Schumacher: We Look Better than Expected

Michael Schumacher believes his Ferrari team are in better shape than he expected following Friday's practice for the Chinese Grand Prix

Schumacher: We Look Better than Expected

Schumacher, the seven times World Champion, was fifth fastest in an encouraging first session for the Italian team whose six-year reign as constructors' champions has come to an end.

In the afternoon, however, he was only 14th.

The German driver, who finished only seventh in Japan last weekend, believes things are looking better than they had hoped.

"Obviously with these last few races all coming in quick succession, there was no reason to expect a big change in our performance level," said Schumacher. "But I have to say that, after today, I think we look in slightly better shape than we did at the last race.

"Maybe we are at a similar level to the one we had in Brazil. We got through our work in a methodical fashion today and the time differences between the two sessions is mainly down to the difference in using new or used tyres."

Teammate Rubens Barrichello completed Ferrari's promising start by setting the sixth quickest time in the second session.

"This was quite a good day with plenty of good laps completed on both types of tyre," Barrichello said. "I am reasonably happy with my set-up, so now we must wait and see how competitive we really are compared to the others.

"But I feel I can approach the rest of the weekend with optimism after a solid day's work today."

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