Ross Brawn says a revamp of Mercedes' aero department caused 2012 slump

Team made switch from 50% to 60% windtunnel models

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 02/01/13 9:43am

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Ross Brawn feels a revamp of Mercedes' aerodynamic department was the reason for the team's slump in the second half of the 2012 season.

The German manufacturer arrived in Australia with a double-DRS device, which many thought would give them a significant advantage throughout the season.

However, Nico Rosberg's win in China was the Brackley-based squad's only victory all season and Michael Schumacher's sixth in Brazil their only points in the final six races.

"We made a decision to change the structure of the aero group. We had to wait for [new aero chief] Mike Elliot to join us because we had a notice period he had to fulfil at Lotus," Brawn told Autosport.

"We concluded the situation with Loic and there was a gap that we didn't fill very well.

"On top of that we were doing the transition from 50% to 60% models in the windtunnel and there were a lot of other things in the aero group as well. It did have an impact."

Mercedes struggled with rear tyre-wear - being forced to make an extra stop during some races - and Brawn believes the switch to 60% models was necessary to understand the Pirelli rubber better.

"Our conclusion was that we would get a much more representative tyre at 60% than at 50%," the Team Principal added.

"Pirelli have to make 50% and 60% windtunnel tyres. There are only two teams that are still doing 50%.

"Even with Pirelli's best efforts, they're going to be getting better feedback about 60% tyres than 50%. So we wanted to make the move.

"The other thing that has happened over the years is that you're putting more and more equipment inside the windtunnel model to measure, monitor and check. We just ran out of space in the 50% model.

"There were things that we wanted to do that we couldn't do, and we needed the 60% model to accommodate those features. 60% is the legal limit you can go to - there is no further step we can make."

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