Mercedes need to find a second, says Brawn

2011 F1 testing

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Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2011

Ross Brawn says Mercedes are bringing an upgrade package to next week’s test at Barcelona which he hopes will be worth one second per lap.

Speaking to the BBC Brawn said the team had purposefully adopted a conservative strategy with their test car.

He said: “Most sensible teams have been running with high fuel loads because that’s where you get the highest degradation, that’s where you stress the tyres the most, that’s where you want to find the solution.

“So it is difficult to judge. I think we said when we started that we had some things to learn on KERS and tyres and we were going to start with a fairly plain car.”

Brawn said the team have “something quite different” for Barcelona:

“We’re as quietly confident as we can be. We think our strategy is correct to operate the way we have. We will know when we get to the first race.

“It’s pretty difficult to judge where everyone is. I think at the last test at Barcelona we had a go at running low fuel and super-soft tyres and we were the second-quickest car. But I don’t think that’s where we are overall.

“I think we’re about a second off where we want to be. And where we want to be is mixing it at the front. So we’ve got to find a second in the upgrade. Which we think we can do but you never know what other people are going to do as well. Everybody’s going to have new bits at Barcelona.

“If somebody does come through with a radical innovation that none of the other teams have thought about then it can change things. We’ve set out our plan, we’ll know when we get to Melbourne whether the plan was right. It’s fun to speculate at the moment but it’s very difficult.”

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    35 comments on “Mercedes need to find a second, says Brawn”

    1. Struggling just as much in this years testing as last years i think..

    2. That’s pretty drastic if he’s being honest. A second is a lot of time. But it’s also nothing I don’t trust Ross Brawn to make up!

      Ross has worked miracles and with the sale to Daimler he can concentrate on his roles within the team rather than his role AS the team!

      1. SeattleChris
        3rd March 2011, 22:40

        Thats what I was thinking. A second? Plus he admitted running low fuel on super softs and I’m certain the only teams doing that were the ones in need of sponsor dollars and they still were only second place?

        These other teams are going to bring new front wings and floors to this last test and are sure to get another half second, maybe more, out of the car. The established teams have tremendous amounts of data on the new tires and are going to be miles ahead by Australia.

        1. Listen to what he is saying, he thinks they will find a second with their aero updates… He doesn’t say that they are a second off the pace, only that they are hoping to find another second or so with their updates that they will bring for the 1st race, which has been Mercedes stated plan all along.

          No need to go jumping on the doom & gloom train yet there fellas…

      2. I had a thought over it. Look at what he says, they are not believing they are a second behind Red Bull and Ferrari.
        They would have wanted to be about a second faster than they currently are, probably compared to last years car.

    3. A second is fine, do-able with a major upgrade. The problem is the extra half-second the others ahead of you will find as well…

      1. I remember they had high hopes of catching Red bull ect at Catalunya last year with a “big” upgrade and it just didnt work as they planned.

        I fear the same this year.

        1. nobody caught RB last year…this year maybe, but not from the start… they look pretty strong as pace… the Ferrari’s look as cheap imitations of BR… Mclaren could bring something interesting as performance, it’s the car to watch, if it’s a winning one or not, it’s the most original one as design :d also the Merc’s have a lot to prove this time :D

      2. With the single diffuser restrictions teams like red bull have already made the big gains. They can only make small refinement steps now because they have started with a highly developed vehicle. They may have shown their hand too early. Come race one I expect Macca and Merc to be right there with the Reds and the Bulls. Probably Renault too!!

      3. Yep, an uphill battle this year. Good to hear Ross feels up to that!

    4. As a Schumi die-hard I don’t think I can take a 2010 repeat.

      1. I have to stop watching F1 if that happens. Like what I did when he retired… Hoping for the best!

        1. You are totally forgetting that Schumi had no hand in the developement of last years car,that car wasn’t meant for him.

          This time it is different,you will not be disappointed.OK the others may have great cars but it is a long season,and the cars have to be driven by drivers,who being human beings,will make mistakes along the way.
          Have faith in Schumi,stop being doubters.

          1. Well said Diana, last year was an abberation, an understeering car levels everyone out & doesn’t allow drivers with extraordinart talent to display what they can do, as if the front of a car doesn’t turn, all you can do is manage it & drive around it, up to a point. There is no way to make it find extra lap time, as can be done with a car that has a strong front end & can be “danced” around & balanced via throttle/brake & steering input on the way through the corner..& That was where Schumacher was SOOOOOOOO strong in the past.. I’ve no doubt he can still do it, he just needs a car that is in the ballpark performance wise.

            1. Can Michael Schumacher still dance around the pack?
              OF COURSE HE CAN IN WET OR DRY :)

              Come on fans,keep the faith :)

    5. Both Mclaren and Mercedes seem to be struggling with their new cars.
      Ferrari and Red Bull seem to have a good handle on everything.
      Ferrari have been very quiet this testing days.
      I think that going to Melbourne I will not be surprised if I see a Red Bull or Ferrari front row lock-out.

      1. Yep .. it would not come as much of a surprise to see the 2 front rows locked out by the Ferraris and the RBs.

        For Mercedes to be off by more than a second is ridiculous, as I remember Ross saying that they were just over half a second down on the front runners during pre season testing last year. Mclaren seems to be in a bit of trouble as well. But I would put my money on Mclaren bouncing back quicker than the Mercedes.

    6. I would REALLY like to see the W02 on the podium with the R31. As great as last season was, that was 2010. Brawn’s had his down year, like many teams do post-Championship. I hope he gets them back in it.

    7. Sounding like a repeat of last year. Unless you have an Adrian Newey in your pocket.

    8. u’re all so negativistic, actually we don’t know where the teams are in terms of speed right now… that others used or didn’t used low fuel loads we simply do not know as well… the only safe thing to say is that the RB’s looks to have the best pace until now…

    9. jose arellano
      3rd March 2011, 23:24

      renault and merc are the 2 big question marks. hope they can mix up rbr and ferrari

    10. have they looked down the back of the sofa yet? :D

    11. I am surprise that this team is still struggling they have the right people there with the experience of Schumaher & Brawn. They also have started to work on there 2011 car much before than anyone have ever done.Not sure why they are struggling.

      1. Money. Don’t be fooled by the manufacturer name – they’ve already admitted that they don’t run on the same budget as Ferrari and RBR. It may even be possible that even if Mercedes started early, Ferrari and RBR could’ve run 2 programs (for 2010 and 2011) in parallel.

        1. And Red Bull claims that Ferrari, McLaren, and Mercedes all have bigger budgets than themselves. I would imagine Ferrari spend the most, but beyond that it’s really hard to say without seeing all of the teams’ books.

          1. Where does it say they are struggling? Brawn simply says that they are looking for another second from the upgrades they are bringing, that was their plan all along & they have said this for about a month now….

            1. I think Ferrari & Mclaren spend the most on their program. This is what I found in a folder,teams spending during the 2008 season.

              Toyota: $445.6m
              McLaren: $433.3m
              Ferrari: $414.9m
              Honda: $398.1m
              Renault: $393.8m
              BMW Sauber: $366.8m
              Red Bull Racing: $164.7m
              Williams: $160.6m
              Toro Rosso: $128.2m
              Force India: $121.85m
              Super Aguri: $45.6m

              Can anyone help me about 2009,2010?

    12. i think they will find 1sec If mr.brawn say was true. their sidepod is like giant buble wall of drag. personaly i like tiny clean friend of turbulence redbull or torrorosso act like tip over wing with u all say double floor. cause bottom air flow faster than upper one. and merc dont have good bageboard n vertical fin on their front sidepod.. seeing w02 like big fat aunty car.. i think they must find aero diet of drag, change frontal drag to downforce n make cleaner back airflow as rosberg n schu still strugling in out corner. n off course their cooling issue.. but i still not find detail their rollerhoop to see why that T-cam placed far back their inlet..

    13. Nope i think torrorosso just speeding their bottom flow n make diffuser grab more underbody air flow added more suction still suspicious on w02 airbox. looks wider than another team (with their sipepod makes look bigfataunty), plus that T-Cam place.. n their enginecover body likely further back n small.. i think there something hidden.. if their got it, than it can bring cleaner flow to rear wing.. but please please change that fat cholesterol sidepod.. from merc fan

    14. I hope they can find that second, and then some more!

      It’s always so hard to guess if they’re sincere, or just justifying their budget to their sponsors/owners. Or maybe sandbagging, showing up with a car with ‘cooling holes’ in them, which are actually ‘sandbag holes’…

    15. If you’re a second behind now, and you think that Ferrari and Red Bull are just going to stand still between now and the first race, then you’d better hope that whatever it is that you’re putting on the car for the Barcelona tests is going to grab a few headlines. That also applies to McLaren too!

    16. Speaking to the BBC Brawn said (the team had purposefully adopted a conservative strategy with their test car.)

      =Most important thing to read on this page for any Merc/Nico/Schumi fan, and one of the reasons you shouldn’t mock a season’s worth of research by Mercedes.

      Come on Barcelona!

      1. Speaking to the BBC Brawn said (the team had purposefully adopted a conservative strategy with their test car.

        Most F1 engineers would say that in order to optimize and integrate features on the car, they should get them on to the car at the earliest opportunity. You wouldn’t have seen William’s turn up with its radical rear end at the next Barcelona test, for example.

        Obviously it isn’t always possible to put everything new on the car all in one go, but it seems as though Mercedes are trying to do just that!

      2. If they suddenly find themselves at the front of the pack in testing I’ll eat my hat.

        Everyone (McLaren, Redbull, Williams etc) will be bringing large upgrades to the test.

        So in reality they will need to find 1.5 to 2 seconds a lap, and that just wont happen.

        McLaren gained that in 2009, but they were one of the only Kers cars in the field.

        To say they stopped developing their car mid last season, and the others kept developing their cars, it doesnt cover themselves in glory.

        I think the line about taking a conservative strategy is a load of old baloney. You set out with a base car and develop it, but you don’t aim to be trying to find a full second at a time.

    17. I do think mr.brawn hidden something on that chassis.. it look wierd between chassis n bodyworks not flow on streamline.. i bet on that, prepare to eat your hat :)

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