Michael Schumacher was pleased after the Turkish Grand Prix and believes that Mercedes have closed up a bit on Red Bull Racing and McLaren – and moved ahead of his old team, Ferrari.
Schumacher equalled his best result of the season on Sunday at Istanbul Park, venue for the seventh round in the F1 2010 championship, when he was fourth at the flag, just ahead of his team-mate and fellow countryman, Nico Rosberg.
While he had a fairly quiet race, and finished more than 30 seconds off the top-two, the record-breaking multiple F1 world champion was still encouraged by the form of the MGP W01.
"My race started as I had hoped when I was able to catch Jenson [Button] right at the start," Schumacher reflected. "Unfortunately I did not have a lot of grip with the tyres as the formation lap was quite slow and the pressures had gone down which combined with the top speed of the McLarens meant that I could not hold Jenson behind me for long. I was even struggling to keep the car on the track during the first lap.
"From there onwards, I was in my starting position and when Sebastian [Vettel] retired, we were able to pick up a place. That was about it. It was a straightforward race for me without any more possibilities.
"I understand at the front there was quite a bit happening so for the fans, it was a good show. All in all, I think we had a positive race and we clearly made a step forward towards Red Bull Racing and in front of Ferrari, so we can be quite happy about that."
Rosberg meanwhile was also content and fifth was a definite improvement on what he had achieved in the previous two grand's prix.
"I am reasonably happy with fifth place today although it was an uneventful race for me," Rosberg stated. "I was slightly faster than Michael for much of the race but it was not possible to overtake and I had to be careful as Robert [Kubica] was pushing hard behind me.
"For me, the most exciting part of the race were the in and out laps for my pit stop which were pretty fast and together with the great work from the team, that enabled me to stay ahead of the cars just behind me on track. Although our general pace still has to be improved, I'm satisfied that we have taken what we could from this weekend."
Mercedes boss, Ross Brawn summed-up: "A solid performance today in which we achieved the potential of the car with both drivers. We had a purposefully quiet early part of race as we were unable to challenge the leading group and therefore decided to save our tyres for the second half.
"Michael, Nico and the team did an extremely good job with the car that we had and once again our pit stops were very impressive. Compliments to them all today. We have made reasonable progress with our latest set of upgrades thanks for the hard work of everyone at the factory but clearly we have a lot of work still to do."