Thursday morning will see the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 team principal Ross Brawn face a 12-man FIA tribunal amid a tire-testing controversy that the team and F1 tire supplier Pirelli got tangled in.
There are some who speculate that the team could be thrown out of F1′s 2013 championship race, and that is really an unwelcome development as Mercedes has only started heating up and is currently making a push for the top.
Most pundits see it as unlikely for the Mercedes F1 team to get banned from the championship altogether this year, as the repercussions to the sport itself could be more than just a team getting a stiff punishment.
Mercedes has hinted at quitting F1 for good in case the penalty proves too harsh, and that doesn’t bode well for a sport struggling to keep its finances in check. If one of the major teams opts out, there won’t really be anyone to take its place.
Of course, Mercedes is still going to supply other teams with engines regardless of the outcome. The company has recently entered into an agreement with Williams F1 for a long-term supply deal.
In any case, most experts and observers expect only a lesser penalty. This could range from a fine, or a deduction of championship points, or even a one-race suspension.