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Victory out of reach - Schumacher

ESPNF1 Staff
March 4, 2012 « New HRT to debut on Monday | Button praises 'competitive' Sauber »
Michael Schumacher thinks Mercedes is in a tight battle behind Red Bull © Sutton Images
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Michael Schumacher says that fighting for victories is out of reach for Mercedes after completing the pre-season testing schedule.

Mercedes is still searching for its first win since re-entering Formula One in 2010, and delayed the launch of the new W03 until the second test in order to gain as much development time as possible. After finishing the final day in Barcelona with the eighth fastest time, Schumacher said that he believed Red Bull to be by far the strongest team.

"No, I don't think it is possible for us to fight for the first position," he said. "Quite honestly, Red Bull is very strong in this sector to be the first position, and I have to say after this is a pretty tight field. With the testing knowledge, not knowing everything in detail, how much fuel people are running it's very difficult to assume and assess what it means exactly."

Schumacher did reiterate that Mercedes was making progress, and that the team was now ready to discover how close it was to its rivals when it gets to Australia.

"We definitely have worked on the car and yes we have improved the car. It's always the question how much can we go forward against the other teams? That will be interesting and be a nice challenge for us.

"We're certainly much better prepared. We don't really have any major issues whereas in the past we had to fight some problems; more problems than we have now, so we're focussing really on the development of the car rather than fixing things around the car."