Date: 2nd April 2011 at 9:43pm
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One of the most disappointed teams on the Formula One grid in Australia was the Mercedes team.

Throughout winter testing Mercedes had remained positive that their gradual improvement would see them peak and show their true potential for the 2011 season in Melbourne last weekend.

Following the final couple of days in Barcelona, their plan appeared to be running like clockwork, with their final upgrades slingshoting them right to the top of the timing charts.

Both Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher headed for Australia in confident mood, with many believing that they would be the third fastest team on the grid, pushing Red Bull and Ferrari for a place on the podium.

But it simply wasn’t too be, Schumacher went on to fail to make it into the pole position shoot-out qualifying 11th, while Rosberg was only good enough for 7th and the weekend just went from bad to worse on race day.

‘We suffered a number of problems which resulted in a far-from-optimum car for qualifying and the race and then were unlucky to suffer a disappointing double retirement. Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn told the BBC.

Schumacher was involved in an incident on the first corner, the contact with Alguersuari damaged the floor of his car which eventually forced him to retire after 18 laps.

‘We want to do better than in the opening race which was a disappointment for all of us.’ the seven-time F1 Champion said looking ahead to the Malaysian race and the German remained confident that Mercedes will show the true potential of their car next weekend: ‘it is much too early to write us off. Everybody in the team remains positive and is in a fighting mood.’

Rosberg lasted just three more laps than his team-mate after he was the innocent party in a collision with Barrichello and like his team-mate, Rosberg believes they will have a better weekend in Sepang: ‘I think we can surprise people next Sunday. We know that the car is fast from the last test in Barcelona, so now we have to work on proving that potential.’

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