Presumptive or realistic? Michael Schumacher is seemingly gearing up to write off his 2011 title hopes...Michael Schumacher has conceded that a tilt at the 2011 championship will prove “difficult” for Mercedes GP.

The seven-time World Champion is entering his second year of a comeback stint to the sport following a three-year absence from competition, and endured a difficult return season with Mercedes GP in 2010.

The outfit appears more confident as it enters the new season with its W02 contender – which Schumacher took to the top of the testing timesheets at Jerez – but its overall pace and reliability has not quite been at the level the team may have wanted.

“It will be difficult to achieve our goal this year but we have a vision that is not only short term,” Schumacher is quoted by the website.

“Only the first race in Bahrain will show us exactly what our situation is,” he added.

And Schumacher’s team-mate Nico Rosberg, hasn’t exactly been endorsing the promise of the W02 of late, but has recently said in his own interview on the official website that there will be more to come from the new car.

“We weren’t too fast in Valencia but with Michael’s two days of running in Jerez we are obviously heading in the right direction,” Rosberg is quoted.

The German had previously added that the team would develop a produce a significant upgrade ahead of the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix, likening the current-spec W02 to an “interim car”.

[Original image via Sutton Images]

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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.