Mercedes duo aim to fight Ferrari

Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher believe they can take the fight to Ferrari in the Spanish Grand Prix - with Red Bull Racing and McLaren looking too strong at the moment

Mercedes duo aim to fight Ferrari

Although Rosberg only qualified seventh, and Schumacher starts 10th after a KERS problem, the pair believe they will move forward in the race, although not enough to challenge the cars right at the front of the grid.

Rosberg said: "In Turkey I was third on the grid and here I am seventh, so it is not ideal. But, taking a step back, it was to be expected because we changed our approach a bit and concentrated more on race pace.

"For the race we are definitely looking better tomorrow than we were in Turkey, because in Turkey I definitely struggled in the race. We are trying generally to do a better job here, starting a little further back and hoping we can have better race pace, but then again I am not sure because the other guys seem to be a little bit further ahead at the moment so it will be difficult.

"In terms of tyres I am looking better than Ferrari. I am not sure about McLaren."

When asked if Red Bull Racing was unbeatable, Schumacher said: "I think it is a fair to say that with this lap time difference it can be very hard to beat the Red Bull.

"A car that aerodynamically is very strong, which the Red Bull is, can show and prove its advantage on the type of track like Barcelona. Ourselves, I would have rated us the third to fourth position among the teams, so fighting with the Ferraris because I thought that the Red Bulls and McLarens were too strong for us.

"That has been proven right. Ferrari finally put up some good performance so it will be difficult for us as well for us to fight them. We will be somewhere around that area."

Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn said he was hopeful that the team would get Schumacher's KERS working properly for the race, after the problem that prevented him doing a final run in qualifying.

"We need to get it functioning for tomorrow but within parc ferme rules you are allowed to replace non-functioning components as long as they are the same," he said. "We will have a go and see if we can get it going for tomorrow.

"It has actually been very good for the last couple of races, so it is a shame that we had this problem at such a crucial time. We struggled in the first few races but in the last couple of races it has been good."

Brawn also said a decision would be taken in the morning about what tyre strategy Michael Schumacher would be put on for the start of the race - with him not setting a time meaning he has a free choice of compounds.

"We don't know yet," said Brawn. "Given that we have got that option, we are going to think about it overnight and doing all the modelling.

"We are doing models now on a different basis from what we expected, so our guys will spend a lot of time - they have some more ingredients than they expected to. I don't honestly know what we will start with yet, but we will decide in the morning."

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