Mercedes GP Michael Schumacher is optimistic that Mercedes GP can put in a good showing at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix after both drivers managed to achieve a top-five result on the timesheets in the second free practice session on Thursday.

Schumacher ended the day fifth-quickest, while his team-mate Nico Rosberg improved on his opening session times – his running was limited due to a suspension problem, it turns out – to wind up second-quickest overall.

The seven-time World Champion has observed the compression in the relative competitiveness of the cars at Monaco, and is confident that Red Bull won’t be able to scamper off into the distance, as has been the case in previous events this season.

Monaco is a very special place to drive," Schumacher said. "I got back into the rhythm of the track, especially on the long runs, and I think we can be quite confident for Saturday as the car is definitely quite reasonable to handle.

"The other teams who have a certain top speed advantage on other tracks at the moment do not have this advantage here, so the whole field comes a bit closer together which will make it a very interesting qualifying in my view. I am looking forward to it."

Rosberg added: "We made good progress this afternoon after losing some time in the morning with a pushrod problem that we had to fix. The lap times looked quite promising in the second session and I felt very comfortable in the car.

"We were able to improve the set-up continuously and get the tyres working better as the session went on. So everything looks promising after the first day."

[Original image via AUTOSPORT]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.