Ross Brawn is confident that the unity of the Formula One Teams' Association (FOTA) is holding together, despite the pressures being put on it by the wrangling over diffuser designs.
FOTA had always faced a challenge to keep all its members aligned amid the inevitable rows that erupt in the heat of competition. And Brawn, who heads up FOTA's technical working group, believes the 'test case' of the diffuser controversy is showing that the body can come through such disputes with getting fractured.
"What I am pleased about is that FOTA is still operating well within its mandates, objectives and so on," said Brawn, whose team's diffuser design has been protested by Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, and Renault. "This has not, as far as I can tell, damaged FOTA. We have to learn to work in that way, because we when we get on the track there will be instances where we will get very upset with each other. We have to put that to one side and say within FOTA we are trying to do something which is good for the sport.
"I draw this analogy with rugby, which is that you go out on the field and try and kill each other, then you come back and you have a beer. You have got to be able to separate those two things. And FOTA has got to be able to do that.
"We have got to be able to go out on the racetrack, objecting to someone's technical specs of the car is all part of it. It is part of the event, and we have got to able to put that to one side and say, 'OK we are having our situation there but let's work on trying to help Formula 1 improve and become better.' If we do that, and we seem to be able to do that, then that means FOTA can work. If the first time we fall out on the track it blows FOTA apart then that's no good and I don't think that will happen."
The FIA's International Court of Appeal hearing into the legality of the diffuser designs is to take place in Paris next Tuesday.