Mercedes Grand Prix team principal Ross Brawn is feeling optimistic ahead of the trip to Turkey.
The Brackley-based outfit put in an improved performance last time out at the Chinese Grand Prix, and while Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher had to settle respectively for fifth and ninth at the flag, the potential of the MGP W02 was a lot more evident that it had been in either Australia or Malaysia. Now Brawn is keen to see them maintain that form in Istanbul and he knows they can't keep making excuses.
“The team and drivers have worked extremely hard in the short break before the European season begins to ensure that we continue to move forward. We have a fundamentally good car and we need to achieve its full potential in the races to come,” Brawn said.
“The Chinese Grand Prix reminded everyone at the team what it is like to fight for a race. We didn't succeed on that occasion but it's a feeling that we would like to experience more often. When the car is working properly, we can be more competitive and the solutions we are bringing to Turkey will help us achieve this level more consistently.
“However, we also know that we need to push for more performance if we want to fight regularly at the front.
“The first three races have been a challenge but we have pulled together and will continue working hard to make progress.”
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug meanwhile is also hoping they can build on China. He will also take comfort from the fact Mercedes engines have won three of the six Turkish GP's to-date - and maybe that is a good omen.
"The Turkish Grand Prix is the first race of the European season in the 2011 F1 World Championship. It is a demanding circuit for both cars and drivers, and Turn Eight is the longest corner of the entire season. Nearly 70 percent of the 5.338 km lap is spent at wide open throttle which means that, in addition to the chassis and tyres, the engine is under considerable load," Haug added.
“At the last race in China, our team took a step up in competitiveness relative to the first races in Australia and Malaysia.
“Our aim now is to consolidate this level of performance in Turkey before building on it,” he concluded.