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Motorsport | Formula 1

Ross Brawn © Gallo Images

FIA tribunal on tyre tests set for June 20



The controversial Formula One tyre test case involving the rubbers' makers Pirelli and the Mercedes team is set to be dealt with by a tribunal of the ruling motorsport body FIA on June 20, dpa learnt at the Canadian Grand Prix weekend.

Several sources told dpa that the hearing will take place 10 days before the next race in Britain which is set for June 30. A FIA spokesman did not want to confirm the date, but said it would be announced early next week.

The legality or not of the three-day tests of Pirelli tyres by Mercedes has caused uproar within the F1 community and is overshadowing the action in Montreal.

But all parties welcome the FIA tribunal hearing in the case which has been named "testgate."

"We have faith in the tribunal," Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said in Montreal.

Brawn's counterpart from world champions Red Bull, who lodged the protest against the tests together with Ferrari, Christian Horner, agreed: "We have faith in FIA reaching an adequate decision."

The new FIA tribunal must determine whether the mid-May tests in Barcelona with the 2013 Mercedes and its regular drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton were legal, and if so, whether Mercedes gained an advantage from the 1 000-kilometres of testing.

"Sporting integrity is very, very important for us. We wouldn't have done the tests if we hadn't believed that we were allowed to do them," Brawn insisted.

Mercedes stressed the fact that it was a test of Pirelli and not the team, and that they had not acted in secrecy.

Horner disagrees, speaking of a "breach of contract" and saying it was "a matter between the team and the FIA" instead of Pirelli.

Ferrari team principal Stefano Domenicali also expects the tribunal to settle the case in which the Italian team was cleared after also testing for Pirelli in April, but in a 2011 car.

Pirelli motorsport chief Paul Hembery abstained from the official FIA press conference in Montreal by lawyers' advice, but said earlier that Pirelli welcome the opportunity to shed light into the case before the tribunal.

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