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Mercedes banking on more competitive car going forward

ESPN Staff
August 7, 2012 « Sauber will approach Ferrari first over 2014 engines | My mistakes are normal - Maldonado »
Ross Brawn is hoping for better results in the second half of the season © Sutton Images
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Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn is confident his team will have a stronger second half of the season and is determined to finish higher than Mercedes' current fifth place in the constructors' championship.

Brawn's team has scored 106 points in the first 11 races of the season, 83 behind Ferrari in fourth and just 26 ahead of Sauber in sixth. The team has won one race this year at the Chinese Grand Prix but scored just 14 points in the three races before the summer break. Nevertheless, Brawn is confident the car will be more competitive in the second half of the year.

"We haven't got the car quite as we wanted right now, but we have a very good team - very good people - so I am optimistic that we are going to have a stronger second half to the season than the first half," he told Formula One's official website. "P5 is not our ambition and we will do anything possible to end better. There are still a lot of races to come with many more points to be won."

After a series of retirements Michael Schumacher scored just two points in the first seven races, but Brawn is unwilling to blame bad luck for Mercedes' poor performances.

"It was very unlucky for Michael - the problems that he had - but these problems have had a cause," he said. "There has been a reason why they've occurred, which has nothing to do with Michael. It just occurred on his car and you categorically can't see any reasons why they occurred on Michael's car, but they have. So the fact is that something went wrong - and when something goes wrong it's the responsibility of me and the team to not allow it to go wrong again. He had that many years perhaps benefiting from good fortune and this year he has some poor fortune, but I prefer not to believe in luck - not in motor racing."

Schumacher's contract is set to expire at the end of the year, but Brawn said he would not comment on the current state of negotiations with the seven-time world champion.

"I think this is a very important decision for all the people involved. We won't be rushed on the decision and when the time is appropriate we will announce what we are going to do. I don't want to increase speculation by commenting on where we are."

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