Merc team boss Ross Brawn has warned that the team can’t rest on its laurels as the tyres are a “strong moving target” this season…
Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has warned that the team can’t rest on its laurels after its Hungary success as the tyres are a “strong moving target” this season.
Having struggled with high levels of degradation in the heat earlier in the season, the Brackley squad appeared to finally come to grips with the issue at Budapest as Lewis Hamilton won from pole position in hot conditions at the Hungaroring.
Naturally it has led to an increase in optimism that Hamilton could mount a serious challenge for the title this season with his odds at Paddy Power dropping to 10/1, but Brawn says the team can’t afford to get carried away as the tyre situation is constantly changing.
“It is a strong moving target,” he is quoted as saying by Press Association Sport. “We’ve had three specs of tyre this year – what we began the season with, what we took to the Nurburgring (for the German Grand Prix) and what we had in Hungary.
“So you have to keep track and there’s no doubt that it will suit people more than others. Quite frankly, I still don’t have any idea whether this tyre is the one that suits us more or less than anyone else.
“It’s certainly changed the order a little because some teams who were doing exceptionally well, like Force India, struggled with it. I’m sure they will come to terms with it, but it clearly behaves differently.
“We’d just started to understand the original tyre at Silverstone when we had to change it again.
“There are slopes that people will be running along in terms of their understanding of the tyre.
“We got it on the button in Hungary, but it doesn’t mean we’ll get it right at Spa because every situation is different.
“You just build up your understanding of it to use it properly.”
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While all the attention has been on Mercedes’ cure for their tyres, their new cooling system developed to cope with the extreme heat has gone unnoticed.
“One of the great things the team did was to handle the whole cooling situation because we suspected it would be a hot race,” added Brawn.
“We’ve been a touch marginal – more than we should have been – in a couple of races this year, so we introduced a new cooling package for Hungary and again, it was right on the button.
“Obviously, Lewis had free air so he didn’t have to make any concessions to his performance, whilst Nico (Rosberg) had to do a little bit of management when he was amongst other cars, but nothing serious.
“You could hear from the radio communications that other teams had more serious issues, so our team did a great job in that respect.”