Schumacher wants reliable W03
After setting the fastest time of the second day in Jerez, Michael Schumacher says it is important that the W03 is reliable when it is launched ahead of the second test.
Schumacher was using the 2011 Mercedes to analyse the new Pirelli tyres on Wednesday, and on a short soft-tyre run set the quickest time of 1:18.575. While the time is not comparable to the 2012 cars so far, Schumacher was asked if he was concerned that the team would only have eight days to test the W03, and he said he just hoped for the most track time possible.
"The main point is the reliability factor," Schumacher told reporters at Jerez. "I think if the car has a certain performance, you're going to dial that out reasonably quick unless you have unexpected circumstances which we occasionally had in the past. We hope not to have this, we hope to learn our lesson and our program is done in a way that we believe in.
"[The later launch] is maybe an important factor because we work longer on our car, but as I've said before I don't think we can realistically achieve a championship car from where we started last year. We have to build our way there; I'm confident we can do that in future but let's take it step by step."
Reflecting on Wednesday's running Schumacher said that the team had been able to make the most of the 132 laps completed.
"We had a very productive day, did lots of mileage - good mileage, not just cruising around - we made some very good work with the new tyres that we have to face for this year. And that was the main focus for us; understand those tyres, use the old car as much as we know what is different between those cars for this year and last year's car, and trying to understand and work a program that we've done perfectly well today."