Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug says the team is keeping its feet on the ground despite its commanding victory in the Chinese Grand Prix last weekend.
Nico Rosberg took his first career Formula 1 win in Shanghai on Sunday, also giving Mercedes its first victory as a team in 57 years. Although Rosberg, who started from pole position, won the race by over 20 seconds, Haug says Mercedes is staying realistic, as he is aware that small differences can mean big changes in the pecking order this year.
"Last Sunday was a milestone for our Mercedes team," said Haug ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix. "However, things move quickly in this business and our focus is now on preparing for the fourth race of the season in Bahrain.
"Our newly formed Silver Arrows team made its debut at this circuit two years – and 41 races – ago. Since then, everybody in Brackley and Brixworth [UK] has worked tirelessly to make ours a winning team, and our performance in China provided a first taste of success. But we are keeping our feet on the ground, because this year – more than ever before in the history of Formula 1 – small details can take you from hero to zero: just three tenths of a second separated P1 to P11 in qualifying last Saturday."
Although Mercedes seems to be on top of the tire issues that blighted its start to the season, the hotter temperatures in Bahrain could still prove a challenge for the team. Team boss Ross Brawn is optimistic, however, that Mercedes can overcome the problems and be strong again.
"The team have worked very hard to overcome the tire issues that affected us at the first two races, and it is clear that achieving the optimum performance from the Pirelli tires is absolutely key to our performance and ability to challenge at the front of the field," said Brawn. "The temperatures and track conditions in Bahrain will be very different to Shanghai, however we will work hard to extract the maximum performance from the F1 W03 and have another strong weekend."