Hamilton, Merc given 'go-ahead' to race in Britain after 'Tyregate' ban escape

London, June 22 (ANI): Formula One ace Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team has reportedly been cleared to race at next week's British Grand Prix as the Brackley-based team escaped a ban from the sport over the secret Pirelli tyre test controversy.

However, Mercedes has been banned from this year's young driver test and officially 'reprimanded', along with Pirelli, for staging a 'secret' three-day tyre test in Spain in May, by the FIA International Tribunal in Paris.

Although the five-man tribunal ruled that Mercedes had broken rules over bringing the sport into disrepute, it accepted that the team had 'qualified approval' to test from FIA race director Charlie Whiting, for which it did not strip the team of its Monte Carlo victory, dish out a ban or fine them millions.

Expressing his relief at the 'proportionate penalties', Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said that his team would not appeal further as they wish to bring this issue to a close and focus on the forthcoming British and German Grands Prix, both of which are important home races for the team.

However, the decision handed a harsh punishment to blameless Mercedes' British test driver Sam Bird, who will miss one of his few chances to drive a current F1 machine.

In its decision the tribunal ruled that 'neither Pirelli nor Mercedes acted in bad faith at any material time', because they consulted Whiting on using a current race car - even though it transpired that he did not have the authority to give the go-ahead. (ANI)

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