• British Grand Prix

Mercedes' hard work paying off at Silverstone - Brawn

ESPN Staff
July 8, 2012 « Q3 tyre selection hampers Raikkonen | Webber 'very proud' of victory »
Michael Schumacher qualified third in the wet at Silverstone © Sutton Images
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Ross Brawn says improvements to the Mercedes focused on high-speed corners and wet weather pace are paying off at this weekend's British Grand Prix.

The wettest race this season was in Malaysia when Mercedes qualified well in the dry but lacked performance when the rain came on Sunday. However, in wet conditions at Silverstone on Saturday, Michael Schumacher qualified third in the Mercedes and is confident of his chances if it rains on Sunday.

Brawn said the team had worked hard on improving the car in high-speed corners - a key characteristic of Silverstone - and learned its lesson from Malaysia about how the car performs in the wet.

"We've made some progress since earlier in the year when our fast corner performance was perhaps not as strong as we wanted and it will show more tomorrow if we get some dry periods of the race," Brawn said on Saturday evening. "But I think it's also reflecting in the performance of the car in wet conditions because I have to say at the beginning of the year the car in the wet wasn't great and I think the team has done a great job to improve that performance as well. You could see that most of the time this weekend in the wet conditions we were able to compete."

However, Nico Rosberg will start from 11th on the grid on Sunday after failing to make the cut for the final session of qualifying. Brawn said the long rain break in Q2 had not helped Rosberg, but tipped his driver for a strong performance on Sunday.

"You saw when the session was stopped [red flagged], Nico was third and Sergio Perez was quickest and both dropped out because it didn't quite come together in the second part of that session. It was clear that once the rain had stopped and the track was swept that it was going to be much quicker than when the session was stopped.

"Those two or three laps that you could get in before the session finished were going to be vital and Nico made a mistake and went off and it was more difficult from there on in. I think he's actually in quite good shape for tomorrow. If we have these sorts of conditions tomorrow he's going to have quite a lot of fun."