Formula 1 - Mercedes confident of no pitfalls in 2013

Mercedes is confident it has a far more compliant and predictable car in 2013 and can therefore avoid the pitfalls of last year's inconsistency.

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The team looked strong during 2013 pre-season testing, with Nico Rosberg ending the final 2013 Barcelona test at the top of the timesheets.

Last year it had also headed to Melbourne optimistic about its early form, only for tyre and reliability issues to leave it struggling to score points.

Technical director Bob Bell admits that, while Mercedes was aware it could get caught out last year, this year it is optimistic of capitalising on its winter momentum.

"Last year we looked reasonably competitive at the end of the winter testing," Bell explained, "but I think we knew from what we knew about the car, and the way it was behaving, that it wasn't rock-solid, that we could get caught out.

"This year we're a little bit more confident that at least that the car's behaving more like we'd expect it to.

"[We have a] better understanding what it's doing well, what it isn't doing well, and that gives us a little bit more cause for optimism regards a more consistent season."

Bell insisted however that Mercedes would maintain a cautious approach after getting 'stung' by its experiences in 2012.

"I think we're naturally cautious; we're not taking anything for granted," he said.

"We know what we did wrong last year in terms of managing our programme the development car and there were other infrastructural reasons that we were struggling a little bit with in the second half of the year.

"Sustained pace of development is crucial these days in F1 and of course we have to prove that on tracks.

"We've learnt from [last year], we're pleased with the progress we've made, but we really need to demonstrate that we can maintain that over the course of the season.

"We've made a lot of changes to the organisation, the way we do our jobs in the last 12 months and I'm reasonably optimistic that that's settling down now and that we can deliver."

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