Mercedes said it made up ground during Japanese Grand Prix practice at Suzuka today after a challenging start, although Michael Schumacher feels the circuit may show up some of the car's weaknesses.
Schumacher and team-mate Nico Rosberg ended today's sessions in sixth and seventh places respectively.
"We were working on set-up issues as usual and achieved much of what we wanted, however we are aware that the character of our car and the character of this track are not a perfect match and there are areas still to work on," said Schumacher.
"From what I have seen so far, I would guess we will find ourselves qualifying in the region we have been lately, but obviously we will make our best efforts to improve our position further."
Rosberg said the day had been "challenging" but ultimately productive.
"We had two challenging sessions today as we worked to get the balance of the car right on high and low fuel loads," he said. "However at the end of P2, I'm happy with what we learnt, and I think all is going in the right direction for tomorrow."
Team boss Ross Brawn agreed with Rosberg's assessment that things were now moving in the right direction.
"Suzuka is a very challenging track and we had a slightly tricky balance to start with this morning," he said.
"By the end of the second session this afternoon, we had largely got on top of that, with the engineers and drivers doing a good job to find better solutions."