Mercedes confident it can sort tyre degradation issues

Mercedes has faith that it can get on top of the tyre degradation issues that hampered its race performance in the Australian Grand Prix

Although Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg were contenders for pole position in Albert Park last weekend, the pair were unable to keep that pace up in the race.

The Brackley-based team has expressed some surprise at the way it suffered with its tyres - especially because its long runs in winter testing had been so positive - but is confident that it will be able to address the situation.

Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug said: "We just need to see what was not optimal and I think the team is looking at it and we will see what we can do here.

"It makes no sense to make any further predictions as we need to see what is happening or what will happen on the racetrack. But we still think the basics are there for the car, we just need to transport that into the race."

He added: "If anything we thought before Melbourne we would struggle on one-lap pace, but we were quite convinced with the long runs we did over the long testing period that we looked quite good there. But it turned out to be the other way around, which is the nature of F1 sometimes. But with a slow car you cannot do a fast lap."

Haug does not think that there is anything fundamentally wrong with the Mercedes W03, and reckons even some set-up changes could be enough to sort out the problems.

"It needs a proper and intense look into the factors that are important," he explained. "Did we over react on changing set-up, or whatever? It is tight sometimes to be spot on.

"Other teams complained that they did not fully get it right for qualifying and they probably got the benefit in the race, and it was the other way around for us. But this is guessing a little bit."

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