Date: 28th April 2011 at 9:43am
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Mercedes GP believe they are getting closer to unlocking the potential of their 2011 car.

Having promised so much following the final couple of days of testing in Barcelona in pre-season, Mercedes struggled during the opening couple of races of this seasons Formula One World championship.

With Schumacher and Rosberg impressing during the winter testing campaign, Mercedes were left disappointed with Rosberg qualifying seventh and Schumacher eleventh in Australia, before both drivers went on to retire from the race.

In Malaysia, their overall pace was similar, Rosberg again out qualifying Schumacher for ninth, with the seven-time former F1 World champion again in eleventh. The race proved to be much better though with Schumacher collecting two points for his ninth placed finish with Rosberg twelfth.

In China the team appeared to take a solid step forward, Schumacher may have struggled in qualifying finishing fourteenth, behind Rosberg’s fourth, however both drivers did well in the race. Schumacher climbed up to eighth to score more World championship points, while Rosberg flirted with a podium finish before dropping back to fifth.

‘I honestly cannot promise you that we will do the same thing in Turkey ? but the most important thing is to find the key to unlock the speed. The speed is there. The performance in China was genuine.’ Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug told Autosport Magazine.

Rosberg actually led the race for 14 laps and looked in a solid third position before fuel consumption issues forced the German to slow down to complete the race.

‘compliments to the guys.’ Haug added. ‘I would rather have a fifth place with the speed for second or third, than a third place ? although I would take it anyway ? that you inherit.’

Mercedes plan to bring a some upgrades to Istanbul for the race on May 8th and will be hoping to get both drivers into the final session of qualifying for the first time this season and ultimately to improve on their fifth placed finish in China.