'Ban from rookie test sucks' – Hamilton
26 June 2013 – Lewis Hamilton says it "sucks" that Mercedes will not be able to take part in the upcoming Young Driver Test at Silverstone, with the Brackley-based team having planned to trial a variety of upgrades over the course of the three-day gathering.
Following its defence at the International Tribunal (IT) last week, for completing a private tyre test at the Circuit de Catalunya after the Spanish Grand Prix, Mercedes was reprimanded and banned from the outing, being staged between July 17-19.
Although rival teams were quick to question the severity of the punishment handed out to Mercedes, Hamilton says the ban will have a noticeable impact on its plans.
"That does suck a little bit because that test is quite an important test for the year; it's the only test really," the 2008 World Champion explained during a visit to the Mercedes factory on Tuesday. "It's important because we had a lot planned, upgrades and stuff, that we were hoping to test on those three days.
"It was also vital for the drivers who are in the simulator to test the tyres, to know where they are and come back in and get feedback so they continue working on developments and improving the simulator. It definitely puts us back a bit, but we're going to have to try and figure out a way to recover it."
Hamilton added that he tried to distance himself from the June 21 hearing, describing the ultimate result – issued on the following day – as a relief to the entire workforce.
"I was trying not to put any energy towards it," said the former Silverstone winner. "When I saw the team at the weekend it was a relief for everyone. Everyone was relieved that they could get on and focus on the next race. I'm happy as well.
"The team have been doing a great job. We've got into a good position, so if we can get into an even better one that would be fantastic. The team have been working so hard to get the results we've had, so a negative result [at the IT] was not needed."