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Lauda tried to avoid tribunal

ESPN Staff
June 20, 2013 « Mercedes offers to skip Young Driver Test | Horner unconvinced by Mercedes defence »
Niki Lauda says Ross Brawn and Toto Wolff rejected the chance to settle before the tribunal © Sutton Images
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Mercedes' Niki Lauda says he attempted to avoid the team having to face the International Tribunal by agreeing an out-of-court settlement with Bernie Ecclestone.

The tribunal investigating the tyre test carried out by Mercedes and Pirelli took place on Thursday in Paris, with the judging panel saying it would deliver a verdict on Friday. While the FIA claimed it did not give approval for the test to take place, Mercedes argued that clearance from FIA technical delegate Charlie Whiting - clarified by the FIA's legal team -was sufficient permission.

However, Lauda admitted he did not want the issue to get as far as the tribunal and that a solution was in place for Mercedes to settle beforehand, only for the team's hierarchy to reject it.

"Let's see, I tried the whole weekend in Montreal to avoid the process," Lauda told Blick. "Red Bull lodged the protest against us with Ferrari, agreed an out-of-court deal with Bernie Eccle¬stone and to make it happen it needed a letter from Mercedes to FIA boss [Jean] Todt. But our bosses Toto Wolff and Ross Brawn refused. Now they have to live with it."

Only Brawn, chief race engineer Andrew Shovlin and team manager Ron Meadows were present for Mercedes at the hearing on Thursday.

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