Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says its not just his team that has lessons to learn from last week’s Tribunal hearing.
The FIA panel reprimanded Mercedes and Pirelli for conducting a test ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix in violation of the testing rules. Mercedes were also banned from participating in this year’s Young Drivers Test.
Brawn said the case shows F1 needs a procedure for how teams go about clarifying queries about the Sporting Regulations.
“I think there’s a lesson learned for all of us that obviously what in the end became the issue was a judgement of the interpretation of the regulation, the law of the regulation,” Brawn told Sky.
“Both ourselves and Charlie [Whiting] with the FIA and the FIA’s head of legal department had a view on that regulation which didn’t prove to be correct, at least in the eyes of the Tribunal. We’ve got to look at that procedure to make sure that ourselves, Pirelli or whoever’s involved doesn’t get caught out by that in the future.”
Brawn praised the work of the Tribunal, saying it had proven itself to be professional and impartial:
“I think Formula One in particular, and anyone who’s involved in this sort of thing, can look at the Tribunal and say that it is independent and it will seek the facts and give an independent conclusion as to what happened. If that involves some criticism of the FIA as well as other parties then that’s what will happen.”
On Monday, the Formula 1 schedule finally allowed teams to be in Europe before heading to Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s season finale.
And as such, that provided a window for now four-time World Champion Lewis Hamilton to return to the Mercedes AMG Petronas factories in Brackley and Brixworth to be celebrated for taking the driver’s title, as Hamilton an Valtteri Bottas delivered Mercedes its fourth straight constructor’s title.
Hamilton was at Brixworth, the home of Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains (HPP) and its highly successful Mercedes-Benz Power Units first before heading to Brackley, where he was welcomed with a “guard of honor” as the entire team came out to greet him.
The champion was overwhelmed at the response and the welcome.
“This a very emotional day. I was not expecting this, thanks everyone for the warm welcome,” he said. “Today is something that I will never forget, turning up at the front gate of the factory and seeing everyone out on the street to welcome me – I’m blown away.
“This has been an incredible year, it’s been an incredible journey together. There’s a huge amount of respect and appreciation I have for everyone. I’ve been in the sport for a long time now, but to see the work ethic in Brixworth and Brackley really inspires me. Every time I come around, I see everyone operating at 100%, which encourages me to bring my best performance.
“Thank you all for helping me achieve my dreams, it would not have been possible without you. This is the best championship year, because we’ve been fighting another team and because we’ve had the difficulties and challenges we’ve had – that just makes it so much greater.”
A social roundup of images and videos are below, all via Hamilton and the Mercedes team on social media.