Mercedes 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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