Brawn set to renew 2009 upgrade push

Brawn GP is ready to pull more resources back onto improving its 2009 car if rival Red Bull Racing delivers continued strong performances in the next few races

With a major upgrade to Red Bull's car having left Brawn facing a serious fight for the world championship now, team principal Ross Brawn is considering putting more of his team's emphasis into improving his current machine rather than preparing for 2010.

A decision on that plan will be made after this month's Hungarian Grand Prix, when Brawn will be better able to judge how effective its next scheduled upgrade is against the Red Bull.

"We have some quite good steps," explained Brawn, who accepts that Red Bull has now seized the advantage in terms of overall pace. "We have a new floor, new engine cover, new wings for Hungary, and obviously we are just balancing the work we do for next year with this year.

"It depends how these next two races go, but we might steer a bit more back to this year, but it is a normal balancing act in terms of deciding. If we move the programme more to 2009 we can still come up with things for the last four races if we feel we have to."

He added: "We are trying to balance what we want to do for next year and what we want to do for this year. So, the constraints that FOTA has agreed on wind tunnel hours means that even if we had the resources we could not just expand your programme a lot.

"We are operating fairly close to the FOTA resource limit, as I know Red Bull are, so there is no capacity to turn on extra wind tunnels or what have you, so we have to make a judgement call over the next few weeks and decide how much effort we put into this year and how much effort we put into next year."

Although tyre temperature factors have played a part in explaining Red Bull's recent dominant form, Brawn does not think that is the only reason why his car has slipped behind its rival.

"I think there is a gap," he said. "Obviously they have made a good step with their car. If you look at Turkey, I think Istanbul the cars were pretty similar, we had a better set-up in the race and it turned hot and that worked in our favour, and they've had quite a big step at Silverstone.

"They have moved away from us with their car and we have to do our best to limit the damage here, which I think if we have mixed conditions race will give us some opportunities, and we have some improvements coming which we need to try and introduce as quickly as we can.

"We had a few races where the cars were quite close. We have not had any major upgrades, we have one coming for Hungary now, and we were pretty close and they made a pretty good step at Silverstone.

"At the same time we've had two races that have been exceptionally cold which for us has possibly exaggerated the difference - it was 11 degrees on Friday, so it has been frustrating to have to battle both, but that's part of the championship year. We were running 50-60 degrees front tyre temperature, which is hopeless. You need 70 or 80 to get the things working properly."

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