Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn insists his team is working flat-out to make sure it catches up with its main rivals, after conceding that the German squad is still not as quick as the front runners.
Although Nico Rosberg gave Mercedes its first podium of the season in last weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix, the team was still unable to match the pace of leading squads. Brawn is aware that his team's car is still lacking pace, but insists Mercedes is not pleased with the situation and is working very hard to rectify it. The team boss also is hoping Michael Schumacher will be able to enjoy a trouble-free Chinese Grand Prix next week to show what he's capable of.
"We hope to continue these signs of improvement in China and it would be particularly good for Michael to be able to have a clean race and show the progress that he has made since the start of the season," said Brawn. "On an operational level, the team has performed very well over the three races and did a good job during Nico's race in Malaysia to record one of the quickest pit stops of the season.
"Our car has been reliable, with the exception of the wheel nut problem in Malaysia, and I am very pleased with the performance of our drivers. We've achieved a reasonable set of results which are in line with the car's current pace but we have to be realistic and acknowledge that we are not quick enough to compete right at the front at the moment. This is obviously not a situation that we are happy with and we are working as hard as possible to close the gap."
Schumacher, who failed to score at the Sepang race, says he is aware of the reasons for his disappointing races and is looking for a stronger outing in China. The seven-time champion reiterated that everything is going to plan after his three-year absence.
"We looked quite reasonable in Malaysia at the last race and maybe things will play into our hands again in Shanghai," said Schumacher. "I am looking forward to the race and fully enjoying the competition again.
"Admittedly, the last two races have not been very fortunate for me but I am very much aware of the reasons for it. I know how things go in F1 and if you look into the detail of the two races, I think everything is still going according to plan. You can only improve step by step and I am confident that we are achieving this."