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Brawn warns against radical change at Mercedes

ESPN Staff
May 1, 2013 « Marko still not happy with tyres | Marussia close to 2014 engine deal »
Ross Brawn: "You can always look to add to it and tune it to improve, but you mustn't damage what you already have" © Sutton Images

Ross Brawn has warned against Mercedes making any major changes to its engineering structure.

In the last two years Mercedes has overhauled its engineering department, bringing in technical heavyweights such as Bob Bell, Aldo Costa and Geoff Willis under Brawn. It then followed those appointments with improvements to its wind tunnel and a restructuring of its engineering department last year. However, news that Paddy Lowe is due to join the team next season has led to speculation that Brawn could stand down or even be elbowed out.

After a strong start to Mercedes' 2013 campaign, Brawn has now called for stability on the engineering side of the team.

"In terms of structure, Formula One is a massive engineering exercise and then it's about the sporting side, with the drivers and the team," he told Sporting Life. "You must always look to improve both sides without damaging what you have, which is very easy to do. It's a very delicate evolution.

"You need to make sure if you make big changes then you know where they are going to end up. From an engineering perspective, we know what we did 12 months ago is now coming through and giving us a reward.

"Changes were made back then which were painful at the time, and were part of the reason why we had a poor second half to last season. You have the pain for a while of those changes, which is what we had last year.

"We've now a very motivated group of people, and we're starting to put the things in place they need. When you do that the end result is you make progress. On the sporting side, we've two great drivers, and people I've worked with for a long time in the team. I know how they work, they know how I work.

"You can always look to add to it and tune it to improve, but you mustn't damage what you already have."

Mercedes has taken pole positions at the last two races, but Brawn admits the 2013 car is still lacking over a race distance.

"It's not down to one lap," he added. "What we have to have is a car that is fastest over 50-odd laps, and that's the challenge. It's nice to have taken pole position at the last two races, but what really counts is the race itself, and I don't believe we're there yet.

"We've two drivers who have taken the equipment and done what they have on the last two Saturdays, but I don't think we have the equipment yet to be the strongest in the race. That's what we are working on."