Date: 4th March 2011 at 10:07am
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Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn and CEO Nick Fry are comfortable about the development of the new Mercedes GP car ahead of the 2011 season.

Both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher were well off the pace of the Red Bull and Ferrari during both tests in Jerez and Barcelona last month, but the team expect the upgrades that will be added in time for the Australian Grand Prix should help to close the gap.

‘We’re about a second off where we want to be, which is at the front, so we’ve got to find a second in the upgrade which we think we can do,’ Brawn said to the BBC.

‘But you never know what others will do – we’ve set out our plan we’ll know at Melbourne if it’s right.’

Mercedes will hope to take a step forward in 2011 and better their fourth place finish in the 2010 F1 Constructors standings.

The main upgrade for the 2011 car will be based around the cars cooling package following reliability issues during the previous winter testing sessions.

To get around the issue, Mercedes were forced to compromise speed while they made short term alterations to negate the problem.

However with the upgrade package Mercedes will take a step closer to the car that they will start the season with.

‘Performance, obviously from what we’ve seen on the track, at the moment is not as good as we would like,’ CEO Nick Fry told reuters.

‘the car did have some cooling issues and has been running with a very sub-optimal cooling package and aerodynamic package, and that is a significant amount of time.’

‘We are not panicking, we have a plan, we’re sticking to it and I think that we will be in a reasonable shape by the time we get to Australia.’

Mercedes will have a much clearer idea regarding the cars speed and performance once the upgrades are ran during the upcoming winter test in Barcelona.

The teams will again return to Spain for the final pre-season test, following the cancellation of the final testing session in Bahrain which had previously been scheduled.