Mercedes AMG Petronas had a mixed result in the interrupted qualifying session at Silverstone today ahead of the British Grand Prix with Michael Schumacher taking an impressive third place while team-mate Nico Rosberg narrowly missed out on the final part of qualifying and finished the session in thirteenth.
Michael Schumacher continued the upward trend in his form for qualifying as he took his second top-three place in four races. ”Naturally I’m pleased with today’s result – after all, we’re in the top three again” said the German.
“It didn’t look so good before the break in Q2 because my visor was completely misted up and that meant I had some excitement during that lap! But then everything went well in Q3. We were competitive on both the intermediate and wet tyres, so I would welcome more rain tomorrow. Third position is a good starting point for the race – I’m looking forward to it.”
A downbeat Nico Rosberg was miffed with his lack of pace but confident that he could score some solid points in tomorrows race. Although qualifying in third place penalties for other drivers means he will line up in eleventh position for the British Grand Prix. “I wasn’t quick enough in general today” admitted Rosberg, “we need to understand why that happened as it’s a bit surprising really as yesterday I was quicker in the same conditions.”
“I’m still confident for tomorrow and looking forward to the race as this year, it’s possible to score good points even when you are starting from a long way back. Thanks to the fans who were here today. Even when there was heavy rain and we were not driving for a long time, they created a great atmosphere.”
Team Principal Ross Brawn was happy with the performance from Schumacher but admitted that Rosberg’s performance was disapointing. ”Nico didn’t achieve his full potential today in the tricky six minutes when Q2 restarted. This was the kind of session where you could tumble from fastest to slowest in a couple of laps, as we saw with some other drivers, and he unfortunately wasn’t able to put a full lap together.”
Looking forward to the race tomorrow Brawn remained optimistic, “Overall, the car seems to be performing reasonably well in the wet conditions and the balance seemed driveable; I am sure that tomorrow’s race, in changeable conditions, will be full of opportunities.
The rain interrupted session provided a unique opportunity for Brawn, ”On a personal note, thank you to all of the fans for sticking with us today, and this was certainly the first time I’ve performed a Mexican wave in the middle of Q2. I’ve already had a few text messages from friends about my technique!”
Norbert Haug added “It’s fair to say that Michael had a chance of setting pole today, as his second and third sector times on his last flying lap proved. However in the closing stages he only had one lap on inters and, although he was seven-tenths slower in the first sector compared to the best split time, he was less than three-tenths down at the end of the lap. Starting from third is a good base for Michael and our team tomorrow.”