Angry rivals convinced illegal Barcelona test helped Mercedes find winning pace

Nico Rosberg and Mercedes during celebrations after the British GP

Nico Rosberg and Mercedes during celebrations after the British GP

In the wake of their triumph at Silverstone, Mercedes’ rival Formula 1 teams  are drawing a direct link between the illegal Barcelona tyre test in May, and the German squad’s new acquired winning form in 2013.

Christian Horner, the boss of the Red Bull team who was highly critical of Mercedes’ involvement in the ‘test-gate’ scandal, said the Brackley based team must now be considered a “serious rival” for the title alongside Ferrari and Lotus.

Indeed, while Mercedes already had a grip on pole position, Nico Rosberg has won two of the three grands prix since that highly controversial 1000km tyre test in Barcelona.

“Others need to judge,” Horner, when asked if there is a direct link between Mercedes’ new form and ‘test-gate’, was quoted as saying by Speed Week.

“I’ll just ask: how many races in 2013 did they win before the test?” he added, knowing that the answer is zero.

Formula One World Championship, Rd8, British Grand Prix, Race Day, Silverstone, England, Sunday 30 June 2013.Red Bull designer Adrian Newey added: “Mercedes have been clearly better with the tyres since the tyre test in Barcelona.”

“Draw your own conclusions,” the Briton told Auto Motor und Sport.

Lotus’ Eric Boullier has a similar view, “That Mercedes won two of the three races after the test is a fact. So the conclusion is easy.”

Not surprisingly, Mercedes director Toto Wolff doesn’t agree, and in fact he argues that the team’s progress was even hampered by the scandal.

“We were very busy the last couple of weeks getting prepared for the international tribunal,” he told Formula 1’s official website. “A lot of grey cells that normally concentrate on making the car better were working on the (court) documentation.”

Nico Rosberg celebrates his second win of the season at Silverstone

Nico Rosberg celebrates his second win of the season at Silverstone

Team boss Ross Brawn, however, insists he isn’t bothered about what his rivals say, “It shows they take us seriously now.”

Chairman Niki Lauda agrees: “If the others are still upset about it, I’m pleased, because it means they are distracted.”

And Auto Motor und Sport claims Mercedes should continue to make progress, with the team’s budget set to increase from EUR 145 to 190 million.

“Now we are improving by at least a tenth every race,” said Lauda, “whereas in the past years we always went backwards in the second half of the season.” (GMM)

Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • anonops

    told you..the gain something from the secret test..the most desparate team in f1..mercedes suckss..

  • Richard Piers

    Have made exactly these points on various sites since the tests became public. F1 is a manipulated, fiddled and unethical pantomime at present.
    Get rid of the ringmeister, get some proper authority, cut the yack and lets get back to some decent racing.
    On a personal basis I should also like to see really significant restrictions on aerodynamics that are now totally irrelevant to any other activity, cost a huge proportion of the F1 budgets and are a safety issue frequently spoiling the racing.

  • Spartacus

    Before the tyre test Mercedes were quick. They just didn’t have good tyre management, but then most teams were still learning about the tyres.

    Now everybody had learnt how to run the tyres. Red Bull turned back from going for the pole to a race strategy. Ferrari always went for race strategy because they don’t have the quickest drivers. McLaren are still lost at sea.

    The reality is that Mercedes has everything in place before the tyre test and were making progress to the front already. The test, with unknown tyres, would have limited help.

  • Lol

    Spartacus is one of those naive people who thinks a 1000kms tyre test will not help you in tyre management/performance.

    I mean, lol is all one can say at that.

    Or he is just a Hamilton fanboy clutching for straws to hide the fact his team are chaters.

  • =El Presidente=

    @ spartacus : i would have to agree with that.
    Horner (RedBull) are masters of the media. And they keep firing away at MB. Without looking at their own past/present at this moment.
    (also Lotus who drove with illegal suspension.. but you hear nothing about that)

    I said it before, and I’ll say it again : every team borderlines on the subject of rules, and infringements are more daily routine then exception.

  • Jurik

    Mercedes should have stopped all development to the car, because “they did a test” … the thing is that from austrialia till spain they were gradually finding the problems but suddenly after 3 weeks from a test they can find all the problems

  • Reality

    @Jurick… this is not necessarily true, everyone is conveniently forgetting that Lewis Hamilton had an exploding tyre, that is not a solved problem,

    @Sparticus has portrayed the most reasonable sense so far, all teams are doing better, even Red Bull all of a sudden improved on their tyre management.

    I had great respect for Christian Horner but this year he is prancing round like a spoilt brat when things are not going all his way. That is a great shame as he had built a great reputation which I believe is now being eroded, sadly.

    I am actually fed up with the Merc test debacle, its over, finished, and if Pirelli had delivered reliable tyres in the first place, this weekend and the Merc test would not have been all about damn tyres, i want racing… not to just read about tyre issues in every article…

  • Ploops

    Mercedes won Monaco based on qualifying which they were already awesome at. Then they got Paddy Lowe with a whole lot of info about how McLaren manage their tires. Now they are doing better.

  • hillside

    like i said, a 10 race ban or Mercs will run away with all the points. to pay a penalty is easy but the knowledge they gain during that testing is something they cant give back

  • Clive

    So long as Redbull are not winning, they are making F1 boring to watch…

  • Don

    Yes this is F1 in all of it’s splender, pushing all the limits on and off track, no need to pout or dreams of fair play here, at some point in all the top teams history they have cheated or as it’s more commonly stated “exploited a loophole”. So if you really want to know about you team, type in the team name and history of that team on your PC and click enter and wah la! nuf said

  • Hawk

    how many races did RB and Macca win before June 2009? does Horner mean Merc should never win races after a certain date? crap. bad loser.

  • Mercedes Unethical now doubt about it

    Mercedes cheated and the FIA and Charlie Whiting assisted them. Me thinks Mercedes went to the FIA and arranged all of this on the threat they would pull out of F1 other wise.

    Bernie has already let the cat out of the bag when admitted the penalty was already known before the hearing was conducted. Hell the truth is the penalty was known when the FIA wink wink and Mercedes made the deal to do the 1000 KM test.

    Mercedes is an unethical company and they are the worst kind of cheaters. The FIA needs to be replaced as well as they assisted Mercedes with this illegal test at the expense of the other teams.

    I hope the new Mercedes V6 is the worst engine in F1 next year.

  • grat

    I hope all of you will shut up about this after July 19th, yes?

    The level of inarticulate insanity regarding a test that couldn’t have possibly helped Mercedes to the level implied is getting ridiculous.

    Apparently, after their tire test (that they had permission for, or believed they did), in less than 10 days, they fixed a problem they’d been having for 15 months, without making any changes to the car.

    Never mind the fact that Monaco isn’t a tire beating track, and neither is Canada, or that the pundits figured Mercedes would win Monaco BEFORE they knew about the super-sekret tire test.

    Mercedes has been improving steadily all season, and only someone who hasn’t been paying attention would be surprised by their performance.

  • Tornillo Amarillo

    It’s ridiculous to conclude Mercedes is improving because the 1000Km test. They have made everything after 3 years to solve the problem, changed engineers, managers and got expensive top drivers, let’s just say last year they did well in Monaco and not too bad in Silverstone either, this thinking about the test just show Red Bull and Lotus need to learn also how to loose on track…

    Somebody please can explain why Toro Rosso has dramatically improved? And also Force India?

    The talk about Mercedes improving is just political, blah, blah.

  • Tornillo Amarillo

    * how to LOSE on track…

  • Creepy Neighbour

    The Pix of the Wolf and his Cheating partner make me cringe!!!!!

  • Des

    Food for thought. Note the common denominators 1) Spygate and Tyregate = Lewis Hamilton.
    2) Double difuser now banned and tyregate = Ross Brawn. I think

  • Mercedes Needs to go

    Mercedes used the threat of pulling of Formula One to get away with doing the illegal test.

    Fact 1: Pirelli and Mercedes exchanged information from the test as it was discovered and admitted to in the hearing.

    Fact 2: Mercedes, Pirelli and the FIA went to great lengths to hide this illegal test from everyone. Plain helmets, putting covers over the entrances to the track ect.

    Fact 3: Before the test Mercedes could get a set of rear tires to live but after the test the Mercedes no longer eats up the rear tires.

    Fact 4: Charlie Whiting and Ross Brawn have done this kind of crap in the past with Charlie Whiting always siding with Ross Brawn.

    Fact 5: Hamilton sent out a fake tweet saying he was in Orlando, Florida when he was in fact in Spain testing undercover.

    Mercedes has brought nothing but shame upon themselves, Formula One and motorsports in general.

    The FIA has also brought shame upon Formula One and motorsports in general.

    Charlie Whiting has once again brought shame upon the FIA and Formula One and needs to be replaced post hast.

  • john brink

    The punishment should have been worse. ‘If’ as they say they were too busy with the Tribunal, they had obviously sorted all the problems beforehand. Bunch of cheats!!!!. I hope that all of the other teams gain a whack of time at the test, just to show what can be gained by ‘track time’. Mercedes are now very happy with the tyres that will be coming up as these are probably the ones that they tested with – cheats!!!

  • danny

    FIA are the cheaters, but no one rules their action because they are the top rullers in automotive sports so they do as they want, no one has the technical uphand over Red Bull, they are simply the best. I´m a Ferrari fan and i know that for many years FIA was Ferrari International Assistance because of good busines, now people are tired of red bull because they are the best, they have no history and they have no production cars. Mercedes its big business, they sell engines to 3 teams, they have big history (not in f1), they have alot of money and they sell alot of production cars, its big busines.

  • Robb

    Hey, do any of you guys want some cheese with that whine?

  • Tesla

    This is getting ridiculous. Horner is not mentioning that MB were like two buses at Monaco. Vettel just couldn’t get past them.
    Everyone knew they had a quick car and would most likely be on pole. Vettal was en route to win Silverstone before his trans failure and Webber was catching Rosberg. He only needed 1-2 laps to get past him.
    Another thing everyone is forgetting is that we had two 3-week breaks which gave MB a lot of time to figure out this one and only issue they have. They have spent more money on this car and have had more new engineers and more new updates than any other team.

    Now this clown Horner wants us to believe that MB turned into the best car while testing 2014 rubber. Didn’t Pirelli withhold all data from that 1000km? By the way, 1000km is less than what most teams do during free practice on current tires.

    Let me get this straight 10,000 km + during all free practice sessions this year did nothing, but the 1000 km secret test was the key to their 2 victories?

    Everyone should just stop the nonsense. Give every team 1000km on 2014 rubber with their race drivers and let Pirelli withhold all data. Is that fair enough or are we going to have more crybabies?

  • Stoner

    Well said mate
    This should shut these whiny bitchse

  • But Pirelli shared the data with Mercedes

    You fail to state that Pirelli did in fact share the data with Mercedes and Mercedes even admitted it in the hearing.

    Are you trying to tell everyone that Mercedes in the three week breaks was able to cure their car?

    Funny that for three and a half years they had no clue how to cure it, then they have this test with Pirelli and all of the sudden they no longer have rear tire issues.

    Oh and it has been reported that Mercedes did use a new transaxle with new suspension geometries so yes Mercedes learned everything that cured their problem from that illegal test with Pirelli.

    Mercedes is an unethical company.

  • Tesla

    So you are completely ignoring the 3+ years that they have been working on this and the huge engineering reshuffle and all the resources. According to your logic all of that was useless and the true solution came from one 1000km test on 2014 rubber.

    That makes perfect sense now. Thanks for clarifying.

  • Jack

    @Pirelli shared the data …..
    You are quick to share your facts, but have no proof!

  • KC

    It’s just an amazing coincidence that immediately after the illegal secret test, Mercedes started winning.

    Sure it is.

  • Bye bye

    Between the cheating & the Sky deal, F1 can F off.