Ross Brawn has admitted that his team is pressing ahead with the design of its second Formula One car, despite not yet being certain of either a place in the FIA-sanctioned championship or an alternative backdrop under the auspices of FOTA.
Speaking to reporters in the build-up to this weekend's British Grand Prix at Silverstone - a relative stone's throw from team HQ in Brackley - Brawn admitted that he and his staff had little option but to press ahead with the development of the BGP 002, and remained confident that they would be competing in 2010.
"You have to plan on that because there's nothing else to plan for," he said of being on track next season, "We cannot allow this row [between the FIA and FOTA] to be a distraction to our engineering plans and our racing plans. We've been working on the new car for about a month now, and probably about a third of our wind tunnel time at the moment is spent on the new car."
Brawn GP finds itself in the awkward position of being a racing-led company caught between the need to find a home for next season and wanting to remain loyal to teams' association FOTA in the row over rule changes, commercial agreements and the sport's governance.
"FOTA has been supportive of Brawn GP, and the reason we are in F1 is because of the support we received, particularly from McLaren and Mercedes, and the offers of help from Ferrari, so we want to support the group in trying to find a solution," Brawn admitted, "We, as small independents, balance up the group with the manufacturers and they want to support the small independents. So we've stayed together as a group so we can present a balanced approach on what needs to be done."
Brawn's squad was listed as one of five conditional entries when the 2010 F1 entry list was revealed last Friday but - along with McLaren, Renault, Toyota and BMW Sauber - has been given until this Friday [19 June] to renounce the conditions FOTA imposed on the FIA for agreeing to sign up. Ferrari and the two Red Bull teams also insist that their entries should have been listed as conditional amid a related disagreement with the governing body.
"All of us - and I mean this collectively - have got ourselves into a situation we need to learn from," he said of the dispute, "What we want to get back to, and put in place again, is an agreement between the teams and the FIA on governance for the future, and how we can avoid these situations ever occurring again. I think there are still opportunities this week to resolve the issues, and if they are, then we will be happy to enter."
While Ferrari, and FOTA, president Luca di Montezemolo talks up the threat of launching a rival to Formula One, Brawn admits that he expects the regulations to be broadly the same as those under which his cars are dominating 2009, where Jenson Button has won six of seven races to lead the championship.
"I'm not supporting a breakaway championship, but I think, if there was [one], it would be a breakaway championship with cars that are pretty similar to what there is now," Brawn, a title winner with both Benetton and Ferrari, mused, claiming that he did not expect his team to suffer a post-championship season like McLaren.
"The aim is always on the side of achieving what we've got in the hand rather than what you might have in the future, but you've got to balance it up because we want to be a consistently competitive team - and I think we can be.
"There are a couple of big changes next year - there's no refuelling and we have a new size of front tyre which changes the weight distribution - but the things we are doing now to improve the car aerodynamically will pretty much carry over to next year."