Ross Brawn says Mercedes are bringing an upgrade package to next week’s test at Barcelona which he hopes will be worth one second per lap.
Speaking to the BBC Brawn said the team had purposefully adopted a conservative strategy with their test car.
He said: “Most sensible teams have been running with high fuel loads because that’s where you get the highest degradation, that’s where you stress the tyres the most, that’s where you want to find the solution.
“So it is difficult to judge. I think we said when we started that we had some things to learn on KERS and tyres and we were going to start with a fairly plain car.”
Brawn said the team have “something quite different” for Barcelona:
“We’re as quietly confident as we can be. We think our strategy is correct to operate the way we have. We will know when we get to the first race.
“It’s pretty difficult to judge where everyone is. I think at the last test at Barcelona we had a go at running low fuel and super-soft tyres and we were the second-quickest car. But I don’t think that’s where we are overall.
“I think we’re about a second off where we want to be. And where we want to be is mixing it at the front. So we’ve got to find a second in the upgrade. Which we think we can do but you never know what other people are going to do as well. Everybody’s going to have new bits at Barcelona.
“If somebody does come through with a radical innovation that none of the other teams have thought about then it can change things. We’ve set out our plan, we’ll know when we get to Melbourne whether the plan was right. It’s fun to speculate at the moment but it’s very difficult.”
2011 F1 testing
- Young Drivers Test Day 3 in pictures
- Vergne completes third day on top in Abu Dhabi
- Young Drivers Test Day 2 in pictures
- Vergne stays quickest on second day of test
- Italian F3 pair complete Ferrari test
- Jean-Eric Vergne leads first day of young drivers test
- McLaren cover least test distance with new car
- Rosberg: Mercedes are “on the up”
- Second Barcelona test day 5 in pictures
- Hamilton: reliability and pace concerns for McLaren