Ferrari has described the FIA International Tribunal's penalties for Mercedes' test with a 2013 Formula 1 car as "perplexing."
Mercedes received a reprimand and has been banned from next month's young driver test at Silverstone. Although Ferrari has not made any official comment on the outcome of the hearing into the Mercedes secret test, it has used its "Horse Whisperer" opinion column on its official website to express its confusion over the penalty.
"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,'" stated Ferrari's unnamed columnist, referring to one of the findings of the International Tribunal. "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 driver test, what would have been the penalty then? Would they have been forbidden from holding an end of year dinner?"
The column suggested that the Mercedes matter was part of a wider issue for the sport, in that rules transgressions are rarely punished.
In a reference to recent times when teams have been asked to remove elements from their car at subsequent races rather than be thrown out of the results for having them in the first place, the "Horse Whisperer" suggests that the way was open for future rules transgressions.
"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..." it said.
"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 organize a nice week of testing at the right moment and then maybe have to skip a later session."