Pirelli's secret test use the same tires they are using now? thanks


I think LDM would be better served looking at why his own team had a much more open test and actually fell behind Merc.

Since 2005 there has been a very worrying problem for Ferrari in that when they fail, they blame everyone but themselves.


Agree. Ferrari had the opportunity use both their drivers during the recent test at Silverstone. But that did not happen. What I don't understand is, if it a team's decision or driver's decision. If they knew they were not doing well, then they should have kept both drivers for the test.

roberto marquez

Italians would not be italians if the envy and gossip was not there. What do you expect of a company that comes from a country where Berlousconni,a famous politician is convicted and now threatens to abandon a coallition,action that would force new elections, if he is not indulted ? It is part of italian charm, the most third world country of the first world.


That Mercedes profited or not from that test can be argued both ways as shown in the above comments.

I would think that any given test will bring a little more understanding of the car to the engineers. But to think that a 1000 km test, even if solely organized to solve a known problem could turn a team around, is far fetch.

The Pirelli test and Mercedes turn of fortunes, seem to me coincidental.

They surely did wrong. A punishment was attributed. That it seems to some to be inadequate is a different topic.

Should Mercedes succeed in winning one or both titles by the season's end, I doubt many will see those titles as diminished.



On this occassion Snr Di Montezemolo is bravely speaking the truth and nothing but the truth.

Looking at the comments above I'd say they are easily divided between HAM/Merc fans who shout down any criticism of the secret, illegal test event, and on the other hand, fair minded observers who find the idea of cheating repugnant, and bad for F1.

Take your pick.

Scuderia McLaren

Hi Phil. I loved your composition "Truman Sleeps". Genius. Very hypnotic and beautiful piano. Difficult to try it.


oh, that's who it is. His management have been sending me his royalties for years, by mistake. Will I now have to pay back all just because of one post on an F1 site??

Scuderia McLaren

YouTube Philip Glass Truman Sleeps.


Anything to draw attention away from the fact that the richest, most-favoured team consistently underperforms despite resources every team bar one could only dream of and the driver generally accepted to be the best of his generation.


All teams should move on from the testgate saga. Mercedes did something wrong, and they were punished by the FIA. Ferrari also has done several 'secret' tests. So why this moaning?

It is up to Ferrari to improve their cars or their drivers, whichever is the problem. Ferrari is yet to identify their underlying problem.

Kimi has said earlier that he has no problem going to any team (including Ferrari) but Ferrari is not the place for Kimi. He will be better off at Lotus if Lotus can sought out their financial issues.

Stefano is a good guy but as Monte has said, he needs to get tough; he needs to show that he is the boss - and it is not the drivers who are running (or ruining) it ...


Misdirection. Not surprising I guess given that Ferrari are going backwards in the championship.


He's trying to make it sound like Mercedes came out of nowhere with these great results. Mercedes had two podium finishes this season before the test and also three pole positions. They were favorites to win Monaco going into the season because of their one-lap pace. They've won 3 of 5 since the secret test but Monaco shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. Call it 2 wins of 4 since the test.

Mercedes have been working hard to understand the tires. They seem to be the only team using an infrared camera to gather real-time telemetry on the tires.

It sounds like sour grapes from Luca.


Casual fans can easily relate to Mercedes' post-testgate change in form. LDM is playing to the masses with his deliberately simplistic assessment. He would (will?) make a good politician.

Thread the Needle

Ferrari do to much talking and not enough action

These last few years its was neweys fault for building a great car, now Mercedes are getting it

No wonder Alonso wants out


"Waaaaah! Mercedes has done a better job of developing their car than we have." -LdM

Reading betweent the lines on this, LdM is calling the intergrity of the FIA into question just as much as he is complaining about Mercedes. The FIA looked into the matter and made its decision based on, ubdoubtedly, more evidence than LdM has. His comments are strictly speculative, and obviously highly biased. By making this statement, whether he realizes it or not, he saying the FIA did not do its job honestly.

The FIA does have history of less-than-fair decisions, but in this case, they tried to be very transparent. I don't believe what LdM is saying has any more credibility than a tabloid story.


I was wondering why no one had pointed out the obvious irony of his claim that the FIA credibility was diminished by the Pirelli/Merc test whilst he was publicly criticising the independent FIA tribunal, classic fail!


More excuses and finger pointing to draw attention from another underwhelming season at Ferrari.


LDM is certainly stirring the pot and i say well done. F1 needs to have people out there that are prepared to say what is on their minds...rightly or wrongly.

to say that mercedes gained nothing from the 'secret' tests is just plain wrong. people seem to ignore the fact that rosberg explained, when questioned, that 'of course i knew what tyres i was testing'. how could i give feed back without this knowledge ?'. of course he never passed any of this data/information to his team???

yes, the tyres were perceived to be the problem but there is a view that the problem was more with the car than the tyres. if this is correct then the 'secret' tests would've been invaluable.

ferrari are ferrari and their outspoken leader has again made his points. good for him. obviously the car is not up to the same level as the other top teams and they will have to live with that. fundamentally luca is correct in his assumptions. his opinion is as valid as anyone elses.


Alonso's not the problem, Massa neither, its the technical structure within Ferrari which fails to produce a fast enough race car and of course the wind tunnel correlation issues don't help either. Mercedes are seriously committed and it shows, personally I am not convinced they will enjoy the sustained F1 success they crave but for sure they are up for it. Ferrari on the other hand are flat all round.

Regarding Massa, whom I admire and repect greatly, I think he will enjoy a decent second half to the season but still leave Ferrari. Just a feeling, which I didn't have last season, maybe there is a bit of fatigue on both sides at this stage.


I have to say personally I though Merc got away lightly (id gave given them a 1 race ban maybe with another suspended) but that was the decision and at least we know 100% they were in the wrong and they accepted the judgement and that they were wrong. So it's time to move on.

Secondly a lot of people are talking about the advantage gained or not gained, even if they gained no advantage they deserved to be punished as they had broken the rules.


You have to read the judgment to understand the punishment. The Tribunal accepted Merc believed they had permission for the test. Indeed most people would assume the statement from the FIA race director and legal department was permission for the test. The provisions associated with the permission were actually related to Pirelli and their obligations. Had Pirelli given the same opportunity to the other teams this test would probably have been judged to be legal. In other word Merc were punished for something Pirelli failed to do. You could argue that Merc should have ensured that Pirelli had complied with the requirements, however there is nothing in the rules that state they are obliged to do so. I think the findings reflects these facts and the punishment was not so much a penalty but more a redress to offset any perceived gain by Merc over the other teams.


Jake your just making things up, read the findings of the tribunal, Merc are found to have been at fault, they were not found blameless they were found to be in breach of regulations and they were found to have been responsible for that breach. The key word is responsible as in their fault, hence they were punished. Pirelli were found guilty too but Merc were found responsible for breaking the rules. Thats it really


Hey Jake I'm afraid your mistaken, if you read the verdict as I have you will see that Merc were found guilty of breaking the rules (article 22.4 h to be exact). The tribunal found that there had been a breach in the rules (James allisons words not mine). The young driver ban and official reprimand were punishments handed out to a guilty party judged guilty by a tribunal, a verdict that was accepted by the guilty party. Pirelli were also reprimanded but merc were punished for there infringement of article 22.4h which had nothing to do with informing other teams. I accept the decision and think you should either accept the actual decision or disagree with it instead of agreeing with a factious decision you made up.


David C,

Here is where I am coming from:

Merc had a document from the FIA stating that provided certain provisions were met then it could be argued that rule 22 did not apply to the tyre test.

The provisions were:

Pirelli should run the test. If you look into the details it is clear Merc did everything possible to make sure it was a Pirelli test.

All teams should be given equal opportunity to take part in the test. The documentation presented along with the findings clearly places the emphasis on Pirelli to ensure this provision is met. They failed to do so.

The result of Pirelli failing to do this and the reason Merc were found in breach, was that the interpretation of rule 22 could no longer apply. That is why they were in breach and why the tribunal accepted Merc believed they were operating within the rules and the reason for the light penalty.


If Mercedes tyre test with Pirelli is the reason Mercedes is winning then Ross Brawn is a real genus for identifying that. LDM should try hard to identify Ferrari's problem rather than blaming others.


C'mon Luca, you conveniently forgotten those years when FIArrari thrived that made F1 so boring.

Well, Ross is a very smart man when FIArrari benefitted, so now it's Merc turn, honestly I don't mind before Red Bull makes it boring.

But you know, Merc has improved alot even before the secret test so the second part of the season MUST be interesting.

Now if Ferrari excel at Spa I would love to hear from Luca, the trouble with these CEOs.....


Ferarri breaking the seal on Massa's gearbox at Austin last year, demoting their own driver five grid slots, putting three other drivers onto the dirty side, damaged F1's credibility in the new commercial market that is the United States.

However, peoples' memories seem to be short, so even if what this Montezemolo fellow was true, wouldn't worry about it.


Let me see if I get this right; A few years we discovered the following regarding Ferrari: (1) They have the power to veto any rules and regulations that they do not like; (2) They are secretly being paid a special bonus for being themselves by Bernie

(3) Bridgestone provided Ferrari with their best built tires, secret codes and a special tire expert; none of these special amenities were available; or are available to any other team. Oh, now I get it Merc and the other teams that are the ones that have been getting the special treatment after all.


Let me see if I get this right; A few years ago we discovered the following regarding Ferrari: (1) They have the power to veto any rule or regulation that they do not like; (2) They are secretly being paid millions as special bonus for being themselves by Bernie

(3) Bridgestone provided Ferrari with their best built tires, secret codes and a special tire expert; none of these special amenities were available; or are available to any other team. Oh, now I get it Merc and the other teams are the ones that have been getting the special treatment after all.


Joe Public on the street just sees that a team got sent to a court hearing, found guilty, and is now winning all of a sudden. It absolutely tarnishes the sport... Cannot be denied. Arguments for an against the test that I read here are both valid, but the less informed punter thinks the grands prix are being won by a cheating team at the moment



we clearly see what a splendid job Jean Todt was doing during his days at Ferrari. Because it was said one of his many duties was keeping di Montezemolo a bit distanced from the daily life of the F1 team and thus also from making rash public statements 🙂


This is classic Ferrari - 'we are not winning so the others must be cheating.' This is traditionally followed by getting something that the winners are doing banned (even though they have been doing it for some time and everyone knew about it). They do not seem to have the same leverage with the FIA that they traditionally enjoyed. They will have to try winning by being better than the competition.


Ferrari should do the talking on track. I advice them to go on family holiday and sort their team out.

Horner, look what you have done! That post race interview on bbc was cunning. What a sly fox you are … ferrari is all over the internet now.

I don't feel sorry for ferrari/Alonso. What goes around comes around. Let's hope they wise up and play their part in a thrilling finale of the 2013 Driver's Championship. I am talking racing here, not political mind games.


whilst the past has some relevance i am more concerned with the present, in particular this '13 season.

pirelli introduce trash tyres and they are a complete disaster. they then say that they want to test tyres for '14 but there are no '14 cars even built!

pirelli then undertake a 'secret' test with mercedes benz accompanied with all the trappings of subterfuge then guess what? mercedes, who have won one race in three years and are notoriously savage on their tyres all of a sudden post numerous pole positions and win three out of five races.

is this purely and simply a coincidence? IMO no. mercedes would have us believe that their win in hungary was a 'miracle' and totally unexpected. of course it wasn't. they must think that we are all stupid, well some are because some believe that coincidence has struck at least three times!

of course LDM is raving. he understands that he has been duped by a complacent and complicit FIA. in his position i would say the exact same. no one likes to be made a monkey. of course those that don't quite understand seem to forget that all teams, apart from those who run mercedes engines, were party to the protest and the subsequent actions. there is no quick resolution to the opposing arguments, however, anyone, IMO, who thinks that mercedes benz have lucked in simply underestimate the machiavellian undercurrents that are always lurking just under the surface of F1.


What a sore old loser Montezemolo is. He should look at themselves maybe he think only with cheatiing you can be successfull.

Go retire Luca!


At the mid time of the Testgate saga it came out Ferrari had tested their 2011 car, which they said was legal because it was 2 years old and any data would be useless. This week they are testing the 2011 car again. The test is to find out how it relates to their wind tunnel and hoping to then see how their 2013 car is missing out. So this time (ha ha) the data will be useful, meaning Ferrari use whatever they can to gain an advantage, but complain when others do the same or better than them.

All through the 70's they did naughty things, in the Shumacher era they were on and abound the mark all the time.........


Alonso is not part of the team, he is the team. Once Luca realizes that maybe the shop could be brought to order. As it is Ferrari with Luca( on the helm) reminds me of that Italian Captain who crashed Concordia into the island and then claiming that people who lost their lives were not victims of his incompetence, but the failure of some pumps ,was to be blamed, which didn't have a capacity to extract sea water from a capsizing ship. The mirror would be the right to thing to be given to him and best cure for Montezemolo. Just keep(walking) blaming everyone else, that helps a lot.


about 19 different things going on here. Overall, for me, LDM is correct re double standard on technical testing. Mercedes had an information advantage and have been pushing ever since, with results. However I think it came down to interpretation of the rule itslef re in season testing for tyres -welcome to Formula One. The real issue here is the mis management of Ferrari by LDM and his people. He is trying to spin it and move focus away from internal issues, which he has overall say. How has Massa managed to stay around? Why the soft decision making from Domenacali? Why was he hired in the first place? A LDM puppet? Take these things with the complete stuff up in Dubai a couple years back and the conclusion is poor management and use of resource. Alonso is obviously over it. In season testing is good, but it just shows that Ferrari like their odds only when they outspend everyone. Their performance drops right off when they do not have abilty to change things up (which costs money)Making a decision and staying with for a while and seeing the results is not what these guys are all about. Weak. I feel for Alonso.


Look at Fangio and his 5 World Champion driver tittles that stood for so long as ultimate number. Why is that ? Check for how many different stables Maestro was driving. And it was always the best stable at a given time. I am a Ferrari supporter but Alonso must move on, much the same what Lewis did. In the mean time let Luca's brain power deliver something instead of only slapping on the wrists the only asset that SF got. Go Alonso, go !!!

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