Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn says his team will not repeat the mistake of introducing a big upgrade package in the first race of the season without having tested it properly.
The team decided to run with a basic aerodynamic package in the first tests of 2011 before introducing the upgrades it would race in the first grand prix of the season in the final test. Brawn believes that strategy left the team confused as there was too much to test, and he says they will not do that again next year.
"That is one of the things we did learn," Brawn said. "It sounds like a good idea but some of the problems we had at the beginning with running the car...
"There was some confusion whether the package we were going to put on the car would make things better or worse and it meant effectively we were uncertain for a while about what we should do. So we had to wait for the new package as it was quite substantial – it was a lot of new bodywork and so on. Having said that, I think there was a need to get a car out as soon as we could because of Pirelli.
"I don't think it is an approach, especially as before the season there was only three tests now. I don't think it is a philosophy we will follow for 2012."
Although the team has endured a disappointing 2011 season, Brawn feels his squad is not too far from the best in terms of how it operates.
"Obviously, we had some issues with the car at the beginning of the season, so we did a certain amount of reorganization," he said. "This car we have now would have won races last year, but it is not quick enough now because of the rate of progress.
"A lot of things we do very well, a lot of things we are close to the best in class at the moment but it doesn't mean we rest on our laurels. We had a pretty difficult first half of the season where we spent a lot of effort and resource putting things right with the car which we don't want to have to effectively waste that resource.
"Once we stabilized the situation we were one second away from the guys at the front and we stayed there through the second half of the year, which actually required a big effort because they have been bolting new stuff on their cars most races."