Mercedes put a the month long ‘secret test’ saga behind them with principal Ross Brawn saying that it had made them stronger as a Formula 1 team and left his own enthusiasm for the sport undimmed.
The team were reprimanded and ordered to miss a three-day young driver test in July after an independent tribunal hearing decided that they had broken the rules by taking part in a tyre test with Pirelli in Spain in May.
Other teams protested when they found out about the test but the tribunal ruled that Mercedes had acted in good faith and had not sought an unfair advantage.
“I think these events are the ones that pull the team together. These are the sort of events (as well as racing) that consolidate a team,” Brawn told Sky Sports television after the verdict.
“I think [that] the team was very solid in the last few weeks, we had complete support from Mercedes headquarters in] Stuttgart. They understood…it was very important for Mercedes that the facts of this case were understood.”
Asked whether he had feared that a different outcome might have hastened his exit from the team, the Briton acknowledged that he had been under some pressure before the hearing in Paris.
“An event like this creates a lot of emotions. It would have been very frustrating if the outcome of this hadn’t been what it was…but it does sometimes strengthen your resolve rather than weaken it,” he said.
“It’s certainly cleared everything away now so [that] we can focus on the rest of the year. The car is coming along well, we’ve got some interesting things to try at Silverstone, some improvements, and two drivers on top of their form.
“So I think we can now move on to the rest of the season. Certainly it hasn’t diminished my enthusiasm for F1.”
The British Grand Prix at Silverstone, a short drive from their Brackley factory, takes place next week with 2008 world champion Lewis Hamilton and Germany’s Nico Rosberg hungry for success.
Brawn said that the drivers had been kept fully abreast of developments and had been concerned about what could have happened to the team.
“I think they are pleased [that] we’ve got a balanced result, a balanced conclusion. They are just keen to go racing again,” said the Briton.
Mercedes, who provided Nico Rosberg with the means to win this year’s Monaco Grand Prix, is currently third in the constructors’ championship after seven of 19 races. (Reuters)
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