Mercedes out to respond to Korean woe
8 October 2013 – Ross Brawn has said Mercedes will be out to ‘respond’ in Japan this weekend following a tough Sunday afternoon in Korea.
Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg lined-up second and fourth on the grid for the 14th round in the 2013 F1 World Championship, however, in the race both went backwards, finishing fifth and seventh respectively, the latter also losing time after he suffered a structural failure on the front wing assembly.
“It was a tough weekend for us in Korea so our clear target [in Japan] will be to respond to that disappointment with a result that delivers the full potential of the car we have developed this season,” Brawn confirmed.
“The Japanese Grand Prix is always one of the highlights of the F1 season. First of all are the fans: the Japanese public have a great passion for F1 as well as a deep understanding for the sport, and it is always a pleasure to see them again when we visit Suzuka.
“As for the circuit itself, it is a fantastic challenge not just for the drivers but also the engineers. It includes an unusual number of medium to high speed corners, which make the circuit exhilarating to drive but also challenging to engineer. It is vital to find a comfortable, neutral car balance that gives the drivers confidence and can also look after the tyres, as this circuit is comparable to Silverstone in terms of the prolonged high lateral loadings they must cope with.”
Mercedes motorsport chief, Toto Wolff is also keen to see the team do better at Suzuka: “The team had a frustrating time in Korea: qualifying showed the pace that we had in the car but we were not able to use it at the right moments of the race,” he added.
“We also lost points because of a problem on Nico's car and everybody in the team is working hard to get on top of reliability issues like this one.
“Looking ahead to Japan, we can take two small positives from last weekend. First, we closed the points gap to Ferrari in the constructors' championship, and it now stands at just a single point. The second is that our car was possibly the quickest of all in sector two last weekend, which contained all the medium and high-speed corners. This is promising for Suzuka, where nearly two thirds of the corners are taken in fourth gear or higher, and should see our car perform well on this fantastic track. It's a true drivers' circuit and we have the best driver pairing in the field, so I am optimistic Nico and Lewis can qualify and race strongly to bounce back from last weekend,” Wolff concluded.