Michael Schumacher says he remains pessimistic about his chances of fighting for victory in Valencia despite a good start to the weekend in practice.
The German has been tipped as a potential candidate for victory by Pirelli's Paul Hembery, but he has downplayed his chances following a difficult Canadian Grand Prix for Mercedes. Schumacher was fourth fastest in second practice on Friday, less than three tenths of a second off the pace set by Sebastian Vettel. The seven-time champion insists Mercedes will not have the pace to fight for victory this weekend.
"I think we are in a reasonable position but not a good enough position to win here," said Schumacher. "I obviously appreciate the compliments I have been given by some people in the pitlane here, and I hope they are right, but at the moment I am a little bit pessimistic. We had a reasonable day though."
The Mercedes driver also believes it would be too optimistic to expect his team to be fighting for pole position.
"After the problem I just had this final run. We didn't make any adjustments to the car, so I guess we have a little bit more we can work on," he said. "I guess we can be reasonably close to the front-runners, but I think it would be too optimistic to put us on pole position."
Teammate Nico Rosberg finished second practice in 10th position.