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Mercedes not ready to win - Schumacher

ESPNF1 Staff
February 26, 2010 « US F1 and Stefan GP reportedly in merger talks | »
Michael Schumacher does not think the Mercedes will win in Bahrain © Getty Images

Michael Schumacher has admitted that Mercedes is off the pace of the front runners and will not be challenging for victory at the start of the season.

Mercedes has failed to grab the headline times of its rivals during pre-season testing but has remained quietly confident. On Thursday Nico Rosberg said an update to the car ahead of the first race in Bahrain would bring it closer to the likes of Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren, but Schumacher isn't so sure.

When asked if the former championship-winning Brawn team will be challenging for wins from the first race, he replied: "Maybe not. I can't make judgements about the other teams at the moment, but I do know that we're not in the position we want to be - to be challenging for wins straight away. We are working hard and the season is long. The main aim at the moment is not to be too far off.

"We are working very well together, it has taken very little time to get on with everybody. 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."

Meanwhile, Fernando Alonso, who completed his last day of pre-season testing on Friday, confirmed that Ferrari were ready to extract the most from its car.

"It's the best car I've ever had but it's impossible to know if there's a better car until the first races. But I'm quiet and very happy with how February [testing] has gone. We have simulated a full weekend and the car has responded well. I have no worries ahead of Bahrain."

Two days of pre-season testing remain before a two-week break ahead of the season opener.