There has been controversy in the Monaco paddock as it was revealed that Mercedes and Pirelli completed 1,000km of private testing last week in Spain.
Red Bull team principal Christian Horner has asked for clarification on the situation after finding out about the test ‘second hand’. Pirelli meanwhile have said their contract stipulates that they can do 1,000km private tests with a ‘representative’ car.
“What’s disappointing is it has been done in not a transparent manner that a three-day test has taken place with a current car running on tyres that are going to be used at the next grand prix,” an unhappy Horner told Reuters.
F1 testing is banned during the season so Horner is understandably unhappy at the potential advantage the rival team may have gained. “Irrespective of what you call it, that’s testing.”
Pirelli motorsport head Paul Hembery defended the testing “We’ve done it before with another team and we’ve asked another team to do some work as well,”
Despite gaining pole position for the last 3 races Mercedes have struggled with tyre wear over a long distance. Asked if the team could have gained any competitive advantage Hembery told reporters “Absolutly not“.
Horner added “Well, they’ve both cars on the front row of the grid so it’s not hurt,”
“There is confusion between what is contractually permissible, and what a team is allowed to do in the sporting regs, it’s a situation we need clarification on, and our position is we are going to request that clarification.”