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Brawn stands by team orders call

ESPN Staff
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Ross Brawn: "I had all the facts and all the information" © Sutton Images

Ross Brawn has defended his decision to use team orders at the Malaysian Grand Prix and reasserted that he is in charge on the pit wall.

Brawn ordered Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton to hold position at Sepang as both needed to conserve fuel and Mercedes was aiming to secure its first podium of the season. Despite getting his nose ahead at one point, Rosberg heeded Brawn's order and slotted into fourth behind Hamilton.

After the race Mercedes non-executive chairman Niki Lauda was critical of Brawn's decision, but the team principal has no regrets about the call he made.

"I had to make a decision from the pitwall about what we were going to do," he told Sky Sports F1. "Now, Niki or Toto [Wolff] might not agree with it, but I had all the facts and all the information. I had what I feel was all the information to make that decision and they didn't and I think they both recognised after the event that it was the correct decision.

"I am clear to make the decisions that I need to make and I am very happy to justify them and put my hands up if I have made the wrong decision. But somebody has to make those decisions. You can't have those decisions made by a group or a committee, there is no time and it's not effective. I won't get it right all the time but if I can get it right 70% or 80% of the time then I am doing pretty well."

Brawn said in an ideal world he would let his drivers race, but given the circumstances in Malaysia he had no choice but to employ team orders.

"I don't like having to take those decisions, but from a technical perspective we would have looked very foolish if we had run both cars out of fuel," he added. "I think what wasn't fully appreciated at the time is that we had a situation that had developed on both cars with fuel. We weren't comfortable with either car and I could just see a scenario with both drivers competing against each other in a strong way. It's difficult to marry the two - both conserving the fuel and having a full blown fight with your team-mate.

"I didn't like having to give the orders I gave in Malaysia, it is not in my sporting nature and the team have demonstrated many times in the past that we are very happy to let our drivers race each other. Over the past few years we have often done that."