Michael Schumacher believes Mercedes is slightly further from the frontrunners in Brazil than has been the case recently.
The team has enjoyed a competitive run in the last few rounds, with Schumacher finishing in the top six in both Japan and Korea, but he thinks Mercedes might have to settle for lower positions at Interlagos.
"We had two trouble-free practice sessions today and were able to complete a lot of work with the car," said Schumacher, who was 10th today. "I would have wished and expected for us to be closer to the top teams but, unfortunately, the gap seems to be a little bigger than at the last races. All in all, we have to see what we can improve for qualifying tomorrow and we will have a deep look into our data now."
Mercedes' motorsport boss Norbert Haug agreed that the team was a little off the pace, but thinks it will be closer to the front in race trim.
"Today we did not quite achieve the level of performance that we have shown at the last couple of races; however, we are not too far off," Haug said. "Our high-fuel runs looked reasonable but the single lap performance can be improved further before qualifying."
Schumacher's teammate Nico Rosberg was slightly more optimistic, and reckons he could star if it rains tomorrow.
"We made some good setup changes and definitely learned a lot over the two sessions today," said Rosberg. "As a result, I'm confident that we can nail the setup if it is dry tomorrow.
"However, if the predicted rain arrives, then I will look forward to it even more as we should be a little stronger if it is wet and have a better chance of being further up the field."