Ross Brawn adamant Mercedes GP has closed gap on frontrunning teams

Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn is adamant his team has reduced the gap to the frontrunning squads, although he concedes it has not been enough to make the outfit as competitive as needed

Ross Brawn adamant Mercedes GP has closed gap on frontrunning teams

Although Mercedes started the season with high hopes of fighting for victories, it soon became clear it was not strong enough to achieve the goal.

The team is in fourth place in the standings, over 300 points behind leader Red Bull, and is yet to finish on the podium this year.

Brawn says Mercedes is still trying its best to reach the top and, despite its disappointing season, he reckons it has closed the gap to the top in terms of laptime.

"Obviously we're still trying very hard," said Brawn. "Interestingly we kind of do an analysis after each race and generally we're clawing it back, slowly - obviously not as quick as we would like because I think there's pretty intense competition at the front so they're working ferociously to improve their situation and we're also trying to catch up.

"But in terms of what we call normalised laptime, where you take account of tyres, fuel, all sort of things, we have reduced the gap, just not enough yet."

Brawn conceded that in hindsight there are things the team should have done differently this year, in particular around the diffuser area.

"We are about six months out of phase," he added. "If we had six months worth of performance developments in the car now we would be looking a lot better. So really that's what we are trying to do."

"There are some things that we would be differently.

"The sort of exhaust plan diffuser, or the technologies around the exhaust we possibly didn't get on to that early enough, in terms of the implications it has, and there are some thing we did to optimise the car without those technologies that perhaps we wouldn't have done with those technologies.

"You are balancing aerodynamics against weight distribution, centre of gravity, all those sort of things."

The team boss is also convinced Mercedes has a stronger structure now, but says it will expand it as far as the Resource Restriction Agreement allows.

"To add people you have to have the structure you need, and obviously one of the big things for the team is Bob Bell joining us," Brawn said. "The infrastructure has to be in place before you can start adding numbers. And I think we've strengthened the structure.

"It's always nice to do well with the smallest number possible, and there is the RRA limit, and we are looking to move to that absolute limit.

"At the same time the other teams are coming down to it because they are still on the glide path down to the RRA limit, so in 2011 the teams who are bigger still have the benefit of that glide path down to the RRA targets."

shares
comments
Magazine: The fall-out from Sky's deal

Previous article

Magazine: The fall-out from Sky's deal

Next article

Virgin's Lowdon says only fans will judge the success of the BBC/Sky deal

Virgin's Lowdon says only fans will judge the success of the BBC/Sky deal
Load comments
The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break Plus

The drivers that need to strike gold before F1's summer break

OPINION: Formula 1 is about to break up for summer 2021, with the title battles finely poised. But it’s not just the latest round of Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton that will be worth watching this weekend in Hungary, as plenty of drivers are eying big results to change the stories of their seasons so far

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Plus

How Lotus F1 uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but 
flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021
The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address Plus

The core problems Yas Marina’s long-awaited tweaks won't address

OPINION: Changes to the layout of Abu Dhabi’s circuit aim to reverse the trend of insipid Formula 1 races there - the promoter has even described one of the new corners as “iconic”. And that, argues STUART CODLING, is one of this venue’s abiding failings

Formula 1
Jul 26, 2021
How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't Plus

How Ferrari offered Britain's next F1 prospect what Red Bull couldn't

Last year's Formula 2 runner-up Callum Ilott could be on his way to becoming the first Briton to contest a grand prix in an Alfa Romeo since Reg Parnell in 1950. But, says OLEG KARPOV, the Ferrari Driver Academy protege is having to temper his ambition at the moment – outwardly at least…

Formula 1
Jul 25, 2021
The signs that point to F1's rude health Plus

The signs that point to F1's rude health

OPINION: Formula 1's calendar might still be facing disruption as the pandemic affects travel but, says MARK GALLAGHER, the business itself is fundamentally strong thanks to the epic rivalry taking place on track and the consistent arrival of new sponsors

Formula 1
Jul 24, 2021
The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat Plus

The unexpected benefit of F1’s sprint race repeat

OPINION: Formula 1's sprint race trial at Silverstone drew mixed feedback on Saturday, but there remained the true test of how it would impact Sunday's Grand Prix. While fans were busy marvelling at Fernando Alonso's progress, a key lesson was being learned that would directly contribute to the dramatic lap one clash at Copse the following day

Formula 1
Jul 22, 2021
The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt Plus

The off-track considerations that led to F1’s Hamilton/Verstappen Silverstone shunt

OPINION: Formula 1’s 2021 title fight turned ugly last weekend when Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton collided at the start of the British Grand Prix. Verstappen thankfully walked away unharmed, but this had been a clash long-since coming

Formula 1
Jul 21, 2021
Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model? Plus

Will 2022's all-new cars look like F1's concept model?

Formula 1 provided its clearest example yet of what the 2022 cars are set to look like when it presented a full-scale concept to the world during the build-up to last weekend’s British Grand Prix. Underneath the special shiny livery was a design that hinted at the future, but teams will be digging into key areas that may reap differing results

Formula 1
Jul 20, 2021