Pirelli did nothing wrong, says Ecclestone
14 June 2013 – Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has spoken out over the post-Spanish Grand Prix test controversy involving Mercedes and sole tyre supplier Pirelli, leaping to the defence of the Italian company and arguing that the Silver Arrows could have turned down the opportunity to avoid any risk of breaking the regulations.
Following a dismal race performance at the Circuit de Catalunya back in May, it soon surfaced that Mercedes, having been asked to do so by Pirelli, stayed on for a private 1,000km test with prototype 2014 tyres. Red Bull and Ferrari protested at the Monaco Grand Prix, before responsibility was handed over to governing body the FIA.
After evaluating the options available, the FIA called for the situation to be handled by the International Tribunal, which has the power to impose a wide range of penalties.
"Wait until the tribunal, they’ve got the facts," Ecclestone told journalist Adam Cooper. "If you offer me stolen goods, it’s up to me to decide whether I want to accept them or not. It’s not up to anyone to tell me what I should do. I should know what I should do.
"Pirelli were doing the right thing. They couldn’t get out of a tyre problem, if there had been proper testing, which there should be, they wouldn’t be in this problem. It’s only because there’s no proper testing that they’re in this problem. As people have been complaining, the obvious thing to do was to get out of it by testing. And they asked."
When asked if he felt Pirelli had acted wrongly, Ecclestone stated clearly: "Not at all."
The International Tribunal gets underway in Paris at 9.30am local time on 20 June.