schumacher says team needs more race performance
Last Updated : GMT 06:41:18
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Schumacher says team needs more race performance

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Arab Today, arab today Schumacher says team needs more race performance

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Michael Schumacher conceded today that Mercedes is lacking in race pace after the team\'s Sunday performance in Melbourne failed to live up to qualifying. Schumacher held on to third before his early gearbox problem put him out of the race, but he couldn\'t match the McLarens ahead and was under a lot of pressure from those behind, especially Sebastian Vettel. “We certainly understood in Melbourne that we have to do a better job in terms of race pace,” said Schumacher. “I don\'t think we would have been able to achieve a podium in Melbourne, despite going all the way through. Probably a fifth place would have been the max that we could have had. Nevertheless, we have good ideas how to improve on what we learned from Melbourne. “Whether that means we\'re going to be on the podium or not, that\'s another story because you obviously have at least four cars which are very strong, with two McLarens, two Red Bulls, and then you have quite a big group of cars which are very close to each other. So it\'s going to be a challenge for all of us. “The basic positive is that we definitely have a much-improved car compared to last year. Still we have to learn it and understand it in all circumstances to take the benefit and the full performance from it, as we have seen in the race with Nico [Rosberg], so there is still something to learn, but we\'re positive that we can improve quite a bit, in race pace in particular.” He said he was not concerned about a repeat of the gearbox failure that stopped him in Australia: “Well, it is a one-off. We did quite a few thousand kilometers in winter testing and never had this issue. We understood it though and fixed it.” He also played down the potential advantage of the team\'s controversial F-Duct, which many people see as being a huge boost to Mercedes in qualifying on Sepang\'s long straights. “There is no doubt that we have an innovation that gives us some performance, but I don\'t think that it is a huge performance, and that we only live from this. We\'ll find out. I can\'t really quantify this.”

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