Michael Schumacher thinks he is getting the most out of the currently limited potential of his Mercedes, and says he is loving the challenge of pushing the car up the grid.
Although the seven-time champion has been out-qualified and outraced by teammate Nico Rosberg in the two races held so far this year, Schumacher reckons he has made big progress in his personal approach after three years on the sidelines.
"I think I had a good weekend," he said about his performance in Australia. "I maximized, from my point of view, what I could do and I was quite happy, which is what I expressed straight after the race – that I was happy with the performance.
"There are limits to what you can do, and I drove within those. I am not a magician so it is what we are facing – that we might not be as competitive from the beginning of the season. But life is not about wishful thinking – you have to work for it.
"That is the thing I enjoy – to work so hard in the team to develop things and I am very confident that we get there. It might take us a bit longer than we hoped for, but that is what it is."
Schumacher believes his main focus needs to be on stepping up his game in qualifying, which is proving vitally important for every driver this year.
"Qualifying, although we were sure it was a high priority in Bahrain, I was probably still a bit conservative in my choice for setup," he said. "In Melbourne, we had a good car on Saturday morning and we made some compromise steps that were not perfect for qualifying. It also didn't help that one of the tear-offs got stuck in my front wing – but nevertheless it is something we have to approach and be more aggressive with."