Bernie Ecclestone is sure Mercedes-Benz will deem the outcome of Wednesday's World Motor Sport Council "fair".

Bernie Ecclestone is sure Mercedes-Benz will deem the outcome of Wednesday's World Motor Sport Council "fair".

On April 29, the FIA congregation will consider multiple fraud charges levied against McLaren amid the 'lie-gate' affair.

Last weekend, Mercedes and Daimler chief Dieter Zetsche warned that an "unreasonable punishment" on Wednesday could cause the carmaker to "consider our engagement" in F1.

But the signs ever since have strongly indicated that while a penalty for McLaren is likely, the prospect of multiple race bans, huge fines or championship exclusion is not.

"I am absolutely positive that Mercedes would like to look upon this as fair for everybody and, if there is any punishment to be meted out, it will be fair and I am sure they would support that," Ecclestone told London's Times newspaper.

"I don't think they would decide to leave Formula One because somebody had done something wrong and been punished. I think they will be very fair," the F1 chief executive added.

It is rumoured that a points deduction, or even a single race ban for Lewis Hamilton, is possible, and the Spanish press reports that McLaren reserve Pedro de la Rosa is on standby for the forthcoming Spanish grand prix.

Former McLaren driver David Coulthard thinks the Woking based team should not be formally punished.

"Their card has been marked, their reputation tainted. Do we really need to see more?" he wrote in his Telegraph column.