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Mercedes Tribunal: Robust defence

Northamptonshire-based F1 team Mercedes have mounted a robust defence of their controversial tyre test.

The team's lawyer cited similar tests conducted by Pirelli with Lotus and Ferrari in recent years, in which the F1 teams also had access to car data.

Ferrari were initially asked to respond to an FIA request for information relating to today's hearing over the tyre test they conducted with Pirelli earlier this year but as they used a 2011 car and test driver Pedro de la Rosa they were not summoned to appear before the tribunal.

However, Paul Harris, for Mercedes, hinted at dissatisfaction at that decision by saying he did "not accept that [by] Ferrari running a 2011 car, that that car does not confirm substantially to the 2012 or 2013 regs".

He added: "The changes between 2011 and 2013 cars are minuscule."

Mercedes tribunal: Pirelli in charge of test

Paul Harris QC, representing Mercedes, rejected the FIA's stance by insisting it was "irrefutable" that Pirelli controlled the running of the car and the driver for the duration of the test.

Pirelli did it all. They were in charge of it all and it's obvious why - it was a Pirelli test.This was not a test undertaken by Mercedes. They are critical words in the text of Article 22 - 'undertaken by'.

– Paul Harris QC

Harris said Mercedes' access to telemetry was purely to ensure the safety of the car and driver while on track, and cited similar tests conducted by Pirelli with Lotus and Ferrari in recent years, in which the F1 teams also had access to car data.

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Mercedes Tribunal: Team benefited from tyre test

Brackley-based Mercedes are appearing at a tribunal over a controversial tyre test.

The team insist that they gained no benefit from the Pirelli test as the data was for the sole consumption of the tyre manufacturer.

Mark Howard QC, for the FIA, said telemetry data was transmitted back to Mercedes engineers and that they could not help but benefit.

"Running the car for three days at least informed Mercedes that they did not need to change the cars. That in itself would be valuable information.It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that some defect would have become apparent in the three days track testing, and it cannot seriously be suggested that Mercedes would not seek to remedy that defect.We would suggest that it is difficult to say Mercedes obtained no benefit from the test.

– Mark Howard QC

FIA hearing into Mercedes tyre test underway

Hamilton driving his Mercedes Credit: PA

The FIA's hearing into last month's contentious Mercedes and Pirelli tyre test got under way in Paris this morning.

The Brackley-based F1 outfit are appearing at the tribunal after they appeared to contravene the FIA's ban on in-season testing by their current car and regular drivers in a three-day, 1,000-kilometre test held in conjunction with Pirelli in May.

Team principal Ross Brawn was a witness for the Mercedes delegation, with Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery appearing for the Italian tyre manufacturer.

Legal representatives of Ferrari, McLaren and Williams were also in attendance, as was Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

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Mercedes launch new F1 car

Mercedes launch new F1 car
Mercedes launch new F1 car Credit: Mercedes AMG Petronas

Mercedes have launched their new formula one car at Jerez in Spain. It's the last of the three fomula one teams based in our region to reveal its new car. The Mercedes will be driven by Lewis Hamilton this season after he signed from McLaren.

Mercedes, based at Brackley, in Northamptonshire, had a disappointing season last year despite scoring their first win with Nico Rosberg, who will partnering Hamilton this season.

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