Monaco GP: Mark Webber doubts Mercedes' tyre test influenced win
|By Jonathan Noble and Matt Beer||Sunday, May 26th 2013, 15:22 GMT|
Red Bull's Mark Webber admitted he was surprised to learn that Mercedes had carried out a secret tyre test with Pirelli after the Spanish Grand Prix.
But he does not believe it was a major factor in Nico Rosberg's win for the Brackley squad in Monaco.
Mercedes took its first Formula 1 victory of 2013 just hours after AUTOSPORT revealed that it had covered 1000 kilometres over three days of tyre work at Barcelona last week.
Red Bull and Ferrari subsequently lodged a formal protest, as Pirelli insisted the test had mostly been on 2014 preparations and was permitted within the rules.
Webber finished third in Monaco, behind Rosberg and the sister Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.
|MERCEDES SECRET TYRE TEST ROW|
|Mercedes in secret tyre test row|
|Red Bull demands answers over tyre test|
|Pirelli insists Mercedes got no advantage|
|Rivals protest Mercedes over tyre test|
"I think we were probably a bit surprised it happened," said Webber of the test.
"I don't think it probably had a huge bearing on today's results, That car would always perform pretty well around here to be fair.
"But you can't unlearn what went on at the test. So we need to see how it came about and what the rules are to see why Mercedes thought it would be OK.
"Time will tell, but it didn't affect today's result."
Webber has been a consistent critic of the high-degradation Pirelli tyres and their impact on F1, and he said Monaco had been more of the same.
"We were basically saving the tyres and making the one-stop work," he said.
"All the drivers were having to nurse their cars very aggressively.
"Generally we were just driving around, protecting tyres and waiting for the chequered flag."