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Mercedes penalty lenient says Horner

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner was unhappy following the FIA tribunal case regarding Mercedes and Pirelli.

Both Red Bull and Ferrari put in appeals against Mercedes at the Monaco Grand Prix, after the discovered that Mercedes and Pirelli had run a 'secret' tyre test.

And while Horner might concur with Mercedes that they will miss out following their ban from the young drivers test at Silverstone next month, the Formula One World Champions boss believes that the benefits of running the illegal test at Barcelona in May was of much bigger benefit.

Mercedes and Pirelli ran a tyre test at Barcelona in May, immediately following the Spanish Grand Prix.

Pirelli ran the test, with Mercedes drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton completely unaware what tyres they were running during the 1,000km three day session.

Some tyre compounds were 2013 spec, some were development rubber, whilst some was with next seasons 2014 World Championship in mind, not that Pirelli even have a contract for next season yet.

The problem for Mercedes came when they used a 2013 car to complete the test, in-season testing is banned in Formula One and in doing this, they broke the rules and were subsequently given a test ban by the FIA.

While Mercedes have been quick to highlight what they will not miss out on by missing that test, Red Bull boss Horner believes that they aimed far more from the illegal test that they will miss out on from the young driver test.

To that end, Horner doesn't believe that the punishment handed down from the FIA tribunal to Mercedes was fitting to the 'crime'.

'The verdict was, I believe, right. They found them guilty of breaking the sporting regulations and sporting code. What is slightly confusing is the leniency of the penalty.' Horner told the BBC.

'The problem with the penalty such as the one Mercedes have been given is that it is not a particularly strong deterrent to break the sporting regulations.'

'Yes, it's probably annoying for them to miss it, but it pales into insignificance compared to the benefit you would see from running your race drivers around a race track for 1,000 kilometres on a circuit that has been rubbered in two days after a grand prix weekend.

'You don't test with young drivers over the winter for a reason. You have a limited amount of test mileage with your cars and you choose to put your race drivers in because they give you the most relevant feedback.'

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The Journalist

Writer: Red5 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday June 27 2013

Time: 10:00AM


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