Haug: 'Mercedes needs to find half a second'

Tuesday 24th July 2012, 11:30 by Ryan Wood 

Jenson Button overtakes Michael Schumacher at the 2012 German GP ( Octane Photographic)

Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug says his outfit must find half a second if they're to catch the leading teams this season.

Mercedes won their first race at the Chinese Grand Prix in April but since then, they've dropped back and are now arguably the sixth fastest team behind Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren, Lotus and Sauber.

Haug is under no illusions that the team must improve, but he says the season has been a mix of ups and downs.

"The verdict on the first half of our season would be: 'much achieved, much still to do'," said the German.

"We have been the pace-setters at a number of race weekends and Nico [Rosberg] scored the first win for our new Silver Arrow works team in China, while Michael [Schumacher] set the fastest time in a prestigious qualifying session in Monaco and Nico then finished second in the race. Two races later, in Valencia, Michael also scored a podium finish.

"Our team has scored over one third more points than at the same time last season, in spite of Michael suffering a run of technical retirements.

"The last two races have shown that we currently lack around half a second a lap to the pace-setters," revealed Haug. "This is clear to all in the team and we'll be doing our maximum to develop the car further and close the gap."

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