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F1 NEWS 

Ross Brawn says Mercedes' optimism of strong 2013 is justified

Ross Brawn Mercedes GP 2012

Mercedes boss Ross Brawn believes his team's optimism of a stronger 2013 season is "well justified" despite a disappointing end to the 2012 Formula 1 season.

The Brackley team enjoyed a promising start to the season, with Nico Rosberg taking victory at the Chinese Grand Prix, the third round of the championship.

However, Mercedes failed to match the development rate of the leading teams and quickly dropped down the order.

It failed to score points for five successive races during the latter part of the season.

Brawn says that making sure of a sustained rate of development is the priority for next year, during which the team boss is convinced his outfit can enjoy a stronger campaign.

"We created a car that was reasonable this year, but we didn't keep it progressing strongly enough," Brawn told AUTOSPORT.

"It's something we're addressing and we're putting in place the processes to ensure we can follow-up a good car and keep it at the front for the whole season.

"Twelve months ago we recognised we needed to strengthen the organisation, and we had Aldo Costa and Geoff Willis joining this summer. We had further additions.

"We upgraded the windtunnel and improved the facilities. The new car has been progressing well.

"I think we've got some well justified optimism that we're going to be better next year."

Brawn said that, unlike this year, the new car is set to make its track debut at the first of 2013's pre-season tests at Jerez.

"The car will be at the first day of the first test. Unless we have a problem that we don't anticipate," said Brawn.

Brawn, whose team has hired Lewis Hamilton for 2013, also reckons the strengths of Mercedes' set-up could be highlighted in 2014, when new regulations will come into play.

"It takes a little while for groups to settle down, and we've achieved that. We're working very closely with the two parts of our team, the engine part and the chassis part," he said.

"That particular relationship is particularly critical for 2014. That year is a massive opportunity and I think that's where we will show our strengths as one team, where the engine and chassis succeeds.

"Nico [Rosberg] is aware of and familiar with what we're doing. Some of those things we were able to explain to Lewis and that helped convince Lewis to join us."

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