Mercedes drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are confident that the team is now on the right track to become a regular front runner after another strong performance in qualifying for the Turkish Grand Prix to back up its race-leading run in China.
Rosberg will start from third on the grid having lapped just a tenth of a second off the pace of Mark Webber's Red Bull in qualifying. And with a series of upgrades to bring to the W02 through the summer, the German says he expects the car to just get better and better.
"For sure it is fantastic to see the progress we are making when you compare it to four races ago and where we are now it's great and that's why I am very optimistic for the future," said Rosberg. "The next few races we have more upgrades coming and everything so things are going in the right direction and we are getting closer to where we are hoping to be."
Asked about what Mercedes had changed, Rosberg added: "My feeling is that we are just getting more out of what we have. When we started the season the car wasn't working properly in different areas and also in other areas we just went in the wrong direction with pure set-up things, now we have come back on some things, improved some things like rear wing stability and certain other things.
"So everything is just coming together and we are getting the most out of what we have. That's probably the best way to explain it."
Michael Schumacher also believed that the W02 had improved significantly since the beginning of the season where it underperformed in Melbourne following an encouraging final preseason test.
"There is a big difference between Australia [and Turkey]," he said. "There we definitely had some real issues happening and the car was not doing what it was supposed to do and not doing what it did in Barcelona [testing] when we were all pretty much excited.
"Then coming to the first race and even up to Shanghai this is the first time that the car is working straight on. It was in the race in Shanghai, but at moments in qualifying that had not been the case. [Now] this is what is the true potential of the car and as Nico mentioned we can pretty much look forward to the rest of the season because the team has some very good ideas so we can expect to go on from where we are. We can be sure that so are our opponents but at least we are in reasonable fighting distance."
Buoyed by the consistently strong performance, Rosberg said that his game plan for the race was to attack the Red Bulls.
"Always attack, for sure, especially at the start I think I have very good chance because I am on the clean side of the track," he said. "Mark is on the dirty side and we have seen here that that makes quite a difference from left to right and then we will see.
"It's definitely not going to be easy, but we will give it a go to try and get the best out of it and so at least a podium is on the cards for sure."