Formula One: Monaco Grand Prix marred by Red Bull protests over Mercedes' tyre test

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton took the front row of the grid in qualifying yesterday

One of the biggest days of the Formula One season - the Monaco Grand Prix - has been overshadowed by controversy around a Mercedes tyre test.

The team's two drivers - Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton - took the front row of the grid in qualifying yesterday. Soon after, other teams discovered that they had run an apparently secret 600 mile test on Pirelli tyres.

Testing during the season is banned, but Pirelli has insisted the test was legal under the regulations.

Red Bull's team principal, Christian Horner, has protested to race stewards and said: "What annoys me is that it was so underhand. And it makes a mockery of the rules.

"First of all we need to deal with it through the proper channels, and that's what we'll look at doing.

"There is confusion between what is contractually permissible and what a team is allowed to do in the sporting regulations. It's a situation we need clarification on, and our position is we are going to request that. I can understand Pirelli wanting to test the tyres, they've obviously got issues with them.

"What's disappointing is that it has not been done in not a transparent manner, that a three-day test has taken place with a current car running on tyres that are going to be used at the next grand prix. Irrelevant of what you call it, that's testing."

Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director, said: “It is completely regular in that we are allowed to do a 1000 kilometre (600 mile) tyre test with any team,” Hembery said. “In the World Rally Championship contract it is exactly the same. We can do it with a representative car. We have done it before with another team.”

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said: "We were approached by Pirelli to conduct a tyre test because they were very concerned about some of the problems they were having recently and they didn't feel the car they had been using was representative.

"In their agreement with the FIA, there is a provision to ask any team to do a 1000km test. We ran that past the FIA to make sure they were happy – and they were."

Pirelli's tyres made the news during the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago, when most drivers had to take four pitstops.

Mercedes struggled particularly badly in that race, with Hamilton dropping to twelfth from second on the grid, complaining that he couldn't handle the tyres.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Syria: Influential tribal leaders hold secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over possibility of mobilising against militants

Tribal gathering

Influential clans in Syria have held secret talks with Western powers and Gulf states over the possibility of mobilising against Isis. But they are determined not to be pitted against each other
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

A growing population and a compromised and depleted aquifer leaves water in scarce supply for Palestinians
Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously

Illnesses, car crashes and suicides

Dozens of politicians, bureaucrats and businessmen linked to Indian bribery scandal die mysteriously
Srebrenica 20 years after the genocide: Why the survivors need closure

Bosnia's genocide, 20 years on

No-one is admitting where the bodies are buried - literally and metaphorically
How Comic-Con can make or break a movie: From Batman vs Superman to Star Wars: Episode VII

Power of the geek Gods

Each year at Comic-Con in San Diego, Hollywood bosses nervously present blockbusters to the hallowed crowd. It can make or break a movie
What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?

Perfect match

What do strawberries and cream have to do with tennis?
10 best trays

Get carried away with 10 best trays

Serve with ceremony on a tray chic carrier
Wimbledon 2015: Team Murray firing on all cylinders for SW19 title assault

Team Murray firing on all cylinders for title assault

Coaches Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman aiming to make Scot Wimbledon champion again
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Vasek Pospisil must ignore tiredness and tell himself: I'm in the quarter-final, baby!
Ashes 2015: Angus Fraser's top 10 moments from previous series'

Angus Fraser's top 10 Ashes moments

He played in five series against Australia and covered more as a newspaper correspondent. From Waugh to Warne and Hick to Headley, here are his highlights
Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

Heavy weather

What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

World Bodypainting Festival 2015

Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

Don't call us nerds

Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high