Schumacher Expecting Strong Race From Second Row


Michael Schumacher is looking forward to challenging for a podium finish at Hockenheim tomorrow after qualifying fourth this afternoon. The Mercedes driver will move up to third as a result of Mark Webber's grid penalty and isn't expecting a repeat of Silverstone when he went backwards from a similar grid position.

“That’s certainly a nice way to start the German Grand Prix – we had been expecting a position between fifth and seventh on the grid, so fourth in qualifying, which will become third place on the grid, is even better. Naturally I’m particularly happy for all the Mercedes colleagues in the grandstands: they support us throughout the year and we wanted to give something back to them. In any case, we can be satisfied with this result. Perhaps it would have been even better to change to a new set of tyres right at the end, but I don’t think we could have done much more today. Now we have to focus completely on tomorrow’s race. We know that it should be dry tomorrow and we should be more competitive here than we were in Silverstone.”

Teammate Nico Rosberg was knocked out in a wet Q2 session and will start 22nd due to his own gearbox penalty. Rosberg knows he has his work cut out tomorrow but still thinks a points finish is possible.

“It’s a bit surprising to finish so far down in qualifying today, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the right temperatures in my first set of intermediate tyres in Q2 so I was a few seconds off the pace. Yesterday I was quite confident in the wet and in the dry so it is frustrating, especially on top of the gearbox penalty. But I will still hope to score some points tomorrow because a lot is possible in the races this year. I will definitely push a lot in front of all our fans here.”

Team Principal Ross Brawn felt Rosberg was simply unfortunate in the second knockout session but was delighted with Schumacher's performance, even though he played with fire in Q1.

“It was a very eventful qualifying today but the positive thing was that our car was fundamentally fast in both the dry, intermediate and wet parts of the session. Nico was the second fastest prime tyre runner in Q1, but when the rain came, he struggled to generate temperature in his intermediate tyres. In those conditions, once you lose tyre temperature you never get it back, so we certainly missed the window with him. Michael did an excellent job in Q2 and Q3; he was fourth fastest, will start P3, and could potentially have been even further up. But we can be satisfied with a second row start in such tricky conditions.”