Schumacher hoping for home advantage
Michael Schumacher is hoping for a podium finish in his home country
Michael Schumacher is hoping home comforts next weekend will give Mercedes the opportunity to finally give their fans "a reason to celebrate".
With Nico Rosberg's win in China and second place in Monaco, and with Schumacher third in the European Grand Prix in Valencia last month, there is optimism within the team of another podium when the German Grand Prix returns to Hockenheim in nine days' time.
Ahead of what will be his 18th German GP, a race he has won on four previous occasions, Schumacher said: "People often ask me whether there is any such thing as a home advantage in such an international sport as ours, and my answer is: perhaps not a home advantage, but certainly a home-race feeling."
The multiple world champion added: "As a German driver, you naturally have a different sense of excitement when you arrive at the German Grand Prix and know that all the spectators in the grandstands are supporting you. That makes you proud, and always boosts your motivation even higher.
"This year is the first time our Mercedes works team has been capable of racing right at the front, and because of that, we're hoping for lots of support from the fans and to reward them with our performance.
"We have set ourselves the clear target of giving everybody a reason to celebrate next weekend."
Mercedes' form, although an improvement on the previous two years, has been "up and down" this season according to team principal Ross Brawn.
Brawn concedes his Brackley-based team needs to "work hard to improve our level of consistency and ability to challenge at the front of the field".
However, Brawn is confident Hockenheim will be more suited to their car than Silverstone where Schumacher and Rosberg were a disappointing seventh and 15th.
He added: "We are bringing some further improvements to the car which should help our performance. It would be very special to achieve a good result in Germany, so we will be working hard to achieve just that."