Michael Schumacher believes his Mercedes GP team can do even better in Turkey than it showed at the Chinese Grand Prix, where teammate Nico Rosberg led the race and fought hard for a podium finish.
After struggles in Australia and Malaysia, Mercedes GP finally lived up to its preseason promise as Rosberg battled among the leaders in Shanghai, before ultimately being forced to slow because of fuel consumption issues. Rather than feeling that the Chinese performance was a flash in the pan, however, Schumacher and his outfit are bullish that tweaks made to its car will help it do even better in Istanbul.
"I know that the team has been working very hard to continue the progress that we made during the last race weekend in China and, with the help of some developments planned for Istanbul, I am confident that we can enjoy an equally positive weekend," said Schumacher.
Rosberg is equally upbeat about the potential of the team, and thinks the lessons of not delivering on its promise in China have been taken on board.
"We had a more difficult start to 2011 than we had expected, and the first three races felt a little like a roller coaster of emotions," he said. "We were all disappointed in Melbourne and Malaysia but, after leading the race in Shanghai, we have confirmed the potential of our car. The team did a very good job to take a step forward and we learned a lot from the weekend."
Team principal Ross Brawn added: "The team and drivers have worked extremely hard in the short break before the European season begins to ensure that we continue to move forward.
"We have a fundamentally good car and we need to achieve its full potential in the races to come. The Chinese Grand Prix reminded everyone at the team what it is like to fight for a race. We didn't succeed on that occasion but it's a feeling that we would like to experience more often.
"When the car is working properly, we can be more competitive and the solutions we are bringing to Turkey will help us achieve this level more consistently. However, we also know that we need to push for more performance if we want to fight regularly at the front. The first three races have been a challenge but we have pulled together and will continue working hard to make progress."