Ferrari mocks Merc punishment
TEAMS AT LOGGERHEADS: Ferrari'S Fernando Alsonso ahead of Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton at the 2013 Canadian F1 GP. In the background, a row over tyre-testing eventually ruled against Mercedes. Image: AFP
Author: ALAN BALDWIN
LONDON, England - Ferrari has mocked the outcome of Formula 1's international 'tyre test' tribunal with a website column suggesting Mercedes got away with no more than a gentle rap on the knuckles for breaking the rules.
Mercedes was reprimanded and ordered to miss a three-day young-driver test in July 2013 after the tribunal found the team had illegally tested for Pirelli with its current (2013) car in Spain in May 2013.
Read the 'Horse Whisperer' column
In its defence at Thursday's hearing Mercedes had highlighted the treatment given to Ferrari which had tested a month earlier with Pirelli but avoided any charges because they had used a 2011 car.
Ferrari's response was an acerbic 'Horse Whisperer' column published on its official website (www.ferrari.com) decrying the punishment.
"Today we learned that even if one is guilty, and in this case that is an indisputable and verified fact, there is always a way of muddling through as best one can," the writer said in the column headed "Crime and Punishment (but make it a light one)".
"One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be and, even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles?"
Paul Harris, the lawyer representing Mercedes at the Paris hearing, had suggested in his summing up to tribunal president Edwin Glasgow that missing the young-driver test could be a suitable way of redressing any injustice.
"It is somewhat perplexing, to say the least, to see that the guilty party can get away virtually scot free for having derived "an unfair sporting advantage," commented the anonymous Ferrari columnist.
"What if this whole incident had taken place after the young-driver test? What would have been the penalty then? Would the team have been forbidden from holding an end-of-year dinner?"