Formula 1

Mercedes GP Fail To Produce As Testing Pace Goes Missing In Qualifying

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Mercedes GP were left bemused by the lack of performance as they failed to make an impact in qualifying at the Australian Grand Prix.

Strong pre-season testing had suggested that the car could keep pace with Ferrari but it was not the case as a poor weekend continued for the team.

Seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher was a high profile casualty as he failed to make it into Q3 and Nico Rosberg qualified seventh, two seconds off the pole lap.

Schumacher refused to blame a KERS problem for his failings and revealed that the car should have been a lot better than it was.

He explained: “Clearly that was not an ideal start to the season, and I cannot deny that I am disappointed.

“It's not about that KERS only worked intermittently or that I could probably have made it to Q3, but it is because our performance did not turn out as we expected.

“From our testing experience, we were around the pace of Ferrari, however this did not translate today. We faced more problems here than at the test with several issues throughout the whole weekend.

“We now have to look deeply into it to understand why it turned out to be like this, because for the moment we are not where we wanted to be.”

The Mercedes GP team may yet play a big part in the race depending on the tyre degradation of the new Pirellis under race conditions.

The team have three sets of new Prime tyres available and if pre-season suggestions of four or five pit stops come true the German team could be in luck.

Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn concluded: “Without doubt, today was quite a disappointing qualifying session for the team.

“We are in good shape for the race tomorrow in terms of tyre availability and the car looked pretty reasonable on the longer runs so let's wait and see what happens.”


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