Brawn hopeful of title tilt
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn believes this season's Formula One world title is within reach providing the team realises its potential.
Brawn feels the Brackley-based team have "dropped the ball in a couple of races" this year, much to his frustration, although in Nico Rosberg they have a driver still in the championship hunt.
Rosberg is currently fifth in the standings, 21 points adrift of McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, although Brawn feels more is possible.
"I would assess our season so far as having a lot more promise and potential than the previous two years, but we haven't quite fulfilled that potential yet," said Brawn.
"We still have a lot of races left, but I am pleased with the performance of the car because we have won a race (Rosberg in China) and were second in Monaco.
"The car is nearly always in the top four or six in qualifying, so I think it is much more competitive this year.
"But we haven't quite put the whole programme together. We have not made the most of it.
"I intend for the rest of the season to make sure we as a team fulfil our potential because I think this year it is much better than previous years."
With Rosberg scoring more points in the last five races than his rivals after drawing a blank in the opening two, Brawn feels the German can mount a sustained challenge.
Brawn, speaking in a Mercedes video, said: "Nico is driving very well, the car is extremely competitive and he is one race win away from leading the world championship.
"We just have to fight with everything we have to achieve the best results we can and see what evolves, but there is no reason why not."
Brawn, however, has been left perplexed by the fact that whilst Rosberg has completed every lap of every race, team-mate Michael Schumacher has suffered bad luck, retiring with mechanical issues in four.
Brawn, though, feels seven-times champion Schumacher could make it eight winners in eight races in this weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia.
"I think there's every opportunity that in Valencia we're going to have an eighth winner," said Brawn.
"There are some very quick drivers in very quick cars who have not won a race yet.
"I'm particularly thinking of Michael in our car, but the Lotus is a very good car and they haven't won, Sauber have put in some great results and they haven't won yet.
"So there's every opportunity we'll see an eighth winner, which is going to be amazing."