Michael Schumacher admitted that he could 'only be happy' with Mercedes Grand Prix's penultimate day of running at Jerez de la Frontera, as the MGP W02 seems to be consistently improving and with it, the 'Schumi' of yore is increasingly re-emerging.
The German legend completed 114 laps of the southern Spanish circuit on a sunny and warm day, and featured inside the top three throughout, at one stage vying with Ferrari rival and fellow multiple F1 World Champion Fernando Alonso for the honour of occupying the top spot on the timing screens.
Ultimately, the 42-year-old wound up third-fastest, just under seven tenths adrift of the outright pace, at the end of a day of systems checks with the adjustable rear wing, tyre evaluations with the different Pirelli compounds and development work on the balance of the car over longer runs.
With team-mate and compatriot Nico Rosberg set to take over on Sunday, Schumacher was left to reflect upon another day of positive reliability – and extremely positive pace.
“At the end of my two test days in Jerez, I can only be happy with what we have achieved here,” confessed the 91-time grand prix-winner. “Once again today, we completed a lot of mileage, and with the exception of some smaller issues, we ran very well which enables us to steadily progress with our testing programme.
“This is exactly what you want at this period of time. I am now looking forward to continuing the development at the next test in Barcelona, starting on Friday.”
To see Saturday's Jerez lap times in full, click here