New Mercedes ‘not a bad car’ – Brawn image

(Inautonews.com/GMM) Ross Brawn has admitted that Mercedes will be pushing for performance at the final test of the pre-season next week.

Asked by Auto Motor und Sport about his assessment of the new W02 car so far, the Brackley based team’s boss said: “I would say it’s reasonable.

“It will not be a bad car, but of course we don’t know where the others are.”

The Briton said Mercedes has been focusing on “getting the package to work” at the first three winter tests, with Barcelona recently being the deadline for “solving all the problems”.

“At the final test in Barcelona (next week) we will be looking at the laptime,” said Brawn.

One of the big questions ahead of the 2011 season is whether the combination of Mercedes’ new car and the new Pirelli tyres will allow Michael Schumacher to be more competitive this season.

“There is still a lack of comparative data,” Brawn insisted. “What I can see is a very motivated Michael.”

Overall, all he would say is that “Red Bull are strong, Ferrari, Renault and us look good. The other teams, I could only guess.

“It’s difficult to quantify how big Red Bull’s advantage is,” Brawn continued. “I don’t know what development steps they are yet to bring for the first race. For us, it’s a big step.”

He hinted that among Mercedes’ changes is an “exhaust solution”, adding that “so far I haven’t seen anyone with something similar”.

“Until now we’ve had the exhaust where it was last year,” he said, admitting that the new solution is “not as extreme” as on the Renault or McLaren.