Michael Schumacher believes the new Mercedes W03 has potential after giving the car its first public outing on Tuesday.

13461 - Schumacher feels 'potential' in W03

Though the car had run previously at Silverstone and again at Barcelona on Sunday, it was only officially launched in the pit lane on Tuesday morning ahead of the start of the second test. After Schumacher completed 51 laps with a best time of 1:24.150 he was asked how the car felt during the first day at the Circuit de Catalunya.

"Reasonably positive," Schumacher said. "This is the fourth day basically that we're in the car and it's actually the first day that we had a little issue on the hydraulics today, so it runs pretty well in terms of reliability. I have good potential, a good feeling inside the car, difficult to give an exact feeling because of the rule changes - what it is worth that I'm feeling we will find out later in the week - but potential is good."

Schumacher also echoed the sentiments of Norbert Haug when he said that the team would be focusing on gradual progress.

"That's the only way to do it. There is no way to do two steps at the same time and trip over; it's not possible, so that's the way it is."

Although Schumacher remained coy over the car's performance, he did say the 2012 Pirelli tyres were a good step forward.

"They're certainly an improvement on what they have been in the past, or last year in particular. So I'm very much happy with them, we tested them in Jerez extensively, they worked very well. Here it's a little bit more tricky to make them work for temperature reasons but as I understand that's the case for everybody. So generally it's certainly much more a Formula One tyre compared to the past ones. The main improvement is on the rear tyre."