Mercedes were happy to see both cars inside the top ten for the first time since Singapore today. Nico Rosberg managed to out qualify the retiring Michael Schumacher and line up ninth and tenth places respectively.
“Ninth place was the maximum that we could have achieved today. We set up the car well but we’re lacking the performance to challenge any further towards the front. We’re working hard to improve the situation, and hopefully our race pace will be better and we can score some decent points here in Korea,” Rosberg said.
“The track layout here and the cooler temperatures should suit to us more than in the recent races, so I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow,” he added.
Schumacher also remained positive ahead of the race. The seven times champion finished fourth here in the rain effected race two years ago, however conditions look to be fine and dry for this year’s race.
“The positive aspect about today’s performance was that we made a step forward relative to last weekend and got into Q3. But overall, it was an average kind of day. We were expecting to end up somewhere between positions eight and ten, but things didn’t go quite right in the final sector of my quick lap.”
“Looking ahead to tomorrow, I think we can hope to look quite respectable: our long runs were quite good, as were the tyres. Let’s see how the race unfolds.”
“Qualifying progressed as we had expected this afternoon and the drivers did a good job to deliver decent laps at the right times. We were looking for that little bit of extra performance in Q3 but didn’t manage to extract it from the car,” team boss Ross Brawn added.
“The challenge was finding a good balance over a whole lap and, while we were particularly competitive in the first part of the circuit, we were losing time with understeer in the next two sectors. Tomorrow will be a very tactical race, with a lot going on throughout the field, and we still have a lot to achieve this weekend.”