Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn believes that his team’s ability to hit the tyres ‘sweet spot’ of performance was the key to Nico Rosberg’s maiden victory at the Chinese Grand Prix today.
The tyres had been proving a real problem for the Brackley-based marque as they headed to Shanghai without a Formula One win since 1955.
But all that changed today and Brawn puts their changing fortunes down to the tyres, rather than the relative performance of the cars.
He explained: “I think with these tyres if you get it right on the day then you can do what we did today.
“You can see what is very strong opposition perhaps not quite hitting the sweet spot, and having what happened today.
“We managed to get it to work and others didn’t, and that will be the characteristic of this year. I think the teams will all get better in using tyres and, as they get better, the occasions when you don’t get it right will be fewer.
“But today we got the tyres right, we got the set-up right and we saw the results.”
According to Autosport, after the team overheated its tyres in Australia and did not get them warm enough in Malaysia, Brawn said that he was actually fearful of the temperatures dropping in China.
He said: “We didn’t want it to get too cold funnily enough, because when it gets cold the rubber can start to grain, and you can struggle and fall out of window.
“We were anticipating it being a bit warmer, and we set the car up for that. But the tyres worked perfectly and James [Vowles], our strategy guy, called the race absolutely perfectly in terms of it being two stop. The tyres were just starting to ease off as we came in the pits and that side worked out very well.”
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team