Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn described his team’s performance in the final qualifying session of the season as ‘reasonable’ after Nico Rosberg secured sixth place on the Interlagos grid and Michael Schumacher took tenth.
“We had a reasonable final qualifying session of the season today,” he said. “There was a threat of rain throughout, which meant we ran slightly earlier than we ultimately needed to in some of the sessions to be on the safe side.
“Nico’s run in Q2 was very impressive, and that performance potential augurs well for the race. Michael took a measured approach to Q3, in order to save a new set of tyres, and he is in a good position strategically. We know how good he has been on the first lap this year, so we’re looking forward to finding out what will be possible in the race.
“Rain is still forecast for tomorrow but the same was true of today, so we are working with a measure of uncertainty. I’ll know it’s raining when the top of my head gets wet…”
Rosberg was pleased with his result today, particularly as he out-qualified Ferrari‘s Felipe Massa. “That was a good qualifying session today,” he said. “We saved a set of option tyres for the race, and we qualified ahead of one of the Ferraris which has always been my goal during the season. So I’m quite pleased to be starting from sixth place tomorrow.
“I was maybe a little too slow on my out lap in Q3 so my tyres didn’t work perfectly on my fast lap, and that’s why I wasn’t as quick as in Q2. I will push to gain a good result tomorrow for the team who have done a great job over the whole season.”
Schumacher appreciates that the weather could play a huge role in tomorrow’s race, and is hoping to finish the season with a few more points to his name.
“The forecast says there is a high probability for rain during the race,” he said. “With this in mind, we have kept all of our options open for tomorrow and we had a strategic approach to qualifying today. Still we need to find out why we weren’t able to match our times from this morning. There will be a lot of data checking now, so that tomorrow it will be very different and we can attack for some points.”