N oh, the disappointment in Melbourne, people in the Mercedes warehouse became cautious . A good performance in qualifying was followed by a slump in the race a week ago. The Silver Arrows had eaten the tires unexpectedly hard. Instead of the hoped-for podium place, there was a zero at the end.
The engineers had pored over data for days. In telephone conferences, the technicians discussed back and forth between Australia, Malaysia and the factory in Brackley. They tried to solve the tire puzzle on Friday in Malaysia with various setup configurations.
No all-clear on the tire front
After the two 90s, the drivers were able to determine whether it worked -minute meetings don't tell. 'It was an interesting day in terms of tires,' explained Nico Rosberg. 'We learned a lot and I have the feeling that things are going in the right direction. It's so hot here that the tires can easily overheat. It worked out quite well on the long runs. But of course we don't know how we compare to the others stand. '
Schumi also expects that the final answer to the tire question will not come until the race. 'We were able to set fairly consistent lap times. We will certainly have to fight in the race, but we will not be the only ones. Everyone will have problems here. It is important that we have improved a bit, but as we did compared to the lap times of the I can't say what others are doing. '
Malaysian Pole out of reach
The two Silver Arrows drivers prefer not to venture into any predictions for qualifying on Saturday either. 'That should work out quite well,' expects Rosberg. 'I think we'll be somewhere near the top. We're more worried about the race.' Neither driver dare to dream of pole position. 'That would be too optimistic,' said Schumi. 'I think the fight for fifth place should be the maximum.