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Brawn sticks neck on the line in Mercedes test controversy
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has revealed that he took the decision to take part in a private test with Pirelli last month, as pressure mounts on the team ahead of its appearance at the FIA's International Tribunal.
Mercedes could face serious penalties if it is found to have breached the Sporting Regulation's ban on in-season testing and in Friday's FIA press conference the Mercedes team principal was not keen to answer questions relating to the test. However, he did reveal that it had been his decision to join Pirelli at the test with a 2013 car.
Asked if he might have to leave the team should it be found guilty, Brawn said: "There have been some rumours before [that I will leave] and nothing has happened. Let's wait and see what the tribunal find and then we can go from there. It was my decision to do the test, that's a fact. Let's see what occurs at the tribunal."
Pushed on whether he consulted non-executive chairman Niki Lauda and executive director Toto Wolff, Brawn said: "It's not something I want to comment on. We will get all the facts when we get to the tribunal."
Asked for reasons why Mercedes went ahead with the test, Brawn failed to directly answer the questions, urging journalists to wait for the tribunal, which is expected to be held later this month.
"It's a little difficult for me because we've got this process going on now where it's in the hands of the tribunal," he said. "As was mentioned by the other teams, we trust that process and it's a new and independent process the FIA has introduced. It's the first time it's being tested and I think 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 anticipate the tribunal. I think when you get to the tribunal you will get the answers to your questions.
"I won't pretend that it's very pleasant at the moment. But again, I'm comfortable and confident that once we get to the tribunal the facts will become apparent and people will be able to make a better judgement. We try to focus on the racing and we've got a race here to focus on and try to keep that in the distance. But that's motor racing and I've been in it a long time and been through these sorts of things before."