• Bahrain Grand Prix - Mercedes preview

'It's really a big challenge for us to manage our tyre work'

ESPNF1 Staff
April 18, 2012
Mercedes had the quickest car in China but needs to manage the Pirelli tyres in the Bahrain heat if it is to achieve a repeat performance © Getty Images
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Michael Schumacher

"Having experienced a race such as China gives everybody in the team a big push, and we certainly will give our optimum to repeat our performance in the next races. However, the season so far shows that you can never be sure of anything, and having had three winners in three races demonstrates how close together the teams are this year. But then again, it is good to see that we are more and more able to fight at the front, and we will certainly try to transfer our great pace from China onto Bahrain for the next race to come this weekend."

Nico Rosberg

"I have really good memories of the Bahrain Circuit. I won the Formula 3 Macau-Bahrain Cup, GP2 Championship and finished seventh on my F1 debut with the fastest lap of the race. I like the track a lot. It's quite low downforce with lots of big stops and some faster corners too. The track layout definitely fits our car but it's really a big challenge for us to manage our tyre work well again and find the right set-up as the temperatures will be much higher than in China."

Ross Brawn, team principal

"After the fantastic weekend that we experienced in Shanghai, it has been nice to take a few days to reflect on the achievement of the first win for a Mercedes works car since 1955, and of course, Nico's first win in Formula One. The team have worked very hard to overcome the tyre issues that affected us at the first two races, and it is clear that achieving the optimum performance from the Pirelli tyres is absolutely key to our performance and ability to challenge at the front of the field. The temperatures and track conditions in Bahrain will be very different to Shanghai, however we will work hard to extract the maximum performance from the F1 W03 and have another strong weekend."

Norbert Haug, vice-president, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

"Last Sunday was a milestone for our Mercedes AMG Petronas team. However, things move quickly in this business and our focus is now on preparing for the fourth race of the season in Bahrain. Our newly-formed Silver Arrows team made its debut at this circuit two years - and 41 races - ago. Since then, everybody in Brackley and Brixworth has worked tirelessly to make ours a winning team, and our performance in China provided a first taste of success. But we are keeping our feet on the ground, because this year more than ever before in the history of Formula One, small details can take you from hero to zero: just three tenths of a second separated P1 to P11 in qualifying last Saturday. We have not raced on this configuration of the Bahrain circuit since 2009, because the layout used in 2010 included an additional loop of slow corners. Track and ambient temperatures are of course traditionally high, while there are seven traction events from 150 kph or lower around the lap: these factors mean that looking after the rear tyres is particularly important. We have all seen how delicate it is to keep this generation of Pirelli tyres in their optimum performance window, and this challenge is making for some thrilling racing throughout the field.

"This weekend will be our chance to understand more about what progress we have made with our Mercedes AMG F1 W03 on this point in hotter conditions than we experienced in China. We are taking nothing for granted, and will continue to work in a focused manner on extracting everything we can from our current technical package."

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