• Korean Grand Prix

Car needs 'significant improvement' for podium - Schumacher

ESPN Staff
October 11, 2012 « Vettel focused on development race | Korea result not crucial for Ferrari future - Massa »
Michael Schumacher: "We are still working on this car and we are aiming to improve it and go forward" © Sutton Images
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Michael Schumacher says Mercedes needs to "significantly improve" its car or get lucky if he is going to sign off with another podium before the end of his career.

Schumacher will retire from Formula One at the end of the season after three years off the front-running pace with Mercedes. He has scored just one podium in that time and is not too optimistic about scoring another before the end of the year.

"It all falls with the situation of whether we can significantly improve the car or not," he said. "It needs quite a bit of luck and we can't only base our results on luck. But we are still working on this car and we are aiming to improve it and go forward. But it depends on the rate we can do or not do.

Schumacher finished 11th at the last race in Japan after a grid penalty and disappointing qualifying session left him 23rd on the grid. However, he said there were positives to be drawn from the weekend.

"If you look at the pace we had physically in the race it wasn't too bad," he said. "We didn't look great in qualifying, indeed, but saying this we would have expected it to be difficult because we noted earlier in the season that our car is quite good in lower speed corners rather than high-speed corners and Suzuka's nature is on the high-speed side. In the race I don't think my fastest lap was that far off the leaders and it was done reasonably early before I was in traffic with [Daniel] Ricciardo and I couldn't really do a faster lap time from that point on."

Schumacher is hoping the Mercedes will be better suited to the Korean International Circuit this weekend.

"In terms of characteristics of the track I think our package should be reasonably okay. I don't know exactly what that means but I hope we are going to be within the top ten for qualifying and we will see from there on. "