The Brawn team moves on to Sepang this weekend with a maximum points haul in the championship so far and the chance to double that advantage.
With its huge downforce, excellent balance and thumpingly powerful engine, the Brawn Mercedes car should be even more superior to the opposition on the fast flowing sweeps of Sepang. But there are still a few areas the team needs to work on.
Because there were only seven days of testing before the start of the season, they had to focus on reliability and race performance work. There was no time to look at maximising their speed over a single lap for qualifying, nor for practising pit stops.
They nearly came unstuck in the pits on Sunday, the second stop of Button in particular, almost losing him the lead to Vettel’s Red Bull, which also showed that it is very fast over the single lap. Although they had a 1-2 in qualifying, both drivers felt that there was a lot more that could come from the car in low fuel running.
Ross Brawn has put out a message today about the team’s attitude going into the weekend and some other areas that need to be worked on. He highlights reliability in the hot conditions and being prepared on the strategy side for heavy rain as top priorities.
“We know that our competitors will not stand still however and that the challenge will become ever more difficult from here. We can rise to that challenge and we have a very good and stable car which should go well around the Sepang circuit. As in Australia, we will need to maximise the practice running that we have on Friday to develop the set-up, and we will be faced with the usual reliability concerns caused by the high temperatures that we expect in Malaysia. As the race is later than usual in the calendar and will take place later in the day, we are expecting some rain showers, which will make the strategy for the weekend very interesting.”