Pole chasing Mercs won't match McLaren on race day
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Pole chasing Mercs won't match McLaren on race day

By:
, Mark Hughes

Mercedes's red hot qualifying pace offers Michael Schumacher a chance of a 69th pole in China, but if you're looking for a race winner at Shanghai says Mark Hughes, it's still between McLaren and Red Bull's drivers

The long straights of Shanghai circuit are playing beautifully to the double DRS system of the Mercedes, confirmed legal yesterday after Lotus's protest. It looks that way during qualifying simulation anyway.

Last week Ross Brawn spoke of how he was hopeful that the drop in competitiveness from qualifying to race days of Australia and Malaysia was nothing more than set up problems and largely unconnected to the DRS system. He was putting it down to poor choices to do with tyre management. But the pattern in second practice here suggests the shortfall of race pace is still very much there.

Michael Schumacher was fastest of all in qualifying simulation, the system even more potent around here than in Malaysia, thanks to the huge length of the back straight. But in race trim - without using the DRS system at all - both Mercs dropped quickly off the pace, on both types of tyre.

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Teams McLaren
Author Mark Hughes