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Brawn: It was hard to keep calm

Mercedes Grand Prix team principal Ross Brawn confesses that the early days of the new MGP W02 were not easy ones - but he is hopeful the Brackley-based outfit is now on the right track...
Ross Brawn has admitted that he felt 'nervous' and that it was 'hard to keep calm' in the early days of testing of Mercedes Grand Prix's MGP W02 – but now the team is convinced its initially uncompetitive new contender is far closer to F1's front-running pace.

There have been mixed messages coming out of Mercedes in recent days, with Nico Rosberg reporting that the considerable upgrade package brought to the MGP W02 for the final test in Barcelona last week was 'a giant step forwards' [see separate story – click here], but team-mate and compatriot Michael Schumacher subsequently conceding that the Brackley-based outfit is 'not quite in a position' to fight for victory just yet [see separate story – click here], despite topping the timing screens around the Circuit de Catalunya.

Team principal Brawn remains somewhere in-between the two stools, whilst Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug is quick to point out that Schumacher and Rosberg were not the only drivers to aim for eye-catching lap times in Spain – and that if anything, they could in fact have gone even faster than they did.

“Whether we have done enough or not is difficult to say,” Brawn told the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, confessing that he was 'nervous' after witnessing the MGP W02's off-colour early form and acknowledging that much hinged upon the major update taken to the last Spanish test. “It was hard to keep calm, and I was constantly reminding the team to stick to the plan. In situations like that, it's tempting to react and waste resources.”

“Most drivers during the test in Barcelona practiced a qualifying lap,” added Haug, speaking to news agency SID. “One or two in the field could probably have gone faster, but probably he (Schumacher) and Nico Rosberg could have as well.”

Meanwhile, the latter sought to qualify the comments he recently made about Schumacher seeming to suggest that if an extension is to be made to the 42-year-old's current deal beyond 2012, it will need to be at a cut-price [see separate story – click here].

“This was a reader's question in a live chat and the wink was not broadcast live,” the German explained, referring to his remark about being able to 'agree on a right price'. “We are very pleased with Michael and very proud of his skill and experience, and if he wants to carry on in F1 after 2012, we will very happily speak with him about it. We have no doubt that Michael Schumacher is still absolutely competitive.”

Related Pictures

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Thursday, Norbert Haug (GER), Motorsport chief and Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
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Thursday, Norbert Haug (GER), Motorsport chief  and Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
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Ross Brawn (GBR), Team Principal, Mercedes GP
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Firestorm - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 6:07 PM

Hey guys.Brawn didn't said that Mercedes is the fastest car on the grid,but only has made significant progress.They are slower than Red Bull and Ferrari,I believe,but their target is to match McLaren and Lotus-Renault at least in the early stages,because will be difficult to beat McLaren in the final standings.So keep pushing hard Ross.

Duke - Unregistered

March 15, 2011 6:06 PM

Schumi is the calmest of them all,he is without doubt the best driver of all.No one can touch him on speed IF the car is right for him.There will be plenty of modifications throughout the season,Schumi can come from the back and get to the front in a car suited to him,so poll isn't everything.It is up to the driver to convert the pole position to a win,despite pitfalls along the way. Ross knows how fast Schumi is,but we shall see as the season progresses.

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