Formula 1 teams may need a rethink about the way they launch their new cars next year, after those that gambled on late-updates to their 2011 challengers struggled in early races
That is the view of Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn, who believes that his team may well have been better off spending more time getting to understand how to get the most out of a car, rather than leaving it to the last minute for aerodynamic updates.
Mercedes GP faced a difficult early spell to testing, as it focused on reliability on a basic car package, before introducing its definite update package for the final pre-season test in Barcelona.
However, it took until last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix for it to understand how to extract the most speed from that updated package.
"If you look at it last year, in the last five races we changed nothing with our car but we went faster," explained Brawn. "So there is a lot of time in cars in just understanding what they respond to, and how you set them up.
"Perhaps we will reflect back on our approach over the winter of turning up quite late with what was a definitive car, because perhaps we just did not understand, with so little time, the best ways of getting it to work
"Now we are seeing the best ways of getting it to work. Nothing dramatic has changed, we just have thought about the set-up and thought about the things we should prioritise. And that is what we did in China."
Mercedes GP was not the only one who delayed running its definitive 2011-package until Barcelona - with Ferrari also waiting until then. Before that, McLaren skipped the first test this year with its new car to give itself more development time.
Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant
In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge
Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?
OPINION: After Lewis Hamilton responded to reports labelling him 'furious' with Mercedes following his heated exchanges over team radio during the Russian Grand Prix, it provided a snapshot on how Formula 1 broadcasting radio snippets can both illuminate and misrepresent the true situation
OPINION: Valtteri Bottas is credited with pole position for the 2021 Turkish Grand Prix, despite being beaten in qualifying. This is another example of Formula 1 and the FIA scoring an own goal by forgetting what makes motorsport magic, with the Istanbul race winner also a victim of this in the championship’s recent history
Starting 11th after his engine change grid penalty, Lewis Hamilton faced a tough task to repeat his Turkish Grand Prix heroics of 2020 - despite making strong early progress in the wet. Instead, his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas broke through for a first win of the year to mitigate Max Verstappen re-taking the points lead