Date: 25th February 2011 at 10:21am
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Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn is more than aware that both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher are off the pace of the leaders heading into the new 2011 Formula One season.

Testing in Jerez and Barcelona appears to indicate another season in the midfield pack for Mercedes, but Brawn remains comfortable with the development the team has made during winter testing.

‘We are well aware of the pace of our current car, the distance to the current front runners and the reasons for this, which include the compromises brought about by our cooling issues. Our intention was always to launch the car in a fairly basic specification to allow more time to focus on the upgrade package. This inevitably means that we look further off the pace than people might expect. Knowing all of the facts, I am comfortable with our current position and the developments that we have to come.’ Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn told Mercedes GP’s official website.

The cooling issues that Brawn refers too were noted after the test in Jerez, the team has made short term alterations to the car to solve the issue, but as mentioned above this has compromised the cars performance in testing.

But an update package will be ready before the Australian Grand Prix and Brawn remains confident that this will move Mercedes closer to the lead cars on the grid.

‘Our team is progressing very well and the Silver Arrow is coming together. Our target remains to take a step forward compared to last year and to compete with the best.’

If Mercedes are to take a step forward in 2011 then they will be aiming to improve on their fourth place finish in the 2010 F1 Constructors standings.

Last season Nico Rosberg won the personal battle between himself and seven-time F1 World champion Michael Schumacher.

In his comeback season Michael Schumacher finished 9th in the championship scoring 72 points, whilst Rosberg finished 7th with 142 points.