• Barcelona Testing

Schumacher revises opinion on Mercedes' chances

ESPNF1 Staff
February 27, 2010 « Ferrari should welcome new teams - Branson | »
Michael Schumacher has a renewed confidence in the W01 © Getty Images

Michael Schumacher has revised his belief that Mercedes won't be capable of challenging for wins at the first race in Bahrain.

Talking to the press on Friday Schumacher said he his team was not where it wanted to be after four weeks of pre-season testing. However, after looking through Friday's telemetry, when he recorded the seventh fastest time overall, he said new information had come to light that had changed his mind.

"Yesterday I was a little bit pessimistic before I studied the data," said Schumacher. "I mentioned it after not having studied the data, afterwards it looks much more reasonable than I thought. It was just an initial feeling, but it looks like maybe we were running more fuel than others yesterday and that's why the time didn't look so good. Looking at the results and the data, it looks very reasonable - not too bad."

Schumacher said winning straight away wasn't crucial and that a sustained assault on the championship throughout the year was what he was aiming for.

"It is important to see what happens by the end of the season and not by the beginning," he said. "We have to be within fighting distance. If we are not in a position to win the first races, I wouldn't worry at all. If we are two seconds off the pace, then okay maybe we start to worry. But I don't think that is the case."

He added that his old team Ferrari looked as though it was the team to beat, but didn't rule out the chance of a surprise result in Bahrain.

"I think Felipe [Massa] and Fernando [Alonso] look like the target at the moment. They have been doing very good in testing and things look good. I know the team so I know there are good reasons to be happy. I am not surprised. [But] I don't know who has played all their cards yet. Even with my experience I really struggle. There are several teams that look very competitive."