Lauda and Wolff to be absent in Paris as Brawn set to take the heat alone

Niki Lauda with Toto Wolff

Niki Lauda with Toto Wolff

Mercedes has confirmed that new team co-owners and chiefs Niki Lauda and Toto Wolff will not be in Paris on Thursday for the hearing regarding the team’s test in Barcelona recently, while the heat mounts on Mercedes ahead of their D-Day in Paris

We reported on Monday that team boss Ross Brawn will be the sole representative of the management of the German carmaker’s Brackley based F1 team as it faces the wrath of the FIA over ‘test-gate’.

A Mercedes spokesman confirmed Brawn’s attendance, and the absence of director Wolff, and chairman Lauda, to the German news agency DPA.

Brawn, who according to speculation could lose his job as a result of the ‘secret’ tyre test scandal, will be accompanied by lawyers as well as team engineers, the APA news agency reported.

Triple world champion Lauda might be staying away from Paris, but he insists that Mercedes should not be penalised for testing at Barcelona with its 2013 car.

Is Ross Brawn being lined up to be the fall-guy for Mercedes?

Is Ross Brawn being lined up to be the fall-guy for Mercedes?

“Mercedes got permission to test the 2013 car,” he is quoted by the German broadcaster RTL. “The tribunal will show who is right.”

Lauda has reportedly wagered 50 euros with Red Bull‘s Helmut Marko over the outcome of Thursday’s hearing, with the latter saying: “If this test is without consequence, negotiations about limiting costs will end and Pandora’s box will open.”

Brazil’s O Estado de S.Paulo newspaper, however, reported that the job of Pirelli’s Formula 1 boss Paul Hembery could also be on the line “depending on what happens in Paris”.

Correspondent Livio Oricchio said Brawn, Lauda and Wolff should also be worried.

“Public opinion in Europe has extraordinary strength, and changing leadership is a way to respond,” he wrote.

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Mercedes under fire

The headline grabbing saga has also provided a strong argument for those Daimler shareholders not wanting Formula 1 involvement to lobby for the manufacturer to pull out.

Earlier this year Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper quoted shareholders – Michael Muders of the fund manager Union, and Henning Gebhardt, of DWS – as criticising Mercedes’ investment in F1.

“Mercedes has been behind for years, without consequence,” said Michael Muders. “But F1 is expensive and brings nothing to the [Daimler] group.”

Gebhardt added: “F1 no longer enhances the image [of Mercedes], especially if we are in countries criticised of human rights violations.” (GMM)

Subbed by AJN.

  • Richard Piers

    Now there’s a surprise, what a lot of sh***.
    Too many chiefs none with b****.

  • Butterfly

    I guess Ross is the only one with balls over at Brackley.

  • Hawk

    Ross is the man! i’m backing Merc to comeout ok somewhat.., And that Honer fella i’m sure now he’s sorry he put up such a fight with merc about the tyre gate, cus if its to be correct that redbull are using TC on there cars Ross is gonna get payback…

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    I am supporting Ross and Merc all the way… Helmut Marko and the rest of the Red Bull dumb dumb jackass team can kiss their team goodbye…. I want them out of F1…

  • F1 Neutral

    It looks suspiciously like Ross will lose his job here. I hope not, but why have Paddy Lowe waiting in the wings and Ross taking full blame for the test? Ross must have accepted a huge payout for it. Surely the decision to do the test was a group one?

    Thursday can’t come quick enough. Is this hearing so big that Mercedes HAVE to be punished in some way? Is it worth going to Paris otherwise?

    If they are fined anything like McLaren’s $100 million, that’s going to make the shareholders very happy isn’t it?

    I fear for F1 right now. It has a lifetime habit of messing around with the rules and regulations – always when both are exactly right. V6 engines … a possibility of losing both Mercedes and Pirelli. So much tyre talk and negativity. F1 has completely lost it’s soul.

  • Butterfly

    “I guess Ross is the only one with balls over at Brackley.” – Not my post.

  • Hawk

    “Ross is the man! i’m backing Merc to comeout ok somewhat.., And that Honer fella i’m sure now he’s sorry he put up such a fight with merc about the tyre gate, cus if its to be correct that redbull are using TC on there cars Ross is gonna get payback…”

    - not my post either

    @Butterfly
    someone is using using our monikers