Ross Brawn says he was encouraged by the performance of Michael Schumacher in the Korean GP, where the German equalled his season best result of fourth place.
Although flattered by the retirements of three cars ahead, Schumacher nevertheless did a good job to stay out of trouble and put in a much stronger showing than in previous wet races this year.
“We’re getting there,” said Brawn. “It’s probably taken a bit longer than we expected, but we’re getting there. I keep seeing these really good parts, we just need to put everything together now for next year.”
Brawn said that the light was becoming an issue for Michael: “It was getting close. Michael was asking how he’d turn down the brightness of the display as it was getting distracting. So it was right on the limit. Another few laps I think the drivers would have been complaining.”
Ross said that he team had given some consideration to a late change to fresher tyres. Although his change was prompted by a puncture, Nico Hulkenberg showed that fresh rubber generated much better lap times.
“We kept looking at the numbers. The trouble was getting through the traffic. That was the thing that was unpredictable. You saw how much chaos was there back there. We really didn’t want to get involved in that. We saw the rain moving in, which obviously missed us in the end. We said to Michael there might be a bit of rain at the end of the race, make sure the tyres have got something left in them.”
Meanwhile Brawn admitted he was frustrated by the loss of Nico Rosberg when Mark Webber crashed in front of him. Had the German got through unscathed, he would have been runner-up.
“He was going to be second wasn’t he? But you never know. He was very happy with the car. If is F1 spelled backwards isn’t it? He was going very well, very comfortable with the car, and looking very strong.”
Meanwhile Mercedes continues to look strong despite switching development to the 2011 car some time ago.
“I think we’re just getting everything working properly. We’ve got the fastest straight line speed here, so we’ve got the F-Duct working properly. I think because we’re not changing a lot of things we’re understanding how to set the car up. It’s really just consolidation, which is a lesson. We’ve learned things from the last few races.
“This was a very strong circuit for the F-Duct, so it’s been helpful. The last two circuits will both be relevant.”