'Our reliability is not in question' – Schumacher
18 March 2012 – After returning to the pit lane prematurely in Melbourne this afternoon, Michael Schumacher says questions should not be raised over the reliability of Mercedes' 2012 challenger. Following a successful pre-season testing period, Schumacher's race came to an abrupt end whilst running in third place, with the German losing drive at the first corner during an extremely promising opening stint.
"It was an unfortunate end to my race when I lost drive going into Turn 1,” said Schumacher. “I was trying different gears and occasionally the drive came back, but in the end, I had to go onto the grass to avoid the risk of the car being forced into a spin.
“It was especially unfortunate as we have not had this problem during the winter tests and were very reliable. This is why I am not concerned, as I know things like this happen in racing, and our reliability is not in question.”
Despite the issue, Schumacher is confident that Mercedes can soon reach its potential, describing the car as 'a clear step forward' in 2012.
“I believe I could have had a good race, and I can still take some positives out of the weekend as we have seen our car was confirming our feelings, and is definitely a clear step forward,” he added. “We can now build on that and start improving further."