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2012-04-06 17:31

COMING RIGHT AGAIN?: Mercedes' Michael Schumacher and the team were getting it right at Jerez before the 2012 season - but things didn't hold up. Image: AFP


LONDON, England (Reuters) - Mercedes missed the mark in the first two races of the 2012 Formula 1 season but they know what went wrong and should do better in China, according to team principal Ross Brawn.

Seven-times World champion Michael Schumacher and fellow-German Nico Rosberg scored only one point between them in Australia and Malaysia despite the Mercedes showing good pace in qualifying.

Schumacher started third on the grid in Malaysia but finished 10th.


Brawn said in a team analysis on April 5 that the problems were related to getting the Pirelli tyres to work in the different conditions.

"In Melbourne (the season-opener) we overheated the tyres. It was under control on the Friday but then we developed the set-up in a direction which did not prove helpful in the warmer conditions.

"In Malaysia, having done a lot of work in practice to make sure we didn't suffer from the same problem, the cooler conditions on Sunday dropped us out of the window again."

Brawn said Mercedes had too narrow a window for getting the best out of the car and had to broaden that and build in more tolerance.

"Our analysis since Malaysia has given us an even better understanding and we have plans and actions in place to improve our tyre management," the Briton said.

"We clearly have a reasonably quick car – we’ve shown that in qualifying - and now we have to convert our speed into race performance."

Schumacher's 91st (and last) win to date came in Shanghai with Ferrari in 2006.
"I've never had much luck in Shanghai, apart from my win in 2006. That that could change this year," he said in a team preview. "In the first two races of 2012 we didn't manage to maintain our qualifying pace in race conditions.

“We've been working intensively on this so we can offer our fans a strong performance in China."


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