Mercedes team Principal Ross Brawn is confident Mercedes made good progress in 2012 but need solve the long running problems. The Mercedes duo scored just one point so far this season, even though having had a car that has showing to be the closest challenger to McLaren only in qualifying pace.
Talking from the team’s Brackley factory on Thursday, team Principal Ross Brawn was adamant that there was nothing basically mistaken with the team’s 2012 challenger.
“I think we can go a long way [to solving the problems] with set-up,” said Brawn, who exposed how narrow the temperature effective window is.
“Obviously we are looking as to how you manage the situation, but in Malaysia it was interesting – because the car that won and the car that was second, we know from Friday practice was very, very hard on the tyres. And it turned around for them in the race.
“But you are talking about 15-20 degrees either side of the optimum being quite critical…it is quite a sensitive window. And it is something that the drivers can operate in, because if they get into that window then they feel the tyre getting a little bit overstressed or if they ease back they can manage it, but outside of that it is quite difficult for them.”
“On Fridays we run the car in race trim and we are quite diligent in running the right kind of fuel loads to represent race conditions. And we think other people don’t run more fuel than us, because it would be difficult for them to run more fuel than us. So if you look at the comparative lap times, we think we are okay.”
“We had one race which by our own admission we didn’t do a good enough job in [in Melbourne]. And one race which was an unusual set of circumstances – and a couple of things we did to try and respond from Melbourne went the other way for what we faced in the race in Malaysia. So I am still pretty confident.
“We have not had a clean weekend where we can make a judgement, but I have to say that cars have to be able to cope with a wide range of conditions and, if there is something we have to look at, it is broadening the ideal conditions that the car operates in.
“You also have this dilemma: do you create a situation where you have ultimate performance but it is a bit peaky, or do you come back a little bit from that and have a broader base? We are conscious of perhaps needing to broaden the base, but that is stuff that I think we can do. We can make our decisions on what we want to create.
“But I would like to see a couple of clean weekends – with relative consistent conditions over a weekend and see where that puts us. I think there have been a few teams that are out of position, and maybe we are the most extreme, in terms of not quite coming together in the way you would expect. I think it is all of us getting used to this new family of compounds that we have got from Pirelli.”
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