'Missing Silverstone test a big hit' – Wolff
2 July 2013 – Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has described his team's ban from the upcoming Young Driver test at Silverstone as "a big hit" heading into the second half of the season.
Having been found guilty of breaching the regulations by using 2013 machinery at a post-Spanish GP test with Pirelli, Mercedes was prohibited from taking part in the rookie outing, which has since been modified to aid the tyre supplier with its issues.
Although Mercedes fully accepts the punishment issued at the International Tribunal, Executive Director Wolff believes the German marque will lose out heavily to its rivals.
"We have been given a penalty and we accept it. Three days not testing - yes it is with rookie drivers, agreed, and this is a big differentiation to our regular race drivers - but it is free testing, which means (with the young driver in the car) that you are allowed to use any car, allowed to put any part on the car and allowed to develop any part on the car," the Austrian explained during an interview with the official Formula 1 website.
"You can use the race car with rigs and sensors, you use the race tyres and are on a track where you have raced before, similar to us. So losing three days with unlimited mileage - probably 1,500 kilometres (almost five normal race distances) - is a big hit."
Wolff also revealed that with hindsight, Mercedes would probably not act in the same manner again given the off-track distractions created as a result of the private test.
"They [Pirelli] were asked to provide spectacular tyres - to provide tyres that would enable lots of pit-stops - and that is what they did," Wolff said. "Then everybody says we don’t want that any more. We had some tyre failures - that was clearly a safety issue as well - and they asked us if we could help them out - and that is what we did.
"But clearly in hindsight, had I known about the avalanche of things that would result, we probably we wouldn’t have done it because it diverts us from our core business."