Ross Brawn has scolded Mercedes’ critics as a protest threat continues to hang over the Australian grand prix.
Lotus is concerned the silver W03 features illegal aerodynamic solutions, and on Saturday raised the prospect of post-qualifying or post-race protests.
“It’s an option,” boss Eric Boullier is quoted by the Sun. “All I can say is Red Bull and ourselves do not believe the Mercedes system is legal.”
Asked about the prospect of an official protest, Mercedes’ Brawn is quoted by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport: “That would be very disappointing.
“If someone believes a car is illegal, then he should protest before the weekend, not afterwards.”
Brawn’s argument is that a pre-event protest gives the FIA a chance to respond and, if necessary, request a team make changes to its car before official results are filed. He continued: “We have always informed the FIA about what we are doing.
“On Wednesday of this week they took a close look at the system in our garage and found it to be legal. “As long as the FIA has this opinion, we will use the system,” said the Briton.
Brawn, in fact, smells diversionary tactics, amid earlier speculation about the legality of some exhaust solutions – notably Red Bull’s.
“The discussion about our system has diverted the focus from the exhaust issue,” he agreed.
Interestingly, McLaren has stayed out of the debate so far, stating simply on Saturday that it will not join a Lotus and Red Bull protest.
Team boss Martin Whitmarsh has now revealed his designers are working on something similar.
“We think we know what to do,” Auto Motor und Sport quotes him saying. “In general it is difficult with the limited space in a Formula One car to integrate systems at a later date. But I don’t think we are going to have problems.”