June 24, 2013
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The long-running “testgate” saga has finally come to a close, with the Mercedes team being banned from this year’s Young Driver Test.
It comes as punishment for completing 1000km of in-season testing with Pirelli while using their 2013 car, which is against current sporting regulations.
The FIA noted in their tribunal today that Mercedes had “misconceived” what the team saw as approval from Charlie Whiting to complete the test, as it did not exempt them from the current restriction on using current season cars during testing.
It should also be mentioned that the legal costs of hosting the tribunal are to be shared between Mercedes, the FIA and Pirelli.
The biggest loser from this decision will be Sam Bird, Mercedes’ third driver, who will lose out on three days of potential Formula 1 driving experience before he attempts to break into the sport next year.