The Mercedes drivers believe the team is in much better shape in Malaysia than it was in Australia and should recapture the form it showed late in winter testing. Mercedes had shot to the top of the order in the final preseason sessions, but then had a disappointing Australian Grand Prix. At Sepang today, both cars were in the top 10 in both sessions, with Michael Schumacher third in the morning.
"We definitely made a step, more to what we had in Barcelona [testing]," said Schumacher. "There's a bit more to come for tomorrow so we are reasonably happy."
Asked if the car felt as good as it had in the last test again, Schumacher replied: "We were much closer to that. We are not completely there, but we are getting there."
His teammate Nico Rosberg agreed that it had been a very encouraging day for Mercedes, but also concurred with Schumacher's feeling that the team could not be content yet. Asked if the car was easier to drive than in Melbourne, he replied: "Generally, it has been a positive day today. We made progress in several places compared to Australia, so that's good.
"It's a step forward and when you take everything into consideration, we are definitely closer to where we need to be. But it must be said that we haven't solved everything yet, we still have a few issues which need to be solved and we'll see how soon we can get it done."