Michael Schumacher has acknowledged that tire degradation is an area where Mercedes must improve, as well as admitting that some of the team's chief rivals were getting better mileage out of the Pirelli rubber.
Schumacher completed 79 laps during Friday's testing, setting his best time late in the day, on the first flying lap of one of several short runs on Pirelli's soft-compound tire. However, in the same eight-lap stint as the German set his quickest time, he lost almost four seconds, the first two seconds lost within five laps.
While Schumacher played down the Mercedes' tire usage, he did point it out as an area for improvement before the Australian Grand Prix.
"The best is if you have [no degradation]," he said. "Everybody has some. I don't know where we are compared to the others, but I have seen some can do better. So, certainly, we can improve."
Despite causing two red flags during the morning's running, Schumacher was upbeat at the end of the day, claiming that the team had worked through its entire Friday program.
"It was a bit of a slow start in the morning," he added. "We stopped twice ourselves, and had other red flag issues, but the afternoon was straightforward. We made most of the work we needed to do, so it's OK."
Schumacher wound out the day eighth fastest, 1.3sec behind Romain Grosjean's benchmark time.