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Mercedes rumored to have letter permitting tire test

Jun 16, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT

AUTO-PRIX-F1-MONACO-MCO-PRACTICE Getty Images

Just when you thought tiregate was nearing its conclusion, some new evidence may have come to light. Mercedes are rumored to have a letter from the FIA’s race director Charlie Whiting permitting the test undertaken at the Circuit de Catalunya following the Spanish Grand Prix.

As reported by The Guardian, the letter could give Mercedes a better chance of escaping the FIA tribunal, due to be held in four days’ time, without any major charges. The team is thought to be facing a big penalty after they completed a 1000km tire test in Barcelona using their 2013 car, which, under the regulations, is strictly forbidden.

However, Pirelli’s contract with the sport is rumored to allow such a test to take place, relying that all of the teams are informed and agree to it. With Red Bull and Ferrari both lodging protests over the matter at the Monaco Grand Prix though, it appears that this may not have occurred.

The letter would undermine the FIA’s attempt to prosecute Mercedes, with their very own delegate (Whiting) allowing the test to happen. Additionally, Ross Brawn has made clear on more than one occasion that he would not have gone ahead with the test unless he was confident that the team remained within the rules.

Either way, tiregate could be set to rumble on.

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