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'The Silver Arrow may surprise you' - Haug

ESPNF1 Staff
February 23, 2011 « Massa pins his 2011 hopes on Pirelli tyres | »
Norbert Haug has high expectation for the Mercedes W02 © Sutton Images

Mercedes boss Norbert Haug believes Mercedes can spring a surprise at the first grand prix of the season in Australia.

In recent weeks the team has been playing down its chances but has made several references to an aerodynamic upgrade for the final test. Haug hinted that the Mercedes package is now starting to come together.

"Because we were able to do more laps [in Barcelona], we understand the car and the tyres better, and that brings us lap time," he told Auto Motor und Sport. "If everything goes in the right direction, the Silver Arrow may surprise you."

Haug added that the decision to call off the Bahrain Grand Prix will give all the teams "just a little bit more air" in their development race. "At this point before the start of a season, all the teams are doing things literally at the very last minute," he said.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner disagrees, telling Bild: "Ten more days is not going to make much of a difference."

But he does believe the Bahrain decision could help Red Bull as the new car is down on straight-line speed compared to its Mercedes-powered rivals. "With its long straights, Bahrain would not have been our showcase race," he added.