Brawn: Track suits Mercedes
Mercedes Team Principal optimistic they can repeat Friday pace
Last Updated: 21/04/12 7:40am
Mercedes chief Ross Brawn believes there is no reason why the team can't reproduce the kind of speed that allowed Nico Rosberg to set the overall pace on day one in Bahrain as the Sakhir circuit suits the W03.
Discussions of on-track matters since last Sunday in China has focused on whether Mercedes can reproduce the form that saw Rosberg claim his maiden victory in Shanghai this weekend at Sakhir, particularly as temperatures are significantly higher in the Gulf kingdom
The Brackley-based team took the first step towards answering those doubts in Friday's second practice session as Rosberg set a blistering pace on the soft tyres, the German ending up nearly half a second clear of nearest challenger Mark Webber.
Appearing on The F1 Show on Friday evening direct from the Sakhir paddock, Ted Kravitz relayed to Brawn that drivers from both Red Bull and McLaren had told Sky Sports F1 that they wouldn't have been able to match Rosberg's pace-setting 1:32.816 on Friday.
Then asked if he felt the team could show similar relative speed in qualifying conditions, Brawn replied: "Well, yes, in theory. The car wasn't perfect in the morning - the engineers and drivers did a great job over lunchtime, found some things which improved it.
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"I think it's the type of track which suits our car at the moment. We know where our strengths and our weakness are; we're perhaps better in the lower-speed stuff, not so good in the high-speed stuff.
"So it's a good track for us, as was China."
Although Brawn is aware the team need to improve the car's high-speed corner performance for the next round at the Circuit de Catalunya, he acknowledges the Bahrain layout, which features several straights intercepted by hairpins and low-speed corners, is favourable for the team, as are the all-but guaranteed stable weather conditions.
"Our objectives over the next few races is to try and improve the high-speed stuff so when we get to Barcelona and tracks like that we're not disadvantaged," he added.
"But the track suits us. It seems to suit the drivers, they like it here, and importantly we're going to get consistent conditions over the three days. The relative conditions are going to be fairly consistent so the work we did today, the work we do tomorrow will be relevant for Sunday."
Brawn also underlined that he felt that the team's Shanghai victory wasn't a flash in the pan, particularly as Mercedes finally have a strong understanding of how to exploit the car's potential.
"You saw in qualifying in Melbourne and Malaysia we were reasonably strong and the thing is we've learned how to use this car, how to get the best out of it," the Briton added.
"China was I hope the first measure of putting together a whole race weekend properly. I don't think it's a flash in the pan."