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Reliability a concern for Mercedes - Brawn

ESPN Staff
April 16, 2013 « Pirelli won't be rushed into change of approach | Pirelli revises tyre choice for Bahrain »
Nico Rosberg has retired from two of the first three rounds © Getty Images
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Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says resolving the W04's reliability issues is a priority after Nico Rosberg suffered race-ending technical problems at two of the first three races.

Rosberg retired from the opening race in Australia with an electrical problem and then pulled out of last weekend's Chinese Grand Prix with a broken rear anti-roll bar. His car also suffered a hydraulic issue in final practice in Shanghai and Brawn said sorting the reliability issues is as important as trying to close the gap to the fastest cars.

"The performances so far have been pleasing and perhaps even beyond our pre-season expectations however there is work to be done," he said. "We have two main areas to focus on; we must improve the reliability and we have to lift our performance to find that extra couple of tenths to our fastest competitors. And of course, that's a moving target to make the challenge even tougher.

"A strong two car finish will be our target this weekend [in Bahrain], and we want to see both Nico and Lewis [Hamilton] in a position to score not only points but podiums regularly. We've had a taste of success already this season and the slight feeling of disappointment with third place in China is our motivation."

Rosberg is keen to get back in the car at this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix and says his motivation has been boosted by the car's podium-scoring potential, as proven by team-mate Hamilton finishing in the top three at the last two rounds.

"I'll be really happy to get back in the car again on Friday after a tough weekend in Shanghai," Rosberg said. "The first three races haven't quite worked out as we had hoped on my side but the positive is that we have a car that we can really work with. So I'm looking forward to getting on with this weekend and the circuit at Sakhir is one that I like very much.

"It's going to be very tough on the rear tyres and our biggest challenge will be to make the most out of the situation. We're better prepared than we were last year and we have shown that the car is much stronger so I really hope that we can achieve a great result in Bahrain."