Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg are hoping to take advantage of a free tyre choice to make progress in tomorrow’s Singapore Grand Prix. The Mercedes duo will start together on the fifth row after failing to set a time in Q3, giving them the freedom to choose which tyres they’ll start the race on, and Schumacher says the strategy had been planned long before the session started.
“I am reasonably pleased with our qualifying result, considering what we have seen this weekend. Of course, we could have tried to make up one or two positions, although this would have been very difficult. However we decided to give up this possibility in favour of the fact that we now have a fresh set and free choice of tyres going into the race. We decided this strategy after the final practice session, and after seeing who made it into Q3, we went for it. Hopefully we can make the best of this choice tomorrow.”
Rosberg was pleased to see more potential from the team’s upgrades and is optimistic that their strategic approach will yield rewards tomorrow.
“Our new updates are working reasonably well this weekend, although it will definitely take some more time to optimise the package. After not taking part in Q3, we will have more opportunities for the race tomorrow, and we can decide whether we want to start on the soft or supersoft tyre. It should be an interesting race, so let’s see what we can do.”
With the field being so close, Team Principal Ross Brawn feels the gamble is worth taking despite sacrificing early track position on a circuit so tough to overtake on.
“We’ve made good progress over the weekend with our new aerodynamic package which is encouraging. This weekend has been the first opportunity for Michael and Nico to try the upgrades, and it has taken a little while to get the set-up into a reasonable shape. Given the closeness of the second part of the grid, we made a strategic decision not to go out for a lap in Q3, and we’re happy to have the choice of tyres and new sets for the race tomorrow.”