Michael Schumacher insists there is more to come from the Mercedes GP team once it unlocks the true potential of its W02 after a tough start to 2011.
Despite impressive in the latter stages of pre-season testing, Mercedes failed to finish the season opener in Australia and then scored just two points thanks to Schumacher's ninth place in Malaysia – with team-mate Nico Rosberg managing only twelfth.
After a below par season in 2010, Mercedes had hoped to bounce back to form in 2011 and Schumacher said the team had to work hard to resolve its current issues and make progress up the order.
“Well it is natural or obvious that we had other expectations,” he said. “We have spoken about the reasons why a certain performance was not able to be delivered. That is where we are but in Formula One it is not the first time it has happened to me that things do not go to expectations. It is what it is and the only way to go forward is to work off your problems and that is what we are about to do right now.
“We learned more and more about the car [in Malaysia]. Naturally timing after Malaysia to China there is a very short amount of time available and it is not the case that we have major upgrades for this event. We will have for other events. It is more actually to understand the car and pull out the true and complete potential. There is more potential than we have been able to show, but we haven't yet found the tweak to make use of it.”
The seven-time champion added that there wasn't just one area that the team was focusing on when it comes to improving the W02, with work ongoing in a number of areas.
“You know, the secret of Formula One is not one particular area,” he said. “It is always paying attention to all kinds of details. There are less important areas, absolutely, but we kind of try to figure out all the little bits and pieces and get them working.
“It is an on-going process I am afraid. But when the going gets tough the tough get going.”