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Vettel calls Mercedes test “critical issue”

Jun 6, 2013, 6:00 PM EDT

Red Bull Formula One driver Vettel of Germany is being photographed outside the paddocks ahead of the Canadian F1 Grand Prix in Montreal Reuters

Defending world champion Sebastian Vettel has criticized Mercedes’ tire test following the Spanish Grand Prix, believing that they will have gained some advantage from the additional running, making the case a “critical issue.”

Mercedes have been summoned before the FIA’s tribunal, with the case set to be assessed in the next six weeks. However, Vettel is still perturbed by the affair, feeling that there is a clear flouting of the rules.

“I see it as a critical issue,” Vettel told Suddeutsche Zeitung. “Each test kilometre is an advantage and Mercedes had the opportunity to test tires that we will probably race at Silverstone. I think this is an advantage over all the other teams.”

Furthermore, Vettel told Autosport how he felt that the test would have aided Mercedes’ development of the W04.

“We all know how important testing is in the winter. The quality of the testing is not the same because the conditions are different.

“The cars are very early in their development so if you have the chance somewhere in the middle of the season to have a test, or three days, then it’s a big help.”

Nico Rosberg won the Monaco Grand Prix for Mercedes with ease two weeks ago, yet many believe the track’s lack of tire wear meant that the true impact of the test was not revealed. However, with the Canadian Grand Prix usually being the toughest race for tire wear, the worth of the 1000km test will be on display this weekend.

  1. needmoretorque1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    On the one hand, Vettel’s right, IMO. On the other hand, driver’s don’t need to get involved in this type of thing. This is for team management to handle. Vettel, and the other driver’s need to stick to what they know best – driving.

    • ditto65 - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:36 PM

      So drivers should not answer questions posed by the press, instead leaving the reporters witrh the pre-canned PR BS spewed by the team?

      I think not.

      • needmoretorque1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:43 PM

        I just wish Vettel would start acting like the champion that he is. He’s a world class talent that only comes along once a generation. It’s a shame to see him tarnish his skills on the track by resorting to petty politics. Prost is my historical example on this one. Did playing poltics help his reputation?

        Hmm. Hmm. I think not.

      • needmoretorque1 - Jun 6, 2013 at 10:50 PM

        My mashup video, “The Ethos of a Driver” gets at my point that a driver should walk softly and carry a big stick…

      • indycarseries500 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:05 AM

        I find his comment very “pre-canned PR BS spewed by the team” but like you said it’s just answering a question poised to him, not really political at all.

  2. apexassassin - Jun 6, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    I agree with Seb… and I’m curious to see how the Tribunal will clear Mercedes of any wrong doing. My guess is they blame Pirelli.

  3. purplesectornet - Jun 6, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    Its unusual for a driver to make the comments he did but he does have a valid point.

  4. Iain - Jun 7, 2013 at 2:20 AM

    For a team that has been so successful in recent years, Red Bull sure do complain a lot.

    • indycarseries500 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      Remember after they bought Jaguar and they weren’t winning but running better than Jaguar was and everyone thought of them as “the fun team”?

      • needmoretorque1 - Jun 7, 2013 at 9:24 AM

        I absolutely remember and consider a shame that they’ve lost what they originally stood for. It’s funny how fame and success can alter a person and an organization. Thanks for bringing this up as I definitely agree that Red Bull are starting to diverge from what they orignally stood for.

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