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FIA tribunal: Mercedes argues it should get reprimand at worst

Ross Brawn at the FIA TribunalMercedes believes it only deserves a reprimand for testing a 2013 car - or at worst a ban from the young driver test - if the FIA's International Tribunal decides it was guilty of a rules breach.

In closing submissions at the disciplinary hearing in the FIA's headquarters in Paris on Thursday, Mercedes lawyer Paul Harris maintained his stance that his outfit had not broken the regulations.

But in a bid to head off the possibility of a heavy punishment if the team is found guilty, Harris reckoned that the International Tribunal should take into account that Mercedes had acted in good faith.

"We were actually careful to ensure there was no breach of [article] 22," he said. "We rang [FIA race director] Charlie Whiting who we understand to be the man to ring. We rang him twice including with the team principal.

"We also thought it was a good idea for Charlie to check with the FIA legal department, and he confirmed what we thought and hoped.

"Critically we would not have proceeded without the agreement we received from Whiting."

Harris added: "If we are wrong then we apologise to the FIA and the other teams if we have breached the sporting regulation 22.

"Our intention was not to breach article 22. We acted in good faith."

Referring to a possible penalty, he said: "If there is to be any sanction it has to be a minor one taking that into consideration. The sort of thing would be a reprimand."

With F1's only sanctioned in-season running, the young driver test, taking place at Silverstone next month, Harris reckoned at worst his team could be excluded from either some or all of it if the FIA Tribunal wanted to ensure Mercedes had not gained a competitive advantage.

"It is a three-day test, and it is a car test over which teams have full control and teams know everything about the tyres and cars," he said.

"If we are in this territory then it is open to the International Tribunal to impose exclusions from events that are under FIA jurisdiction, and the young driver test is that."

Daytona Competition
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