Formula One team Mercedes are banned from this year’s young driver tests after admitting breaking the rules.
Mercedes sent drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg with their cars over to a Pirelli test track for a 1000 km test.
Other F1 teams protested because Mercedes sent this year’s grand prix cars when only previous year’s cars are allowed.
The sport governing body the FIA summoned Mercedes for a dressing down over the breach and handed out the ban.
The argument was over whether Mercedes gained an edge over their rivals from data collected during the test – which is equivalent to around three grand prix races.
Mercedes claimed no advantage, but the FIA disagreed.
Ferrari had also taken part in a similar test, but no complaints were made as the team drove cars from previous grand prix seasons.
Mercedes F1 boss Ross Brawn talked down the spat with the FIA and argued that despite the reprimand, their reputation was intact.
“We do not feel any blame over this,” he said. “We needed to make sure everyone understood the facts. The matter is over and done with and we can focus on the rest of the races.”
Mercedes say they took part in their tests to resolve tyre safety issues.
The FIA agree Mercedes and Pirelli showed no bad faith, but nevertheless broke the rules.
“We assumed we had permission but the FIA say we didn’t,” said Brawn. “Something has gone wrong and the rules need sorting out.”
Pirelli were also reprimanded, although the tyre firm claimed that as they are not part of the F1 championship, the FIA had no powers over them.
However, the FIA decided that Pirelli agreed to abide by a code of conduct as the main supplier of F1 tyres, which meant they could be penalised for breaching rules.
Mercedes drivers Sam Bird and Daniel Juncadell were due to get behind the wheel for the young driver test in July, but now have to sit out the event.
Pirelli have faced a lot of controversy over supplying tyres for this season’s races.
Many teams feel the tyres are too soft and slowing drivers down.
Red Bull and Mercedes have both discussed tyre choice will Pirelli because of problems with their cars, but Lotus, Ferrari and Force India don’t have the same issues and have made no protests.
Pirelli made a statement explaining the tyres for this year’s races are all one grade softer than those provided last year.