Ferrari: Perplexing that the guilty party can get away virtually scot free

22 June, 2013

Lewis Hamilton leads Fernando Alonso

Lewis Hamilton leads Fernando Alonso

Ferrari mocked the outcome of Formula 1′s international tribunal on Friday with a website column suggesting that Mercedes had gotten away with no more than a gentle rap on the knuckles for breaking the rules.

Mercedes were reprimanded and ordered to miss a three-day young driver test in July after the tribunal found that they had illegally tested for Pirelli with their current car in Spain last month.

In their defence at Thursday’s hearing, Mercedes had highlighted the treatment given to Ferrari who tested in April with Pirelli but avoided any charges because they had used a 2011 car.

Ferrari’s response was an acerbic ‘Horse Whisperer’ column published on their official website (www.ferrari.com) decrying the punishment.

“Today we learned that even if one is guilty, and in this case that is an indisputable and verified fact, there is always a way of muddling through as best one can,” it said in the column headed “Crime and Punishment (but make it a light one)”.

“One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be and even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles?”

Paul Harris, the lawyer representing Mercedes at the Paris hearing, had suggested to tribunal president Edwin Glasgow in his summing up that missing the young driver test could be a suitable way of redressing any injustice.

“It is somewhat perplexing to say the least to see that the guilty party can get away virtually scot free for having derived “an unfair sporting advantage,” commented the anonymous Ferrari columnist.

“What if this whole incident had taken place after the young driver test? What would have been the penalty then? Would they have been forbidden from holding an end of year dinner?”

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Full transcript: 

The Horse Whisperer – Crime and Punishment (but make it a light one)

Officially, Ferrari has never been in the habit of commenting on verdicts.

However, as you all know, the Horse Whisperer is a free spirit who sums up the mood of millions of fans, especially when certain incidents get him worked up.

Have you ever faced accusations in a tribunal? It’s never happened to the Whisperer, thank goodness, but it can’t be pleasant. But today we learned, that even if one is guilty and in this case that is an indisputable and verified fact, there is always a way of muddling through as best one can. One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be, and even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles?

It is somewhat perplexing to say the least to see that the guilty party can get away virtually scot free for having derived “an unfair sporting advantage.” Don’t tell me that testing for three days on your own at the Catalunya circuit is the same as doing so with nine other teams at Silverstone with a host of young hopefuls at the wheel, in an area where the weather can still be changeable even in the height of summer. And what if this whole incident had taken place after the young drier test, what would have been the penalty then? Would they have been forbidden from holding an end of year dinner?

In one sense then, it’s a bit like when a ghost goal is scored against you and isn’t disallowed and then your opponents are incorrectly awarded a penalty, which has no effect on the result, incidents which both the English and the Germans ought to remember well, don’t you think? It’s not something that can be remedied with a penalty in the next game…

The way things are going in Formula 1 at the moment is becoming boring: you make a mistake, you race with an illegal component, but then you are told to just change it for the next race and we’ve seen what we’ve seen…

All this reminds the Whisperer that if he ever finds himself running a Formula 1 team in the near future and that he gets off to a difficult start to the season, then all it needs is to organise a nice week of testing at the right moment and then maybe have to skip a later session, by which time, everything could be done and dusted. What do you reckon?

PS: Oh, and to those who jabber on about transparency and credibility, the Whisperer would remind them that the rules are very clear: you cannot test with a car from the current year. With those that are at least two years old, you can run when you like, where you like, with any driver you like, dressed how you like, inviting who you like.

(Reuters / Ferrari)


  • PB

    And Ferarri is always innocent and never done anything wrong?

  • bamza

    brawn learned the way at Ferrari

  • James

    I think Mercedes should be given two-race ban, like they did to BAR Honda in 2005

  • Butterfly 2.0

    Ferrari were the ones to pioneered the use of a “Media Day” to develop their cars! Ferrari are certainly not pure white when it comes to playing clean.

    In fact, if you were a Ferrari fan and read and believed this Horse Whisperer then you really are in a sorry state!

  • Max

    Overcause. Ferrari forgot about there test, let’s be honest you can put a new part on 2011 car and test it as well. So it is a big question if they did or didn’t got any info from pirelli test this and last year. I would say so: if you would not expect to get any valuable information, why would you spent resources on it (money). Or it is like a charity

  • Maky

    Ferrari criticising on morals and rule breaking?
    Pot Kettle Black.

  • Urko

    Those spaghetti people never respected anyone, so why should I respect their opinion. At least they should constrain themselves from criticising Tribunal decision, like Horny did;))

  • Urko

    They should just stick to their bunga, bunga stuff.

  • Butterfly 1.0

    Well, Ferrari are right about all that, but it could have been them in that situation. Whatever, all they need to do is improve the car design for 2014 and beyond so they can win those damn titles.

  • Coll

    Oh Ferrari Ferrari….

  • M451

    Ferrari is absolutely true in this sense. And their “Media day” is completely legal by the regulations. Every team can host a specified amount of publicity events, within reason.

  • WayneUSA

    WTH would you guys (girls?) be saying if Ferrari had done this type of test? Very biased (seems to be British) remarks!

  • Butterfly 2.0

    What’s perplexing is how Ferrari managed to get away with their test absolutely scot free. They got ever single detail of how their tyres reacted on the car, and knew which tyres were on there.

    If anybody got an advantage it was Ferrari. Yet because of who’s in charge of the (MA)FIA they didn’t have to answer any questions. They never had to justify themselves to us F1 fans.

    Ferrari are the cheats, with full Ferrari International Assistance.

  • Eevel

    Ferrari and their fans never miss an opportunity to point fingers at others accusing them of foul play.
    Notice the Red Bull jibe they squeezed in there too.
    Their rant about Vettel only winning the title by cheating at the last race of 2012 was in bad taste and shows them up as sore losers.
    It’s no wonder this team is hated by so many.
    I don’t hate them myself but I can see how easy they make it for others to do exactly that.
    They should stop talking about how great they are both in terms of performance and morals and build a championship winning car for a change.
    Listening to Monty winge about aerodynamics is pitiful!

  • =El Presidente=

    Stefano Dominicali : “YEah, we are very dissapointed and angry, for years and years we tried to influence the FIA’s decissions, and now with Jean Todt as president of the FIA we would have expected that the punishment would be exactly as we advised to Jean .

    Hail the FIA for a fair result!

  • dikkop

    C’mon Alonso, For real!? You came away scott free times you hypocrit. Remember your emails with Pedro during spygate? Remember Singapore, where you and Fatvio cost Nelsinho his career? (and more Felipes title). Ferrari should never have hired you instead of Kimi and they shouldn’t even consider bringing in Fatvio as teammanager. Vettel would have won the 2010 and 2012 title in your car! Coming from a real Tifosi (for 27 years now!) I love the Scuderia but I’m not obliged to like some of their driver mistakes! (not talkin’ bout Felipe) Monty was wrong on Alonso hiring, I even think he’s only there because of Santander (in particular Emilio Botin). He is a good driver with a shite personality, but Kimi was way better (title 1st year, his record at Lotus up till now proves it too). I am 100% sure if he doesn’t take it this year he will have to go or he will have to accept Seb, Lewis or even Kimi or Kubica (?) next to him. He will be 2nd driver in no time then :D. At Renault he was whining when Fisi was faster than him, at Mclaren the same (Monaco (Lewis was 1,5 sec a lap faster)/Budapest (pitstop incident showed how little a person he is). And the 2010 Hockenheim theft of Massa possible victory exactly a year after his near fatal crash. If I were Felipe I wouldn’t help this mfcker in Brazil. That’s what I liked between Kimi and Felipe, the mutual respect and help during 2007 & 2008 season (certainly in the both Brazil races)

  • Butterfly 2.0

    @ dikkop,
    can’t say that I disagree with anything that you’ve said.

    Alonso is over paid, over rated, and simply over taken by better drivers.

  • fools

    to many TROLLS.

    The lust for Alonso and these TROLLS are amazing.

    Clearly they are his number 1 fans.

    Alonso is doing a fantastic job recruiting them.

    LMFAO.

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