London: 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.