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'Positive signs' encourage Schumacher
Michael Schumacher revealed that "the competitiveness of the car is better than it has been" after setting the second fastest time on the third day of testing in Barcelona.
Schumacher drove the car during two days prior to the start of the second test but had his running on Tuesday limited by a hydraulics problem. After completing 127 laps on Thursday he said that he was encouraged by the performance the W03 had shown and the reliability that had allowed Mercedes to complete a race simulation.
"I'm definitely excited [to start the season]," Schumacher told reporters in Barcelona. "Particularly because we had a trouble free day today. We did a race simulation and even the competitiveness of the car is better than it has been. So some promising signs that I hope we can transform in to good results.
"It's definitely clear that we have improved the car, but the question is how much have we improved the car compared to the others? That's something that I don't know yet."
When asked about the quality of the grid which contains six world champions in 2012, Schumacher said it was going to help Formula One appeal to more spectators.
"It's naturally nice to have so many champions in the field. It will be a great contribution for all the fans that we have around the world, so many different characters and that is cool. There are so many fans that they can choose their own character that they want to support."