For the background to this latest column see Footnote:
"Officially, Ferrari has never been in the habit of commenting on verdicts
However, as you all know, the Horse Whisperer is a free spirit who sums up the mood of millions of fans, especially when certain incidents get him worked up.
Have you ever faced accusations in a tribunal? It’s never happened to the Whisperer thank goodness, but it can’t be pleasant. But today we learned, that even if one is guilty and in this case that is an indisputable and verified fact, there is always a way of muddling through as best one can. One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be and even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles.
It is somewhat perplexing to say the least to see that the guilty party can get away virtually scot free for having derived “an unfair sporting advantage.”
Don’t tell me that testing for three days on your own at the Catalunya circuit is the same as doing so with nine other teams at Silverstone with a host of young hopefuls at the wheel, in an area where the weather can still be changeable even in the height of summer. And what if this whole incident had taken place after the young drier test, what would have been the penalty then? Would they have been forbidden from holding an end of year dinner?
In one sense then, it’s a bit like when a ghost goal is scored against you and isn’t disallowed and then your opponents are incorrectly awarded a penalty, which has no effect on the result, incidents which both the English and the Germans ought to remember well, don’t you think? It’s not something that can be remedied with a penalty in the next game…
The way things are going in Formula 1 at the moment is becoming boring: you make a mistake, you race with an illegal component, but then you are told to just change it for the next race and we’ve seen what we’ve seen… All this reminds the Whisperer that if he ever finds himself running a Formula 1 team in the near future and that he gets off to a difficult start to the season, then all it needs is to organise a nice week of testing at the right moment and then maybe have to skip a later session, by which time, everything could be done and dusted. What do you reckon?
PS: Oh, and to those who jabber on about transparency and credibility, the Whisperer would remind them that the rules are very clear: you cannot test with a car from the current year. With those that are at least two years old [Marc Gene drove an F10 somewhere.], you can run when you like, where you like, with any driver you like, dressed how you like, inviting who you like."
The ruling of the FIA Tribunal was that Mercedes did gain an "unfair sporting advantage" when 2013 Formula 1 and car in the secret Pirelli test at Barcelona following the Spanish GP
The explanation of the Tribunal was that Mercedes and Pirelli had both acted in good faith in regards to the test, but the fact is that the regulations were broken. Both Mercedes and Pirelli were given a reprimand and the Mercedes team were also banned from taking part in July's young driver test at Silverstone.
Luca di Montezemolo said earlier this month that "he has faith that Mercedes and Pirelli will be appropriately "prosecuted" by the FIA International Tribunal".
Mercedes claims that if it is found guilty of breaching Formula 1 testing rules by running its 2013 car at Barcelona, then Ferrari should also be sanctioned for its Pirelli tyre test earlier this year.
Red Bull boss Horner declined to criticise the FIA verdict on Mercedes.
and endlessly onwards....
Red Bull's Sebastian Vetttel has been moaning about the Pirelli tyres being too extreme and says it's not just him either.