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Mercedes heads play down China repeat chances

Apr 5, 2013, 12:00 PM EDT

Ross Brawn, Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Toto Wolff AP

Ahead of the Chinese Grand Prix, Mercedes is playing down talk it could repeat its victory of a year ago, with Nico Rosberg.

“One year on from Nico’s win, a lot of people will be asking whether this is something our team can repeat in 2013,” said Toto Wolff, Mercedes executive director. “But like they say, yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games, and that’s definitely true for us.

“We start again from zero this year and need to work hard to adapt the car to suit the circuit and the tire compounds we have available, in the conditions that we find on track next weekend. The development race will be critical this season so we have more new parts planned for China. Then we will see where we stand relative to the competition.”

Team manager Ross Brawn echoed his new colleague’s sentiments.

“Our season has started well, perhaps better than we expected, however we’re fully aware that there is still a gap to close and that we must keep up the pace of development,” Brawn said. “A lot of hard work has taken place at our factories over the last two weeks to do just that and I look forward to seeing how that translates to track performance.

“The circuit itself is challenging with fast curves, tight corners and two hairpins. The layout requires good straightline speed, braking stability and traction, and the temperatures are likely to be cooler than we have experienced in the first two race weekends.”

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