Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn admitted his team 'weren't quick enough' in the Bahrain Grand Prix, despite seeing Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher bring home a double points finish.
Rosberg ended the race in fifth place – having been unable to find a way past the ailing Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel late on – while returning seven-time champion Schumacher finished one place further back in sixth after a steady showing on his return to action.
Speaking after the race, Brawn admitted that the W01 simply hadn't been quick enough to allow the pair to fight for more and said the team now had to work hard to turn the car into a podium contender.
“Nico and Michael did a great job this weekend to finish in fifth and sixth positions and now we need to give them the car to improve on those placings,” he said. “We were not quick enough today and our race pace was not there to finish further up the field and challenge for a podium position.
“We have some hard work ahead but I am confident that we can progress the car strongly in the next few races. The team performed extremely well this weekend and for our first race with our two new drivers, we achieved two strong points-scoring finishes.”
Rosberg had started the race by making up a place on the opening lap, getting ahead of the McLaren of Lewis Hamilton when the Briton ran wide.
Although Hamilton reclaimed the place during the pit-stops, something Rosberg admitted the team needed to analyse, the former Williams driver said he was happy with fifth.
“I had a great start today and was happy to be running in fourth position by the end of the first lap,” he said. “However I lacked pace on the option tyres in the first stint and struggled for pace. Lewis beat me on strategy in the pit stop, which we need to analyse later and see what happened.
“I couldn't quite get Sebastian at the end as I lost grip in the dirty air when I got close. However fifth place is a good start for us and I am confident that we can develop well from here.”