Click to view our fantastic subscription offers

Instant access to the F1 paddock

You have 15 views remaining

You have read 5 stories this month. After 20, you will need to register or subscribe.

Register with us for free to view 30 stories a month.

Or subscribe to AUTOSPORT+ for unlimited news stories and access to our exclusive subscriber-only content.

Our commitment to quality journalism

We've introduced metered access to AUTOSPORT which will ensure that the majority of our visitors can continue to view the site for free. But we think that is worth a small investment from those who use it most, so that we can continue to send the leading experts in their field to motor racing paddocks all over the world to break the latest news and produce the most compelling interviews and race reports.

Every visitor gets 20 free page views per month. Once you reach the limit you can register to get 30 views or choose one of our value-for-money subscription packages to continue viewing and to get additional access to a range of features including:

  • Unlimited access to AUTOSPORT with news and views from the paddock
  • Enjoy AUTOSPORT+: subscriber-only analysis, comment and top-quality pictures
  • Get AUTOSPORT magazine in a digital format on your computer or iPad every week
  • Full access to FORIX - the world's best motorsport statistics website

We greatly appreciate your continued support to keep AUTOSPORT at the forefront of motorsport coverage, and we look forward to welcoming you as a new subscriber.

Andrew Van de Burgt
Editor in Chief
Find out more about our subscriptions

Michael Schumacher certain Mercedes can turn flashes of pace in Melbourne into strong season

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne 2012Michael Schumacher says he is confident the speed Mercedes showed in Australian Grand Prix qualifying will not turn out to be a one-off - despite the team's disappointing race and Melbourne's habit of sometimes producing anomalous results.

Schumacher's team-mate Nico Rosberg was fastest in Q2 in Australia, and Schumacher qualified fourth, with the pair then running third and fourth early in the race. A gearbox problem halted Schumacher, while Rosberg fell back with high tyre wear and was classified only 12th following a last-lap collision with Sergio Perez's Sauber.

Seven-time Formula 1 champion Schumacher said the fact that Mercedes had not managed to maintain its pace all through the Melbourne weekend had not dented his confidence that 2012 could be a very strong season for the team.

"After the disappointment of how the first race in Melbourne turned out, I am flying to Malaysia with a big sense of anticipation, because we saw in Australia that our car is capable of putting us in the mix," he said.

"Of course, we haven't forgotten that the circuit in Melbourne is not really representative of the true competitive picture, but nevertheless the car gives me a good feeling for the season ahead.

"Sepang will be interesting for everybody because it will be the first clue to the real relative strengths of all the cars. The range of slow and fast corners give a good indication of where you are, which always makes the race in Malaysia fun for the drivers and engineers, and overall a big challenge for both man and machine."

Team boss Ross Brawn agreed that Mercedes now just had to deliver.

"We have a fundamentally good car, now it is up to us to optimise its performance and achieve its potential on track," he said.

  More news  
Read the AUTOSPORT Digital Edition
Visit the shop
See highlights from 60 years of AUTOSPORT
Paddock insight from group F1 editor Jonathan Noble
Grand Prix news updates from F1 editor Edd Straw
Breaking news feed
Live commentary feed