Mercedes boss Ross Brawn has revealed that it was his decision to go ahead with the controversial Pirelli test, as he played down talk his position could be under threat if his team is found guilty of breaking the rules.
The team is to face an FIA disciplinary hearing later this month to answer charges that it may have broken Formula 1 regulations by using its W04 2013 car during a Pirelli test at Barcelona after the Spanish Grand Prix.
Following rumors over the winter that Brawn's long-term future at Mercedes was under threat after a management overhaul, there has again been talk that the German car maker could elect to move him aside if the team is punished. Speaking during an official FIA press conference in Montreal on Friday, Brawn denied that his job was on the line because of the case – even though it was his call to take part in the test.
"I think there have been some rumors before and nothing has happened," declared Brawn. "It was my decision to do the testing, that is a fact, and let's see what happens at tribunal and we go from there."
Although Brawn is unwilling to divulge specifically why Mercedes was so convinced it was OK to test the 2013 car, he says he is eager for the facts of the case to come out so his outfit can clear its name.
"I wouldn't say it is very pleasant at the moment but again I am comfortable and confident that once when we get to the tribunal the facts will become apparent and people can make a better judgment."
When asked if he could shed any further light on what notification he had from the FIA regarding the use of a 2013 car, Brawn said: "I think we would not have done the Pirelli test unless we believed we could do the Pirelli test. When we get to the tribunal you will have your answers."
Brawn also made it clear that Mercedes did not believe the Pirelli test was "secret" even though information about it taking place was not openly shared with other teams and only came to light during a Grand Prix Drivers' Association meeting with the FIA.
"There has been an unfortunate branding of this being a secret test, but it was a private test," explained Brawn. "To do three days in Barcelona – and 1000km of running – and to think that people would not become aware of it is naive. It was a private test not a secret one."
He added: "Sporting integrity is important to us, important to Mercedes and, when the facts become apparent, people can make a better judgment of the situation."