Ross Brawn has admitted that Ferrari is at a loss to understand why Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello were so far off the pace during practice for the first Turkish Grand Prix in Istanbul.

The drivers complained of a lack of grip and, between them, had more off track incidents during the day than any other team. There is clearly a lot of work to be done overnight, and there's the added problem of the tyre choice to consider when track conditions are certain to change.

"We didn't have a good car balance at the beginning of the session," Brawn said, "Obviously, we take all the information we can find to arrive at a position here and, when we started, the car wasn't very well balanced. I think, by the end of the session, we did achieve a reasonable balance, so we were much happier by the end, but it didn't start very well.

"That is unusual for us because, normally, we have a good predictive set-up, particularly with new tracks. So there must be something about the surface, or the way the tyres were working, which was a little bit different here than we expected.

"There was so little grip to begin with, and there was a lot of dust being thrown on the track, a lot of people going off, including us! I think, on one occasion, Michael arrived at turn eight and there was a cloud of dust and a lot of dirt in the middle of the track. It's been awkward because of that."

Interestingly, Bridgestone has reverted back to an older type of tyre this weekend and, with it, has come the familiar problem of the lack of first lap performance which was so costly in the first half of the season.

"The tyre we had in Germany and Hungary, we don't have here," Brawn confirmed, "It wasn't possible to make a tyre in that family which was as durable as we need for this new track. So we're back to, let's say, another 'philosophy' of tyre, which isn't as good for the first lap, but is more durable and more consistent. We have to approach the race a little bit differently. Because of the long left-hander, we were worried about the wearing, so we've got a modified version of what we had in Magny-Cours and Silverstone."

Despite the matter being raised elsewhere in the pit-lane, Brawn says that the drivers have not mentioned the physical toll exerted by turn eight.

"They haven't really commented on it yet," he said, "They've both done reasonably long runs today, and I know they've both been taking on specific training because of the counter clockwise direction of the track."

 

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