Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has admitted his drivers struggled to handle to level of degradation seen on the Pirelli tyres at the weekend.
The new tyres made their Formula One grand prix debut in Australia, with McClaren's Jenson Button taking top spot in the race.He was followed closely by reigning world champion Sebastian Vettel in second and teammate Lewis Hamilton in third.
It proved to be a day to forget for the Mercedes team though, which suffered a disappointing end to the race in Melbourne. The omens had looked good for drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg during qualifying, with the pair gaining fourth and seventh place respectively on the grid.
However the subsequent race saw problems for the team, with Schumacher forced to retire on lap 11 having lost all drive and Rosberg placing 12th after clashing with Sauber's Sergio Perez.
Speaking after the race and as the dust settled Mr Brawn admitted much of the problems suffered by the team had been down to the drivers struggling with the degradation of the Pirelli compounds.
"Despite excellent starts, both Michael and Nico had difficulties from the start of the race with their tyres," he said.
"However, we remain positive as both here and over the winter tests, we have demonstrated that we have a fundamentally quick car and we have a lot to build on."
Posted by Danielle Barge