x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Formula One: Michael Schumacher sees more highlights for Mercedes

The German seven-time champion is happy that the team is clearly making steps forward but motorsport boss Norbert Haug says the car is still a half-second behind the leaders.

Michael Schumacher is happy with the direction his Mercedes Silver Arrow is traveling.
Michael Schumacher is happy with the direction his Mercedes Silver Arrow is traveling.

Michael Schumacher said Mercedes-GP have made progress this season, even if the points tally says otherwise.

At the halfway stage of a record-breaking 20-grands prix campaign, the seven-time champion has managed to haul himself up to 12th in the drivers' standings with 29 points, 27 of those in the past three races.

His teammate Nico Rosberg has 76 points, but with just one from his past two drives, while the team are languishing in fifth in the constructors' championship after finishing fourth the past two seasons.

Delivering his "half-time analysis", Schumacher said: "As so often in life it is a question of perspective.

"If we only look at the points, it doesn't seem so good, but if you look a bit deeper, and at certain results, then the overall picture is much better.

"We have taken a clear step forward and already achieved a few highlights."

Those highlights include the team's first victory, and Rosberg's first, in China, and a second place in Monaco for the 27 year old. As for Schumacher, the 43 year old finished third in the European Grand Prix in Valencia, his first podium since the end of 2006.

Mercedes motorsport's Norbert Haug knows the team are still lacking in pace compared to their rivals - Ferrari, Red Bull Racing, McLaren-Mercedes and now Lotus, but said that: "The verdict on the first half of our season would be 'much achieved, much still to do'. Our team has scored over one-third more points than at the same time last year, in spite of Michael suffering a run of technical retirements.

"The last two races have shown we currently lack around half a second a lap to the pacesetters.

"This is clear to all in the team, and we'll be doing our maximum to develop the car further and close the gap."

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