W03 has good potential, says Schumacher
21 February 2012 – Mercedes AMG gave their F1 W03 its first official test on Tuesday in Barcelona, following a filming day in Silverstone and a private test in Jerez. Michael Schumacher branded the day as 'positive' and felt the car had good potential after already managing around 300 kilometres before turning up in Barcelona.
The team were forced to end the day early after a small hydraulics issue in the afternoon with the German completing just 51 laps and ending up sixth just behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
Commenting on the car in Montmelo, Schumacher told the gathered media, including GPUpdate.net: "Reasonably positive, it was the fourth day we were in the car, but it was actually the first day we had a little issue on the hydraulic today.
"It has good potential. I had a good feeling inside the car. It's difficult to say what that feeling is worth because of the rule changes, but the potential is good."
The 43 year old German was asked about Mercedes' pace compared to their rivals but tried not to give much away.
"I don't want to be too precise right now, because I have not been able to overlay our running with the other guys and that is the important matter that can give me a direction, or at least confirm the feeling that I have," he continued.
Schumacher was asked how Kimi Räikkönen and Pedro de la Rosa would cope on their returns.
"The main challenge is to get used to the team, that was probably the biggest challenge for me," he explained. "To understand the tyres, the fine tuning of what is slightly different to when I have stopped and whenever these guys have stopped. To tailor it to your needs, that is what makes the difference."
As so often has been the case over the past two years, more questions were raised of his future, following his continuation short-term contracts.
"That's the only way to do it," he told the gathered media, including GPUpdate.net.
"There's no reason to make any statements or comments about my future. I will make a decision when it's the right time."
Compatriot and team-mate Nico Rosberg will be behind the wheel of the F1 W03 on Wednesday, before Schumacher returns on Thursday prior to Rosberg's final day.