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Ross Brawn says he was disappointed with Mercedes' lack of race pace in Belgium

Team Principal says they "were sitting ducks" at the start

By William Esler.   Last Updated: 25/08/13 6:50pm

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Ross Brawn says Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg finish as he expected in Spa.

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Ross Brawn admits he was disappointed with the race pace Mercedes showed during the Belgian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton qualified on pole, but slipped to third at the chequered flag, just ahead of his team-mate Nico Rosberg.

The Team Principal says things improved later in the race, but was at a loss to explain their lack of competitiveness at the start.

"To be honest, it is where we expected to be," he told Sky Sports F1.

"Perhaps the balance could have been better and the car didn't look too bad at the end, but I am not sure why we struggled so much in the opening laps when we were sitting ducks. But that is where the car is and we are half a second slower than we need to be."

This isn't the first time Mercedes have seen the balance of their car improve as the fuel load came down, but Brawn was keen to point out that tyre wear was not the cause.

"We didn't have any tyre issues today which was good," he added.

"Both drivers were able to push hard in the final stint when they needed to and defend their position against Webber so that was okay. We are getting there, but it is a moving target. Red Bull are not sitting still."

Looking ahead to the final European race of the season at Monza, the Silver Arrows boss is hopeful they can be competitive.

"It is different to the other tracks we have this year, so none of us really know how that is going to pan out. I wouldn't want to make any predications but we are optimistic," he added.

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