With the team having struggled with tyre wear throughout the season there has been a train of thought that a “rear gunner” strategy could be used. With this either Nico Rosberg or Lewis Hamilton would be protected by their teammate and allow the race leader to open a commanding lead at the front of the field.
Speaking to reports, including Crash.net, Ross Brawn dismissed any such speculation:
“Obviously the tortoise and hare strategy is one that people will speculate about but I don’t think that either of our drivers are tortoises,” said the Mercedes Team Princiapl. “We’ll let the race run and see what develops. Obviously our ambition is a one two but it is impossible to speculate on how we can achieve that.”
Improving their tyre management has been a key emphasis for Mercedes following their disappointing Spanish grand Prix, where both drivers struggled with badly worn tyres, and Barwn went on to comment about the challenges facing his team:
“The tyres have certain characteristics,” said the Englishman. “If you do not exceed the capacity of the tyre, either through the driver or the car, you can get a lot more life out of the tyre. It’s non-liner so if you go five percent over the limit you can half the life of the tyre.
“So you don’t need to improve by a huge margin to get the tyre back into a good area. We’ve been in a good place a few times this year and we’ve been in a bad place a few times. It’s impossible to know what to expect on Sunday.”