Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn has admitted that his team is behind in preparations for the Bahrain Grand Prix and the rest of the season, but believes the team still has a strong car.
While Mercedes has returned to F1 for the first time since 1955, they had taken over the old Brawn GP team, so it w0uld have seemed that they would have been well prepared. However, Ross Brawn says differently:
"Everyone at Mercedes GP is proud to be representing the rich
motorsport pedigree of Mercedes-Benz as we start the season as the
first Mercedes works team for over half a century," Brawn began. "In
addition, knowing that we go into the new season as the reigning
World Champions gives the team confidence and a fierce pride to
defend our position.
owever, this is a new season and a new challenge. We had a strong
pre-season testing programme with the MGP W01 but we have not quite
reached the level of preparation that we would have liked prior to
Bahrain; the car shows promise and we have a strong development
programme planned for the season but there is a lot of hard work
ahead to ensure that we will be in the fight for the title.
It’s odd to me reading this, after what happened last year. When Jenson Button won his sixth race out of 7 in Turkey, Brawn GP switched focus to their 2010 car, which would end up as the W01. Their wind tunnel (believed to be up to 5 wind tunnels) system was now completely working on the aerodynamic setup for 2010, and not the rest of the season. The wind tunnel was used for 2009 twice after this, in Valencia when Barrichello ended up winning, and near the end of the season, just to ensure that Button had a good enough car to secure the title.
Apart from these two times, the 2010 car has been developed on from June 2009 until now. So how can they say they are behind in preparations? The team say the car shows promise, rather than saying it’s good right now, which says a lot. One possible reason for this problem is a wind tunnel calibration error. I’m saying this because it happened to the team back in 2007 (when they were Honda). It’s not based on facts, but it could be a possibility.
Brawn then talked about his views on his driver line-up and the 2010 season:
"I am very pleased with how our new drivers, Michael and Nico, have
settled into the team and developed a close working relationship,"
Brawn continued. "They have really pushed the development of the car
throughout testing and they will push each other to achieve better
results on the race track.
This season should be a fantastic one for the fans, with so many
talented drivers competing and what is likely to be a very close
fight for the title between the top teams - and that can only be
good for our sport."