Ross Brawn confirms Mercedes' controversial Barcelona tyre test was his decision
But he refuses to state whether Wolff and Lauda were informed
By James Galloway. Last Updated: 08/06/13 8:22am
Mercedes boss Ross Brawn has confirmed it was his decision for the team to participate in the controversial Barcelona tyre test which has put them in the dock for an alleged breach of Formula 1's regulations.
With the so-called 'secret' three-day testing session dominating the paddock agenda at the Canadian GP - and the matter confirmed as going before the FIA's International Tribunal - Brawn, as Mercedes' Team Principal, remains firmly in the spotlight as more details surrounding the contentious event come to light.
That was no more so the case than during the Englishman's headline appearance in what was a fascinating Team Principals' Press Conference in Montreal where he was joined by his counterparts from the two teams who originally protested the test - Red Bull's Christian Horner and Ferrari's Stefano Domenicali - although not, as scheduled, by Pirelli boss Paul Hembery following legal advice from the tyre supplier's lawyers.
With speculation intensifying as to the likely penalties should Mercedes be found guilty at the Tribunal hearing, Brawn was asked directly if he himself might be the 'sacrificial lamb' if the verdict goes against the team.
And although he refused to be drawn on the specific question of his future, Brawn did nonetheless reveal a crucial aspect of the case - namely that he was the one who authorised the test.
"I think there's been some rumours before and nothing's happened," Brawn replied, in clear reference to pre-season speculation suggesting he was poised to leave the team to be replaced by the incoming Paddy Lowe.
"Let's wait and see what the tribunal find and then we can go from there. But it was my decision to do the test so that's a fact. Let's see what occurs at the tribunal and then we go from there."
Then asked if either the other two senior figures at the team - Mercedes Executive Director Toto Wolff and non-Executive Chairman Niki Lauda - had been informed about the test, Brawn replied: "It's not something I want to comment on.
"I'm sorry to continue repeating this, but we'll get all the facts when we get to the tribunal."
Speaking later to Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz, Brawn added: "Well, I'm an employee like everyone else in the team, most of the people in our team, so let's see. It's a little bit early to speculate.
"I still enjoying what I'm doing. We've got a competitive car, we won the last race, we've had some pole positions this year - so that side of it's fun.
"This side of it comes up sometimes and you have to balance that against the fun side, it's the nature of the business."
Brawn also wouldn't expand on further speculation that the team's defence at the Tribunal hearing was set to be based on an email from FIA Race Director Charlie Whiting which allegedly gave authorisation for them to use their current car, the W04, at the test.
"The email, I don't want to comment on any matters of that sort of what's going to come through in a Tribunal," he insisted.
In his later chat with Ted, Brawn also intimated that information not yet in the public domain would also help Mercedes' case.
"There are some facts that will become apparent in the tribunal that I don't believe Red Bull have access too, and then things will become clearer," he added.
Although adamant they have done nothing wrong in the incident, Mercedes have nonetheless welcomed the Tribunal hearing so they have a chance to put their side of the story, and evidence, across in an official capacity.
The independent panel is understood likely to convene on June 20th and Brawn said he and Mercedes had complete faith that the full story would come out at the right time.
"It's a little bit difficult for me because we've got this process going on now where it's in the hands of the tribunal, and as was mentioned by the other teams, we trust that process," he added.
"It's a new process that the FIA have introduced, and independent process, and it's the first time that's being tested but I think that it has a good structure and we trust in the tribunal.
"I can't comment, and I don't want to comment and I don't want to anticipate the tribunal. So when we get to the tribunal you will get the answers to your questions."