Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn insists that the Brackley-based team isn't far away from being in a position to fight for race victories in the 2010 F1 season - and isn't yet out of the fight for the title.

The team currently lies fourth in the constructors' championship and is more than 100 points behind McLaren, although the new-look scoring system in place this year means closing that gap is a more realistic proposition than it would have been twelve months ago.

Although Nico Rosberg has managed just two third place finishes - and Michael Schumacher has yet to visit the podium - Brawn insisted that the team isn't far away from being in a position to fight for success and wasn't yet out of the championship fight.

"We have an upgrade package which will be another good step in our development towards competing at the front of the field," he said. "With the new points system this year, we are still within striking distance of the championship leaders and we will continue with our efforts to become more competitive.

"We have a number of the basics right and the difference between winning and losing is small. We need to close that difference."

While Rosberg was able to score points in Canada, team-mate Schumacher endured a difficult race as he could only finish eleventh and was widely criticised for his driving after a number of incidents on track.

The German will be competing on the streets of Valencia for the first time and said he was hopeful that changes made to the W01 would allow him to secure a strong result.

"Valencia is a track which I have never raced on before so it will be another new experience for me but one which I am very much looking forward to," he said. "I always have been quite good in adapting quickly to new situations and I strongly expect that to be the case in Valencia. I like going into new experiences like this and having detailed discussions with my engineers about the challenge.

"We will bring further updates for our car which should help to improve the performance. We have already seen that the car has improved steadily over the last few races and in Canada, the pace was better even if unfortunately that did not show in the results. That's why I look forward to travelling to Spain a great deal."


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