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Motorsport | Formula 1

Sebastian Vettel © Gallo Images

Vettel, Rosberg disagree on 'tyre-gate'

Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg on Thursday offered entirely different views on the so-called 'tyre-gate' testing scandal that on Wednesday led to Mercedes being summoned to appear before the International Tribunal of the sport's ruling body, the International Motoring Federation (FIA).

Defending triple world champion Vettel, whose Red Bull team lodged a protest, along with Ferrari, against Mercedes' alleged breach of the sporting rules, said they gained an unfair advantage by testing the Pirelli tyres in-season following last month's Spanish Grand Prix.

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

Fellow-German Rosberg, winner of the Monaco Grand Prix two weeks ago and seeking his fourth straight pole position in this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, said he disagreed completely.

He pointed out that there was no gain for Mercedes because Pirelli had full control of the running at the test where both he and his teammate Briton Lewis Hamilton did the driving.

"We have no say whatsoever – they (Pirelli) say 'you are doing that, that, that and that' and the engineers that they have run our programme," he told Sky Sports.

"So it is not for us to learn anything or to decide on anything that we do."

Vettel also scoffed at Pirelli's decision to test proposed changes to the tyre design this weekend in Canada, because of a lack of support in the pit lane.

Vettel said: "The tread completely falls off. This is a safety risk for all of us. That we won't have these (revised) tyres for the race on a fast track like Canada is, for me, inexplicable."


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