Test-gate haunts Mercedes as they find strong race pace

Mercedes were dominant throughout the British GP weekend

Mercedes were dominant throughout the British GP weekend

As Mercedes show marked improvement in their race pace and speeds ahead in Formula 1 with a dominant showing at Silverstone, tempers remain frayed and fingers are still pointing in the wake of the ‘test-gate’ scandal.

Many in the paddock believe that Mercedes’ dramatic turnaround – two wins in three races – since its secret Pirelli test is because of the unfair advantage gained by Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton over those 1000 highly controversial kilometres.

Asked if he still would have won at Silverstone if not for the Barcelona test, a defiant German Rosberg said on Sunday: “For sure. Definitely.”

Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali, however, is not so sure.

“We have nothing to say,” he is quoted by Spain’s AS newspaper. “We avoid controversy and stay calm.”

Mercedes chairman Niki Lauda, however, blasted the paddock insinuations.

“I cannot [bear] this nonsense. Everything was finished with the [tribunal] ruling. So we are concentrating on racing,” said the Austrian legend.

Relations between Mercedes and Red Bull, who along with Ferrari filed the original protest and have been highly vocal about the Barcelona test, are particularly fraught.

Mercedes director Toto Wolff is believed to have made some crass comments about the Red Bull company in the German press last week.

He justified his counterpunch by insisting to Tagesspiegel that “there is a limit and Red Bull exceeded it”, and admitting that his comments might have “made Dietrich Mateschitz spit out his cereal”.

“Eloquent. Very eloquent,” Red Bull’s Helmut Marko hit back. According to Kleine Zeitung, Marko has vowed only to deal with Lauda in the future.

“At least [Lauda] is a man of character,” said Marko. (GMM.)

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  • Jurik

    yes, mercedes should have shown the same lack of pace, no updates possible because they did a test.. *facepalm*

  • jestaudio

    And Marko knows exactly what class is all about………….not.
    The only thing Marko knows about is how to run webber down while brown nosing vettel

  • DAU

    2013 will continue to haunt Mercedes. If they do win the championship, it will be tainted by their actions. Looks like Brawn continues to deal with controversies at which ever team he is in.

  • Spartacus

    Mercedes would have still had to have parts in development and other improvements for the car. These would have been planned and are now being brought to the cars.

    If the test helped them then it really was for their drivers. But even then with different tyres the cars would have felt different too. So that help would have been limited, or perhaps even in the wrong direction too.

    Plus, testing you won’t be driving as hard as you would during a race.

    The current performance from Mercedes is because of hard work by Mercedes designers and engineers, not a Pirelli tyre test.

  • =El Presidente=

    Mercedes will have a very very harsh penalty in the end, with Horner and Dominicali now pushing to change the Young driver test (YDT) into a normal test.

    The question is, if they change the YDT to a normal test, if Mercedes’ exclusion is still in power. Because officially it is not the YDT anymore that they were excluded from.

    I hope they just turn back to 2012 rubber, or leave it as it is. There are no more tracks where such loads will be put through the tyres, i think. so no more risk.

  • Mercedes Forever known as cheaters

    Mercedes got a huge advantage from that illegal 1000 KM test they did. It was confirmed in the hearing that they did indeed receive the test data from Pirelli.

    Fact: Mercedes was using up the rear tires on their car before the illegal 1000 KM test.

    Fact: After the illegal 1000 KM test Mercedes no longer uses up the rear tires on their car.

    It was also reported that Mercedes tested a new transaxle during that test with changed suspension geometry.

    Only a completely blind fool would think Mercedes gained nothing from that test. Now the other teams have been put in a handicap because of Mercedes cheating.

    Mercedes cheating has sullied the championships this year. The only reason Mercedes got away with it is because they threatened to pull out of Formula One. This is a perfect reason why you do not want manufactures involved in Formula One. I say good riddance to Mercedes and their cheating ways.

    As far as I am concerned the sooner Mercedes pulls out of Formula One the better. Mercedes Reputation will always be sullied now because of Ross Brawn, Toto Wolff and Niki Lauda.

  • Lol.

    You give a lot of weight to your own opinion. Why do you think we care?

  • Robert B.

    If you believe that factory teams should pull out of F1 then Ferrari should too. Fact did Mercedes conduct a tire test with Pirelli yes, they did and they were going to bring a modified tire to the silverstone race which was denied by the field as having a unfair advantage. It has come to our attention that Ferarri has conducted not one but two tire tests, and while they may have used a 2011 car don’t you think that aren’t Ferrari smart enough to change the suspension to a pull rod type, and also the fact that Massa participated in the test as well. You are all sore because you think that Mercedes are gaining an unfair advantage, do you realize that’s what most teams do is tweak the cars in the grey area and argue the rules later? Have we forgotten about flexi front wings on red bulls, or ferraris secret test veto?

  • Mercedes fan boys have their panties in a wad

    Mercedes is a cheater end of story.

  • Don

    Well that’s consistency is’nt it, some believe it’s okay when the team they support recieves an unfair advantage that benefits the team then cry foul when a competitor gets the same, Give as good as you recieve and you can accept the high and lows of competition.

  • Yeah Right

    No matter how much the Mercedes (read fanatic Hamilton) fans try to defend this, they cheated. They are cheats. They are seen as cheats. Whatever they do since the test is seen as a result of cheating.

    They just got lucky it could not be proven that they cheated intentionally (like people at Mercedes are too stupid to know if they are cheating).

    Lauda can say all he wants it ended with their little punishment but fans all over the world see them as cheats, so no it has not ended.

  • jeff

    Unfair advantage. How can so many be so naive. For Heaven sake look at the results. The proof is in the pudding. They should have been excluded from The WCC.

  • Don

    Amazing! Ferrari completes two tests with no agreement from the FIA, no info on what they did, Redbull had four or five separate issues with rules last season alone, that’s in one season, no penalties or disqualification. I guess Merc recieved same judgement as Ferrari and Redbull have gotten. So accept it and move on or don’t and whine like it matters to who ever wins the championship.

  • Jack

    I think its all a bit of a stretch, I remember Monaco… they were in total tyre saving mode all race, Vettel’s fastest lap proves that

  • Psych4191

    Nico’s been the fastest driver all year. There’s no denying that. Monaco was his the whole way through. Not because of some test, but because it’s Monaco.

    Silverstone he caught lady luck and had Vettel and Hamilton but bow out of the top spot.