Mercedes duo say pole position in the Malaysian Grand Prix is out of reach
|By Edd Straw and Sam Tremayne||Friday, March 23rd 2012, 08:22 GMT|
Mercedes duo Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg believe pole position will be out of their reach in Malaysia despite finishing inside the top four in second practice.
The pair also said it is still too early to assess their car's long-run performance despite devoting much of second practice to working on race pace.
The Sepang circuit's long straights is expected to play to Mercedes's strengths - an belief borne out as Schumacher finished second and Rosberg fourth in second practice.
The pair also looked promising in Australia however, and were both considered candidates for pole but struggled in Q3. Rosberg then suffered high tyre degradation in the race.
"We're working towards the race, trying to improve the race pace," Rosberg said. "It was a very interesting day, especially with the tyres. It's so hot out there that the tyres are overheating.
"In general, it has been working out today on the long-runs but I'm not sure how we compare to other people.
"In qualifying, we should be okay - I think we will be somewhere up there near the top. That's not the concern for us; it's more about the race.
"Yes, we've addressed it [the tyre issues]. We are going to struggle, but everybody is going to struggle. It's important that we did it a little bit better, but I don't know how we've done compared to the others on laptimes."
Schumacher echoed Rosberg's sentiments, saying thoughts of pole were too optimistic.
"No. I wouldn't be optimistic to say something," Schumacher said when asked about the prospect of landing pole. ". I think we're going to be fighting for fifth position.
"We had a good day working. In terms of long run performance, we were reasonably consistent but what it is worth, we will find out on Sunday.
"We've been working on the race pace. I don't think we have seen everybody's maximum potential. Honestly I guess that fifth or sixth position is about the maximum for us to achieve tomorrow."