Brawn says it was his decision to do test

2013 Canadian Grand Prix

Ross Brawn, Mercedes, Circuit de Catalunya, 2013Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn admitted it was his decision to do the three-day test for Pirelli which his team are under investigation for by the FIA.

During a tense press conference at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve Brawn brushed off questions over his future at the team should Mercedes be found to have infringed the rules with their test following the Spanish Grand Prix.

“I think there’s been some rumours before and nothing’s happened,” said Brawn. “As I say let’s wait and see what the Tribunal finds and we’ll go from there.”

“It was my decision to do the test so that’s a fact.”

Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery was absent from the press conference having taken legal advice. That left Brawn to field the majority of questions over the disputed test.

He refused to answer several questions about the test, including whether he had an email from FIA race director Charlie Whiting confirming Mercedes had permission to do the test, or whether he informed Mercedes’ Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff before the test took place.

“It’s a little difficult for me because we’ve got this process going on where it’s in the hands of the Tribunal,” said Brawn.

“We trust that process. It’s a new process the FIA have introduced, an independent process, and it’s the first time it’s been tested but I think it has a good structure and so we trust in the Tribunal.”

However Brawn insisted Mercedes believed they were within their rights to do the 1,000km run at the Circuit de Catalunya:

“I think we wouldn’t have done the Pirelli test unless we believed we could do the Pirelli test. I think when we get to the Tribunal you’ll have your answers.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner insisted there was no way Mercedes could have failed to gain an advantage from the test:

“When you run a current car of course, the way that Formula One is, the amount of technology, the amount of data analysis there is, you’re always learning. Whether it be reliability, whether it be endureance, whether it be performance. So of course even if you’re testing a component for another supplier, you’re learning.”

“And I think Formula One has moved an awfully long way over the last few years to ensure fairness and equality towards all of the entrants and I think that if a team does carry out a thousand kilometres of additional testing with a current car, you’re going to learn something.”

Horner stated that the fact Mercedes were conducting the test for Pirelli should have been made public: “I think the lack of transparency is disappointing. That you have to learn these things second hand. I think it’s important that there is transparency.”

“Of course if a supplier has issues then it has to obviously deal with them but when all entrants are supposedly equal I think it’s only right and proper that that information is made transparently clear.”

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58 comments on Brawn says it was his decision to do test

  1. Dom (@3dom) said on 8th June 2013, 0:44

    Could each driver not have a different brake supplier? Didn’t mclaren do this with Lewis & jenson?

    • Gerrit said on 8th June 2013, 0:53

      Garry Anderson (I think) was quite categorical that they changed to suit Lewis Hamiltion and that Nico Rosberg did not mind the change. Apparently he has the soft brake approach while Hamilton is a stomper.

  2. Paul2013 said on 8th June 2013, 5:47

    That was the opportunity Mercedes was waiting to … Test their cars, breaking the regulations and taking illegal advantage of it.

    Conspiracy? Yeah! Well, seems to me that Mercedes was the only one conspiring in here, more specifically in order to test and improve their cars illegally.

    • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 8th June 2013, 8:43

      Except you have no proof, nor do any of the other teams that any development work was done on the Mercedes during the test that was run by Pirelli. Even the FIA will be unlikely to quantify what advantage if any was gained. Just like the Mclaren spygate, the FIA never proved any aspect of mclarens car was influenced by the ferrari data.

      The facts are only Mercedes and Pirelli know and that is what they will show in their defense, that nothing was changed or developed on the car. Pirelli will show they gave Merc no favours and Merc will show they stayed at arms length with the test being run by Pirelli.

      You can’t transpose the preseason and Friday practice test run by the team which focus on car development with a Tyre development test run and operated by Pirelli. You have no proof only suspicion.

      • kpcart said on 8th June 2013, 9:16

        there is proof that merc broke the sporting code. the rest does not need proof

        • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 8th June 2013, 11:38

          Except if they were given permission to supply cars to Pirelli so they could test their tyres. The FIA have said that they think the grounds for permission were not met in which case they are going to the Tribunal to determine those facts.

          Wow would hate to be facing court with many of the people o the blog in the jury. Guilty before even knowing all the facts

          • kpcart said on 8th June 2013, 16:06

            the facts came to light last week, one simple fact -they tested. that is all that needs to be known with the specific rule they broke, what more is there to say? the rest will now be a formality with the FIA taking the opportunity to use the IT for the first time. the thing in this forum is people talk about irrelevant things like what gain was made, and what tyres were used, and if it is was secret or not – well the secret part is relevant as they were almost not found out because they did keep it secret. Ross Brawn will continue to throw up heaps of political spin like a lawyer to avoid the guilt, but it seems pretty plain what has happened. Mercedes only defence is that the test was approved by the FIA, and that is all, the rest about secrecy, advantage etc is irrelevant to this case. lets see how it pans out, it is not looking good for mercedes and Brawn. I think Brawn will be sacrificed, it was coming since the day Wolf walked in to the team. Merc had nothing to lose with the test, it is 5th in the championship or nothing, they almost got away with having done the test, but the pace in practice at Canada seems they didnt reach the improvements they had hoped for. Maybe Mercedes will go a lot more forward even after a ban or massive fine, as each year since 2009 that Brawn has been a team principle, the teams car performance has got worse as the year went along. a change at the top will be good for the team

  3. HiPn0tIc (@hipn0tic) said on 8th June 2013, 7:24

    Hembery always in search of the spotlights, now runs away from it like the devil from the cross…
    This situation is a poor image of the sport and the people surronding it. That said it’s time to clean all the dirt…
    Who gave the all tyre monopoly to this gentleman? He too should be considerated guilty.

    Has for Brawn, taking one for the team, but he’s not the only one in thiss story.

  4. Manule said on 8th June 2013, 9:06

    Admitting it was his decision, Brawn takes the blame. It is irrelevant whether they gained anything, and even whether or not they’ve had this alleged email from Charlie. Whiting alone simply has no authority in this case. Since the tests are prohibited by the FIA Sporting Code, no single FIA delegate, even Todt himself, can give a secret permission to breach the regulations. Brawn, I’m sure, is as pefectly aware of a due process in such cases as any other team principal. And, as been said many times, it is his responsibility to adhere strictly to the letter of the Sporting Code, not Pirelli’s.

    • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 8th June 2013, 11:44

      A secret is when you purposefully don’t let someone know something with the intent of hiding the information. Not telling someone is not necessarily a secret.

      If you called your mother and said you would by Mcdonalds for dinner on the way home, but did not also ring your sister. Is that a secret or have you just not told your sister her because you didn’t think it was necessary nor your responsibility.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th June 2013, 12:44

        @theoddkiwi Let’s not confuse this situation with flawed and unrepresentative analogies or we’ll all end up talking about “what if you, your mother and your sister were banned from eating junk food?”

        It’s more helpful to stick to the actual matter. Such as, is it true Hamilton and Rosberg purposefully chose not to use their regular helmets for the test? That would be a pretty big hint Mercedes were trying to keep rival teams from knowing what was going on.

        • Theoddkiwi (@theoddkiwi) said on 8th June 2013, 13:14

          I probably should be banned from junk food, i had pie and chips for dinner tonight ;)

          I admit the Helmet thing is peculiar. I know its a stretch but could it be a legal issue with sponsors, they probably didn’t have their normal race suits on either. For all we know the car may have been stripped of sponsor logos too. After all the imagery we have in the public is a fuzzy photo from miles away.
          Why not go even further and paint the whole car black. The guy taking the photo wouldn’t have had a clue

          I just don’t buy the insistence it was “Secret”. Private Yes, Secret no

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th June 2013, 13:20

            @theoddkiwi We already know the FIA told Mercedes and Pirelli to invite other teams to the test. That clearly didn’t happen. Furthermore, nor did they advise the other teams they were conducting the test. So I have no problem describing it as “secret”.

  5. Lindsay Lohan is my girlfriend (@lindsay-lohan-is-my-girlfriend) said on 8th June 2013, 11:45

    German Auto Motor Und Sport reports, the Fia Tribunal takes place before the British GP. Didn’t know that.

  6. Frogster said on 8th June 2013, 17:02

    So Horner as now admitted Redbull was offered the chance to test but declined because they felt testing with the 2013 was illegal.

    You would’ve thought they would’ve asked for clarification at the time if they had a chance to test. It would be a tad stupid of them to think no-one else would be offered the chance after they had declined.

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