Mercedes' Ross Brawn insists young driver test ban will hurt

Mercedes boss Ross Brawn says his team's development programme for the rest of the season will be hampered by having to miss Formula 1's young driver test

Mercedes' Ross Brawn insists young driver test ban will hurt

Although rival teams have suggested that the punishment handed out to Mercedes for using a 2013 car in a Pirelli tyre test is too lenient, Brawn insists that the young driver test ban will hurt.

"We've been looking at the consequences of us missing the young driver test, because we had a pretty comprehensive technical programme planned," Brawn said in an exclusive interview with AUTOSPORT.

"We are now looking internally at how to recover the loss of the programme, and I am not sure we will. Some of the things we wanted to do are just not feasible over a race weekend, so there will be a tangible loss to the team in not doing the young driver test.

"It is unfortunate the spin that some teams are putting on it that the punishment is not significant."

Although the young driver test was originally conceived as a way of bringing on future talent in a post-season run, its shift to the middle of the campaign has meant teams now use it for a proper technical programme of new parts.

Last year, teams like Lotus were able to try out concepts like the passive DRS - while McLaren made no secret that the 2012 Abu Dhabi test was being used to help improve the car.

PENALTY IS 'SEVERE'

Brawn disagrees that losing a young driver test with Sam Bird is negligible compared to having his team's race drivers conducting a test wholly for Pirelli.

"The penalty is pretty severe," he said. "We provided services for Pirelli to do a 1000km test - which could have been done over two days but was spread out because of the weather.

"We tested 12 sets of development tyres, none of which will be used in 2013 or 2014. Anyone who has done tyre tests, with short runs, and long runs, knows there is no spare capacity for anything else. You are just doing tyre testing.

"The young driver test itself is a slight misnomer. The original intent was to promote young drivers, but people don't do that.

"Teams will be doing 1500 km of proper car testing, with full developments, running all the equipment, systems, and new parts on the car you need to acquire information.

"The other good thing about Silverstone is it would have been a continuation of any work done at the race, so that would have been helpful too. I think we have got a very tangible loss.

"It is a different league quite frankly to have a three-day test, over 1500 km, with new parts, with race tyres that are those we race.

"So to downgrade the test to make it like it is not significant is not correct, and just an attempt by teams concerned to distort the facts."

MERCEDES GOOD FAITH KEY TO SANCTION

Brawn thinks it wholly incorrect of rival teams to suggest that his outfit got away with just a rap over the knuckles and thinks the penalty applied was the fairest one considering his outfit acted in good faith.

"I think it is a disingenuous to compare the young driver test to a team dinner at the end of the year," said Brawn, in reference to comments made by Ferrari's Horse Whisperer column.

"This is a meaningful penalty and you have to look at what the tribunal established. We acted in good faith and didn't intend to gain sporting advantage. What evolved wasn't a malicious act."

shares
comments
Stats: Britain is Red Bull territory

Previous article

Stats: Britain is Red Bull territory

Next article

Mexican GP has a 'good future ahead', according to Carlos Slim

Mexican GP has a 'good future ahead', according to Carlos Slim
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams Brawn GP , Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track Plus

What Mercedes must do to keep its F1 title challenge on track

Mercedes may find itself leading the drivers' and constructors' standings after Lewis Hamilton's victory in the Bahrain Grand Prix, but it is well-aware that it came against the odds, with Red Bull clearly ahead on pace. Here's what the Brackley team must do to avoid its crown slipping

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent Plus

Why Tsunoda can become Japan’s greatest F1 talent

While Japan's fever for motor racing is well-documented, the country has yet to produce a Formula 1 superstar – but that could be about to change, says BEN EDWARDS

Formula 1
Apr 15, 2021
Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration Plus

Why the demise of F1's hypocritical spending habit is cause for celebration

For too long, F1's richest teams have justified being able to spend as much as they want because that's the way they've always conducted their business. STUART CODLING says that's no reason not to kick a bad habit

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate Plus

The double whammy that is defining Vettel’s F1 fate

It's been a tough start to Sebastian Vettel's Aston Martin F1 career, with a lack of pre-season testing mileage followed by an incident-packed Bahrain GP. But two key underlying factors mean a turnaround is not guaranteed

Formula 1
Apr 14, 2021
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

Formula 1
Apr 13, 2021
The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021