Brawn: Mercedes through the pain barrier
30 April 2013 – Ross Brawn believes that his Mercedes team is beginning to reap the rewards of technical changes implemented throughout 2012, with the German marque enjoying its strongest start to a season since returning to Formula 1 in 2010.
With 64 points on the board and back-to-back pole positions achieved by Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg in China and Bahrain respectively, Brawn says the short-term pain of restructuring is now being outweighed by recent performances.
"You need to make sure if you make big changes then you know where they are going to end up," explained Brawn. "From an engineering perspective, we know what we did 12 months ago is now coming through and giving us a reward. Changes were made 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.
"We have a very motivated group of people now, and we are starting to put the things in place that they need. When you do that the end result is you make progress. On the sporting side, we have 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 must not damage what you already have."
Brawn insists that Mercedes still has plenty of work to do as the season continues, however, with race pace the priority after failing to convert promising grid positions.
"It's not down to one lap," said Brawn, whose outfit sits fourth in the overall standings. "What we have to have is a car that is fastest over 50-odd laps; 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. That's what we are working on."