It has emerged at Monaco that Pirelli invited Mercedes AMG for a 'secret' 1000km tyre test following the Spanish Grand Prix two weeks ago. Talk is now that several outfits are upset enough they might file an official complaint against the team.
It is evident that Pirelli at the moment need to do some development work for 2013 as well as 2014, but with no properly updated F1 car at its disposal do so relevant running, the tyre company has invited Mercedes to do the running for them, days after the Spanish Grand Prix. It appears that both the team and Pirelli have been given the green light to do this by the FIA, but it is still causing considerable annoyance with other teams.
While testing has supposedly occurred without Mercedes knowing on what tyre they were running, the team may have potentially had an additional opportunity to verify several suspension settings and aerodynamic items. The latter is exactly why other teams now are worried that the Mercedes F1 team may have gained an advantage, knowing that in-season testing is banned, apart from 7 straight line speed tests.
Red Bull Racing team principal Christian Horner has now clarified to autosport that his team will ask for clarification as to how Mercedes was allowed to test the new tyres, while other teams are not allowed to do so.
While the FIA will likely just explain the situation to other teams, the annoyance is clear, particularly because nobody was informed about this test either, with Christian Horner actually getting the news from journalists in the Monaco paddock on Saturday.