It takes a big man  in the F1 business to confess that they haven’t done the best job possible, but that’s precisely the sort of brutally candid self-assessment that I would expect from Ross Brawn, the Mercedes team principal.

After Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher trailed home a disappointing fifth and sixth in the season opening Bahrain Grand Prix, Ross frankly acknowledged that the cars were not really competitive and that it would take some time before they were ready to challenge consistently for race wins.

F1 2010 season guide

But, he added firmly, the programmes necessary to put them into that competitive position had been implemented. In other words, it is a case of “bear with us, because we know what we are doing.”

To doubt that is the case is to misunderstand the dynamics of the relationship between Ross and Michael Schumacher.