• Chinese Grand Prix - FP2

Mercedes focused on race pace

ESPNF1 Staff
April 13, 2012 « Ecclestone calls for an end to Bahrain speculation | Button struggling to extract pace »
Ross Brawn: "One point from two races is a dreadful result and we need to do much better" © Getty Images

Ross Brawn confirmed that Mercedes had spent most of Friday practice focusing on race pace despite setting the fastest time of the day.

Michael Schumacher topped the timesheets in the afternoon session by 0.172s from Lewis Hamilton's McLaren as Mercedes displayed the sort of pace that marked it out as challengers for pole position in the opening two races. The team's race pace has been letting it down, however, as an inability to get the tyres working has seen it struggle on a Sunday so far, and Brawn admitted that had been the focus of Friday's running.

"(The car looked) OK on low fuel, at times you could see Michael was in pretty good shape," Brawn told Sky Sports. "But we did a lot of work on high fuel because obviously that's where we've been weak in the races at the last couple of races and that seemed OK, though you're never quite sure how much fuel other people are running."

Brawn revealed that it was an inability to keep the tyres at the correct temperature that had been hurting Mercedes so far.

"Well the thing is we're not really keeping the tyres in the right temperature window. The rubber on these tyres is quite sensitive; it needs to operate in a particular band. It's really how you distribute the load around the tyres.

"One point from two races is a dreadful result and we need to do much better. The car is much better than that and the team is much better than that so we're going to start scoring some points."