Schumacher concedes Mercedes team not yet good enough UPDATE (GMM) Michael Schumacher on Saturday steered away from claims his 2010 car might not be a winning one.
When asked 24 hours ago whether the W01 Mercedes car will travel to Bahrain next month as the favorite, he told reporters at the Barcelona test: "Maybe not."
But as he spoke to the media again on Saturday, as his teammate Nico Rosberg set the pace at the showery venue in front of more than 20,000 Spaniards, the seven time world champion sang a different tune.
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"This was an initial feeling and it looks like that maybe we were running more fuel than others on Friday and that is why track times didn't look so good," said the German, who is 41.
"Now I've looked at the data it looks not so bad, it looks very reasonable. So let's see where we are in reality," Schumacher added.
However, the winner of a record 91 grands prix repeated his feeling that he might not be at the top of the podium immediately this season.
"Yesterday I was a little bit pessimistic but after studying the data last night actually it looks more reasonable than I thought," he said.
Schumacher said "several" teams look set to battle for supremacy early in 2010, but admitted that Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, "at the moment, look the target". 02/26/10 Michael Schumacher has conceded that Mercedes GP are not currently in race-winning trim after a second day testing at Barcelona saw the German only manage seventh fastest.
Although the team are yet to run the lowest fuel settings for their W01, Schumacher appeared to rule out the possibility of winning the first race in Bahrain.
“At the moment we are not perfectly in the position we would like, probably to be competitive enough to win the first races,” Schumacher told reporters.
“But we are working hard, the season is long, and the main issue is not to be too far off. This is very difficult to judge right now, the real picture.”
He praised the team’s spirit, however, and said there was a good atmosphere within the team.
“We are working very well together, it has taken very little time to get on with everybody,” he said. “They are very good guys, it’s very professional and a good atmosphere.
“But we have to prove ourselves on the track. Testing is one thing, racing is another thing.”