Michael Schumacher was at a loss to explain the deficit of over a second to his team-mate during qualifying for tomorrow’s German Grand Prix. The five-time winner at the NÃ¼rburgring will start tomorrow’s race from P10 whilst Nico Rosberg qualified sixth.
“We did not perform to expectations this afternoon and already this morning, the car was not the one I had in my hands up to the first run in [Free Practice 3],” said Schumacher. “It felt like I was just sliding around out there and the balance wasn’t great.
“We had a KERS problem this morning, which we thought explained the big gap to Nico [in that session], however in qualifying I was still nearly a second away and couldn’t have matched his time, so we have to analyse deeply what could be the reason for it.
“Obviously then, I tried to push even harder to compensate which lead to a mistake in the last chicane on my last lap, probably costing me P8. We now have to see how we can improve for tomorrow, and I will certainly try to have a good start and a race as good as possible.”
Rosberg was understandably much happier with his qualifying position that Schumacher, and hopes that he will be able to do something tomorrow in front of the German fans.
“Sixth place is a good place to start tomorrow, and whether the conditions are wet or dry, I think we can have a good race from there,” he said. “I’m happy with the set-up work that we have achieved this weekend and that the new parts are working which is really satisfying. We can see that we are going in the right direction. It should be an exciting race tomorrow and hopefully I can make up a couple of positions in front of all the German supporters.”
Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn is happy with the performance of recent updates on the MGP W02, and thinks that the rain could provide his drivers with an opportunity to collect some good points tomorrow.
“Sixth position for Nico got the most out of the car today,” said Brawn. “Michael was less happy with his balance, and had a moment on his final lap, but we still have a reasonable base for tomorrow with both drivers starting in the top ten.
“We have made good progress over the weekend in understanding how to use our new aerodynamic package, and hope to consolidate that work in race conditions.
“We have also learned this weekend that Silverstone doesn’t have a monopoly on cold and wet summers! The forecast for tomorrow remains mixed and, while wet weather brings no guarantees, it always presents us with opportunities.”