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Ferrari mock Mercedes punishment

(Reuters) - Ferrari mocked the outcome of Formula One's international tribunal on Friday with a website column suggesting Mercedes had got away with no more than a gentle rap on the knuckles for breaking the rules.

Mercedes were reprimanded and ordered to miss a three-day young driver test in July after the tribunal found they had illegally tested for Pirelli with their current car in Spain last month.

In their defense at Thursday's hearing, Mercedes had highlighted the treatment given to Ferrari who tested in April with Pirelli but avoided any charges because they had used a 2011 car.

Ferrari's response was an acerbic 'Horse Whisperer' column published on their official website (www.ferrari.com) decrying the punishment.

"Today we learned that even if one is guilty, and in this case that is an indisputable and verified fact, there is always a way of muddling through as best one can," it said in the column headed "Crime and Punishment (but make it a light one)".

"One only has to suggest to the judge what the penalty should be and even better, why not make it something light like a rap across the knuckles?"

Paul Harris, the lawyer representing Mercedes at the Paris hearing, had suggested to tribunal president Edwin Glasgow in his summing up that missing the young driver test could be a suitable way of redressing any injustice.

"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," commented the anonymous Ferrari columnist.

"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?"

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Alison Wildey)

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