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Ferrari back FIA's handling of Mercedes test

A cover is pictured on a Ferrari car at Ferrari booth during a preview day of the upcoming 80th Geneva Car Show at the Palexpo in Geneva Mar
A cover is pictured on a Ferrari car at Ferrari booth during a preview day of the upcoming 80th Geneva Car Show at the Palexpo in Geneva Mar

(Reuters) - Ferrari backed Formula One's governing body on Tuesday for their handling of a tyre testing controversy involving rivals Mercedes.

The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has summoned Mercedes and tyre supplier Pirelli to its international tribunal in Paris on June 20 on charges of breaking the rules by testing in Spain last month.

"We have faith in the FIA," president Luca di Montezemolo declared at the opening of the new Ferrari museum at the Italian team's Maranello factory on Tuesday.

"I do not wish to comment but I note with satisfaction that the federation is following this incident well," he added in comments reported on the Ferrari website.

"Let's hope Formula One can maintain its professionalism and we have faith that those who attempt to circumvent the regulations are pursued and prosecuted, or rather more prosecuted than pursued."

The FIA is now run by Jean Todt, the former Ferrari principal who presided over the team's most successful years with Michael Schumacher winning five championships in a row between 2000 and 2004.

The Mercedes team principal is Ross Brawn, Todt's former right-hand man as Ferrari technical director up to the end of 2006.

Ferrari, who made an official protest about Mercedes using a 2013 car at the 'secret' Barcelona test when word leaked out at last month's Monaco Grand Prix, also tested with Pirelli in April but with a 2011 car.

The FIA also quizzed Ferrari about that test but decided to take the matter no further because they were deemed to have broken no rules.

Champions Red Bull, who also protested, have accused Mercedes of gaining an important advantage from the 1,000km test. Mercedes say the test was controlled by Pirelli who have said the team had no knowledge of what was being tested.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin editing by Tony Jimenez)

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