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Mercedes plan balance improvements for Malaysia

Mar 20, 2013, 9:24 AM EDT

Australian F1 Grand Prix - Race Getty Images

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn says improving the balance of their car is the key to improving their performance in this weekend’s Malaysian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg lined up third and sixth for last week’s race in Australian but slipped back during the race.

“The first race of the season provided some very encouraging signs for the team,” said Brawn. “Our car performed well and seemed to be competitive in all of the conditions that the Melbourne weather gave us.”

“However, we didn’t quite find the correct balance for the race which compromised our ability to maximize the starting positions of Lewis and Nico. With the second race in Malaysia following this weekend, we’re looking forward to the opportunity to put that right.”

Hamilton was on a two-stop strategy during the race but had to switch to a three-stop plan after damaging one set of tires while battling with Fernando Alonso. Hamilton finished fifth, while Rosberg retired with an electrical problem.

Executive director Toto Wolff identified reliability as an area the team also need to make progress on after other problems with the W04 during testing:

“Our car showed some good potential at times in Australia and both Lewis and Nico performed strongly in all conditions. So our engineering focus is on improving the base performance and correcting our weaknesses, especially in terms of reliability.”

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