F1: Ferrari cleared on tyres but Mercedes still in dock over secret test


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The Independent Online

The FIA have announced that they have dropped their investigation against Ferrari conducting tyre tests on behalf of Pirelli in Barcelona but will continue to pursue one against Mercedes.

After Red Bull and Ferrari issued protests against a Mercedes test session following last month's Spanish GP, the Monaco Grand Prix stewards raised the matter in their report to the FIA. The governing body then requested clarifications from Pirelli and Team Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 and asked all other teams to provide them with information they may have regarding any tests carried out by Pirelli during the 2013 season.

In the light of their enquiries, FIA president Jean Todt has decided to bring the case concerning the testing session carried out by Pirelli and Mercedes before an FIA International Tribunal on the grounds that the conditions of the test might constitute a breach of the applicable FIA rules.

However, he decided against pursuing a case against Ferrari because they used an old model for testing and that was not deemed to contravene the rules. The FIA International Tribunal will now be called upon to make a decision in compliance with the FIA Judicial and Disciplinary Rules.

Elsewhere, Lewis Hamilton has denied that he is finding it tough playing second fiddle to Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. Hamilton heads to Canada this weekend intent on building on the fourth-place finish in Monaco which put him back in the points after a disastrous Spanish Grand Prix a fortnight earlier. Rosberg outqualified him and went on to score Mercedes' first victory of the season but Hamilton insisted he was always prepared for a battle at his new team.

"I expected him to be competitive," Hamilton said. "I expected him to be even stronger than he has been simply because he has been in the team for years. It's his home. You can see when you are in the engineering debriefs that he is 100 per cent comfortable with the car because he's been driving it for years. I expected him to be as competitive as he has been, especially with experience of racing him for many years."

On the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where he registered his first grand prix victory for McLaren back in 2007 at the age of 22, and where he won again in 2010 and 2012, Hamilton hopes to recapture the edge that has been missing recently.

"It's always been a strong circuit for me," he said. "It's always a great weekend in Montreal with a fun atmosphere in the city and at the track.

"The circuit itself is really special; it's very high-speed, great fun to drive and it's definitely a track where late braking helps. It's not too far off a Monaco-style circuit, where you need a similar set-up to bounce off the kerbs, so we should be quite competitive, although looking after the tyres will be our main challenge. There's a really good feeling in the team at the moment following Nico's win in Monaco and we're continuing to work hard to make sure we have the potential for more victories this season."