Brawn: Pirelli test was private, not secret

By on Friday, June 7, 2013

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn has said that their tyre test was private, rather than secret, ahead of this weekend's Canadian Grand Prix.

Mercedes will face an FIA International Tribunal after the FIA said the team may have breached regulations.

"It was a Pirelli test. What we were seeking was privacy not secrecy. You don't go testing in Barcelona for three days and expect people not to know about it," Brawn told BBC Sport.

Drivers Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton took part in the three day test, which took place after the Spanish Grand Prix.

Rivals were not informed of the test until news of the arrangement between Mercedes and Pirelli emerged following qualifying two weeks ago in Monaco.

"It was a Pirelli test, on the Wednesday to Friday after the race. It couldn't be held any closer to the weekend because people were packing up. On the Tuesday there were still motorhomes being dissembled, garages being taken apart, and there we were in our full regalia with the trucks and the Pirelli trucks and everything. There was no secrecy involved; it was privacy."

Rosberg was asked during the FIA Press Conference on Thursday why he and team-mate Hamilton tested in plain helmets, but refused to answer the question. Brawn insists this arrangement was due to Pirelli.

"The reason for the drivers' helmets is it was a Pirelli test, they organised the security, they organised all the arrangements. We didn't want to bring attention to the drivers, we didn't want to have to put security there, we didn't want to have to put minders. The easiest way for us was to not bring attention to what drivers were in the car, only for those reasons. We have always been very open about the drivers. The drivers are irrelevant - there's nothing in the sporting regulations, nothing in the arrangements for these tests that controls which drivers are in the car."

"There was no issue there. It was purely privacy and nothing more. My conscience is clear," added Brawn.

"When we get to the international tribunal and everything's explained, people can make a judgement when they know the facts. I'm not going to pre-empt those facts. It's unfortunate to be making judgements before the facts are known."

A date for the hearing has yet to be set, although it could take place during the three week gap between the Canadian and British Grand Prix.

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