Schumi says car handles 'nicely'
Michael Schumacher says his W03 handled "very nicely" throughout Friday practice, although refused to be drawn on how competitive the team is.
Last Updated: 16/03/12 2:19pm
Michael Schumacher says his Mercedes W03 handled "very nicely" during Friday practice in Australia - although concedes the day's changeable conditions made firm conclusions impossible.
The seven-time World Champion made a positive start to the first weekend of the new season as he set the third-fastest time in first practice and then the overall pace right at the end of the drying second session.
A strong winter has given Mercedes encouragement that they will be able to make a step forward this year but Schumacher, while satisfied with the car, was characteristically unwilling to read too much into the timesheets at this stage.
"We had a good work out with the car," he told Sky Sports' Natalie Pinkham during The F1 Show.
"The car handles very nicely, but what it's really worth we'll out probably later in the weekend."
He added: "Unfortunately, that's not very realistic [to read into Friday practice]. [There were] too many variables that can have a big effect, so we will have to wait to tomorrow."
Schumacher enters the new season still searching for his first podium finish since coming out of retirement in 2010, although many are viewing Mercedes as the dark horses of the early races.
Asked about his long odds for victory with the bookmakers for this weekend, Schumacher added: "I don't want to count too much into betting. Let's stay on real terms and tomorrow we will know."