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Schumi feeling 'good' about Sepang GP

Saturday 24-March-2012 10:24

Michael Schumacher is confident Mercedes can carry their qualifying form through into Sunday's Malaysian GP after claiming third place on the grid.

With Sepang's long straights playing into the hands of Mercedes' strengths - including their 'W-duct' wing - Schumacher and his team-mate Nico Rosberg had been lapping near the front for much of the weekend.

But they faced the first real test on Saturday afternoon in qualifying with Schumacher claiming third place, missing out on a front row slot by 0.023s.

There are, however, concerns that Mercedes could falter in Sunday's 56-lap grand prix as tyre degradation hurt them in Australia and could again this weekend given the sweltering conditions.

Asked about it, Schumacher said: "I guess all of us have certain concerns because these temperatures are pretty new to us.

"We had some preparation yesterday. We have done a decent job. We have learned a lesson in Australia, reacted and the boys in factory have done a great job so I am looking forward to tomorrow.

"I feel good about it and we have chosen a car that should work better in the race - that is the situation that I hope will play out tomorrow."

For now, though, Schumacher is relishing a fantastic qualifying effort and a sure sign that Mercedes are slowly but surely closing the gap on the front runners.

"It is quite an achievement to see who is behind us. We still have to catch up a bit forward.

"We are reasonably close, not miles away like we were last year so it is up to us to have a good development programme, work methodically and stay focused and let's see what the season will bring us."

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