'Not quite where we want to be' - Schumacher
13 April 2012 – Although he is pleased with Mercedes’ progress between the 2011 and 2012 F1 seasons, Friday pace-setter Michael Schumacher admits that more needs to come from the Brackley-based team. The seven-time World Champion has topped the practice timesheets in China, scene of his last race victory five and a half years ago.
“It was a trouble-free day and I am quite happy with how our car is handling so far here,” he began. “The balance of the car was reasonably good and obviously a balanced car contributes a lot to lap time.
“As a team, we are a lot stronger in certain areas this season and we have a much better base to work from, although we are not quite where we want to be with this car yet - but I am confident we will get there. We will now have to look deeper into the data in order to find out where we really are here, but I am looking forward to tomorrow's qualifying.”
Nico Rosberg is yet to out-qualify Schumacher so far this season.
“It's important for us at the moment that we try a lot of different evaluations during practice to improve our race pace,” explained the younger German, having finished practice in fifth position. “So I think it was a decent start to the race weekend today, as we learned quite a few interesting things.
“The conditions were so changeable that it was difficult to take the right decisions in terms of setup work and we struggled a little with the front tyres; that may have been caused by the cold temperatures today and can change very quickly between now and the race, so I am not too concerned.”
As Rosberg is yet to score in 2012 and Schumacher’s best result is tenth last time out in Malaysia, the silver arrows possess just a single point after the opening two races.