Schumacher unfazed by laptimes

Michael Schumacher says he is not concerned by Mercedes GP's laptimes after the first week of Formula 1 pre-season testing at Valencia

He finished Thursday's final day of running in ninth place, 1.3 seconds slower than Robert Kubica's pace-setting Renault, with Nico Rosberg having finished Wednesday just as far behind Fernando Alonso's Ferrari.

But Schumacher denies that Mercedes has anything to be concerned about at this early stage.

"There are so many open points that I don't really worry too much about times," he said. "The best would be up front easily, and beating everybody straightaway. But from where we are coming, you cannot expect that.

"Some teams may already been on their final spec for the first race, or close to final spec, and others are not. We have to believe in our strengths. When we come to Bahrain and the final test, that is when you can make better comparisons and get a clearer picture up front.

"Obviously there is a big fuel tank and if you go from zero to maximum, you talk about four or five seconds of difference purely in the fuel load. I don't know what the others are doing. I know what we are doing, and we focus only on ourselves."

Schumacher admitted that he experienced some compounds of the Pirelli tyres wearing quickly, but says the team is still happy with the work it did today.

"There is an obvious scenario on different compounds that we have available," he said. "Some are more consistent than others and I have had some exciting moments on track, where I was on certain tyres that wouldn't last very long and it was like driving on ice. But nevertheless, we did our work that we were concentrated for and we are quite happy about that."

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