Horner questions whether Mercedes penalty was harsh enough

Christian Horner
Christian Horner

Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has questioned whether Mercedes’ penalty for a secret in-season test last month was much of a sanction at all.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton carried out a Pirelli tyre test after the Spanish Grand Prix, unbeknownst to many teams on the grid until the race at Monaco two weeks later - a race which Mercedes won.

The team was taken to an International Tribunal for a breach of the sporting regulations, but was only banned from the three-day test at Silverstone later this month.

And Red Bull boss Horner said he wasn’t convinced that it was much of a penalty.

He said: “I can’t see how much of a sanction being banned from the Young Driver Test would be - they’ve already done their test with the senior drivers - so being banned from a Young Driver Test probably isn’t too much of a sanction.”

However, after that punishment was handed out he refused to be drawn on the decision.

“It is always preferential to test with race drivers rather than test drivers. However the penalty is not for us to decide,” Horner said. “It was for the tribunal to decide and they have made their decision.”

Horner did admit that he was pleased with the process at the tribunal and says all teams have clarity on the tyre testing issue.

“The Tribunal had all the facts presented to them in a fair manner yesterday and made their decision.

“We raised the protest as we wanted clarity on whether you are allowed to test in-season with a current car, as we believe this was a breach of the regulations.

“Yes [we got clarity] - it was decided that Mercedes breached the sporting regulations and the International Sporting Code.”