Michael Schumacher believes he has started to make some progress in getting himself more comfortable in the Mercedes GP car after an encouraging performance in the Japanese Grand Prix.
The seven-time World Champion put in his most convincing performance for several races as he got through to Q3 and finished sixth after harrying Nico Rosberg. Speaking about the lift in performance, Schumacher reckons that the first signs of progress were made in Singapore.
"Honestly, I have been on the pace from lap one in Singapore, in a way after just getting on the track," he said. "But that was a race where, for whatever reason from a certain point, the performance dropped away significantly. We made some analysis and we saw some reasons, but it was very awkward."
Rather than feel the recent good performance had been because of progress, though, Schumacher thinks the real issue was getting an understanding of why he had been off the pace at some events this year.
"I am not sure we can talk about a 'step,'" he said. "There are some tracks...I remember in Valencia, I just struggled, quite honestly. The harmony with car, tires and myself did not work very well together, but in general it is reasonable. It is not what I expected or wanted to be, but I see the reasons why and I have a good feeling that in future it will be different."