Mid-April seems pretty far away for the Mercedes AMG Formula 1 team. That's when Nico Rosberg won the Chinese Grand Prix from pole position to give the team it's first victory as a constructor since 1955.
Rosberg's teammate Michael Schumacher retired while running second due to an
incorrectly fitted wheel nut that came off.
Fast forward to the recently concluded Korean GP where Rosberg was taken out on the first lap and Schumacher could manage just 13th as the Mercedes got swallowed up by the likes of Scuderia Toro Rosso.
The team's bugbear has been the car's harshness on its tyres and it dominated the conversation at a press conference at the Jaypee Golf and Greens resort. "It matters on the character of our car and of its harmony to the circuit," said Schumacher. "But unfortunately we won't know until later how well we will do."
Rosberg was a little more forthcoming in an interaction after the press conference concluded.
"Our car is good in the low and medium speed corners," said Rosberg.
"But not very good in the faster corners and this track has a very technical section from turns six to 11 that will be really hard on the car."
When Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn was asked if he would try anything 'crazy' with the retiring Schumacher like in his heyday, the former Ferrari technical director was cautiously optimistic.
"Unfortunately we can't play around with the fuel loads like we used to anymore," said Brawn.
"But there are other factors like tyres and the weather that we can utilize. We'll be on our toes for sure."