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A confusing message emerged from the Mercedes camp as Formula One teams tested in Barcelona.
Late on Saturday, the German marque's Norbert Haug appeared to admit that the W02 is not as good as the Brackley based team would like it to be.
"If there was a race today, we would not be in the top ten," German media quoted him saying.
The following day, after Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel had been fastest on the opening two days at the Circuit de Catalunya, Nico Rosberg took the silver car to the top of the times.
Haug told Auto Motor und Sport: "We know that at the moment our car is not good enough for the top ten, but we had been hampered by having to cut holes because of temperature problems, and also Nico had been without KERS.
"Our plan is that with our new aerodynamics package we close much of the gap and have the car good enough for the podium."
Michael Schumacher is quoted by Speed Week: "Our goal is the same as it was a few weeks ago. With this car we want to be on the podium and, if things go well, maybe win a race."
Auto Motor und Sport calculated that the W02 is about 1.5 seconds per lap slower than the new Red Bull during a race simulation.