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Merc: ‘Brawn not a scapegoat’

2013-06-20 09:24

MERC, PIRELLI ON TRIAL: Mercedes could face heavy penalties if found guilty of breeching IAF rules.Image: AFP

PARIS, France - The Formula 1 world is holding its collective breath ahead of the Pirelli, Mercedes hearing which started her on June 19.

Germany's Auto Motor und Sport claims Mercedes boss Ross Brawn might be armed not only with an email from Charlie Whiting but also a separate document in which the highly controversial and allegedly illegal Barcelona test was green-lighted by the International Automobile Federation's legal department.

It is also rumoured that Mercedes, possibly also Pirelli, were clearly in the wrong, in which case severe penalties could await and heads could roll.

CALLS FOR A HEFTY PENALTY


Mercedes executive director Toto Wolff, who will not be in Paris, said: "Most people who are talking do not know the facts."

Team shareholder Niki Lauda admitted he spent "the whole Montreal weekend trying to prevent the (tribunal) process".

Also appearing before the 12-strong tribunal will be Pirelli's Paul Hembery.

Wolff denied the team's boss was a scapegoat: "Ross Brawn is not being sacrificed in Paris.  That's not in my nature. He doesn't need someone like me there, holding his hand."

However, there is speculation that in the event of a high penalty, such as points deductions and a multimillion fine, Brawn might voluntarily step down.

McLaren team boss Martin Whitmarsh said that a penalty, if any, "should be decided by the federation but usually a sporting penalty should be imposed for a sporting offence".

Former driver Marc Surer agrees: "Only a fine would mean that a team like Red Bull could also test for 1000km. It would be relatively expensive, but doable. There must be a sporting penalty."

Wheels24 will bring you the result of the hearing as soon as it's announced.
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