Amid Felipe Massa’s $13,000,000 Lawsuit Against Lewis Hamilton, Shocking Details of Another Mercedes Scandal Gets Exposed

Published 08/18/2023, 7:56 AM EDT

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It wouldn’t be F1 if the competitors didn’t try and find loopholes in the regulations to gain any tiny bit of advantage over the competition. Mercedes DAS system or Aston Martin’s rear wing endplate reiteration are great recent examples. However, details about a scandal from 2013 involving Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have been exposed amid Felipe Massa’s $13 Million lawsuit. What did Mercedes do?

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Felipe Massa has been in the news recently, not because he’s making an F1 comeback but because of the 2008 Crashgate saga. The Brazilian driver has filed a lawsuit against the F1 governing body, which is believed to be a $13,000,000 lawsuit in compensation for not taking action about the crash gate incident when the details about it were already known prior to the end of the season. 

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However, shocking details since then have come out of a scandal that Mercedes were involved in during the 2013 season which included Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Pirelli introduced a new tire construction for the 2013 season. However, after multiple tire failures, the tire manufacturer decided to test a new tire construction for the upcoming GPs. That’s all good and fair but this is where the problems began.

Mercedes were selected as the team that’ll be used to conduct the tests. Mercedes and Pirelli did inform the FIA about it. However, the competition including Ferrari and Red Bull were not informed about it. Mercedes won the Monaco GP which happens to be the race after the tire test. Various questions were raised at the FIA international tribunal hearing. While nothing was conducted in bad faith, it was found that Mercedes, FIA, and Pirelli were guilty of breaching the in-season tire test rules as Mercedes used the 2013 competitor.

As a result, Mercedes was banned from the 2013 young drivers test that took place with another new compound of tires as Hamilton along with others had suffered tire blowouts at the 2013 British GP. Red Bull went on to dominate the rest of the season. 

What all regulations were not followed by the concerned parties

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Mercedes were found in breach of the 22.4 H Sporting regulations that prevented any sort of in-season testing by a team. It was also found that while FIA gave the qualified approval both Mercedes and Pirelli didn’t inform any of the other teams and/or gave them the chance to test hence not following the prohibition of the Article 22 of the sporting regulations.

via Reuters

It was also found that the test would not have happened if FIA did not give the approval that it did. Mercedes, knowingly or unknowingly gained a material advantage which led to a sporting advantage as confidential information was exchanged between Pirelli and Mercedes which was exclusive to the Brackley stable. As a result, both Mercedes and Pirelli breached the International sporting code 151.

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Written by:

Pranay Bhagi

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Pranay Bhagi is an F1 writer at EssentiallySports, who has always been passionate about sports and writing. With a degree from a prestigious institute, he has channeled his enthusiasm into sports journalism, particularly F1, a sport that has captivated him for over a decade. Pranay's deep-rooted love for the sport began during the Sebastian Vettel era, and he has been following it religiously ever since.
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