F1 » 24 June 2013
Brawn believes Mercedes slate wiped clean
Having been judged to have acted in good faith during its contentious Pirelli tyre test, Ross Brawn believes that Mercedes is now 'blemish free'.
Ross Brawn reckons that Mercedes can continue through the 2013 F1 season without a stain on its character following the ruling at last week's FIA Tribunal.
Although the Brackley team received a slap on the wrist and suspension from next month's Young Driver test as a result of engaging in a three-day development session on behalf of Pirelli shortly after the Spanish Grand Prix, Brawn believes that the Tribunal's assertion that neither party acted in anything other than 'good faith' effectively removes the burden of guilt.
"We have a blemish-free record here and it was very important to Mercedes that the facts of this case were understood," he told Sky Sports News after the two-day hearing was completed, "It does sometimes strengthen your resolve rather than weaken it but, now it's cleared away, we can concentrate on the rest of the year.
"Obviously things have gone wrong and we have received penalties, we understand that and we accept it, [but] it's clear the process went wrong. We had reason to believe we had permission to do that test and, from that perspective, were happy, [but] we need to make sure we find ways of stopping these things in the future.”
The ruling that neither Mercedes or Pirelli had deliberately broken the in-season testing rules was clearly important to Brawn on a personal level, but he insists that Mercedes as a whole will benefit from the decision not to impose greater sanctions.
"F1 is a very, very competitive business, but I think acting in good faith was a very important point for me and that's why I was keen that we actually presented the facts in front of an independent tribunal in order to establish what had happened so that that judgement could be made," he explained, "I think that was very important. There were all sorts of views on the incident and I think that was critical for Mercedes as a company and it was critical for me personally."
While rivals insisted that Mercedes had got off lightly, Brawn maintains that missing the Young Driver test, scheduled for Silverstone in the gap between the German and Hungarian grands prix, will be a blow to its development programme.
"I think the young driver test is a penalty - any perception that it's not significant is not correct," Brawn insisted, "We had quite a comprehensive programme planned for the young driver test, so it will be a blow to the team and things that we were hoping to try or develop with the young drivers we will lose."
Brawn also claimed that his job wasn't in danger following the outcome of the Tribunal, despite rumours that it may provide a convenient excuse to oust him from what appears to be a top-heavy management structure.
"To be honest, it's never been discussed, so the situation hasn't changed,” he explained to Sky's F1 Show, "You never know what might happen if the outcome of the tribunal had been different, and I'm an employee and member of the team, so things can change.
"But the board have been very supportive in this matter. For them, it was also very important that the issue of good faith was established and they've been very supportive and been aware of all the facts behind what has happened. I couldn't have asked for more support from them."
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