Both Mercedes drivers were left disappointed after qualifying today at Silverstone after intermittent showers and less-than-perfect timing of their flying laps meant that Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher had to settle for P9 and P13 respectively.
Rosberg thought that he should have achieved better in a car which has looked competitive all weekend. “We have made good progress with our technical package this weekend, but P9 is not the best that we could have achieved today,” he said. “At the end of Q2, I was in fifth place, but on my final lap in Q3, the track was wet in turn 15 and I just couldn’t improve in that final sector. With the pace of the car, hopefully we can make up some places in the race tomorrow.”
Schumacher knows exactly why he missed out on a place in Q3 today, but is hoping for more precipitation during tomorrow’s race.“Qualifying did not go totally right today but I am not frustrated as I know the reason why,” said the seven-time world champion.
“Owing to the uncertain weather situation, and in order to not risk driving in the rain, we went out rather early, which simply turned out to be too early. On my last lap, the tyres were unfortunately already gone and, especially in turn six, I suffered understeer which cost me the time to make it into the top ten. It did not have anything to do with the gearbox issue we experienced this morning.
“Let’s see what can be possible now coming from P13 and having some fresh tyres available – maybe some rain could help.”
Team principal Ross Brawn said that the regulation changes for this weekend had possibly made things more difficult for the team this weekend, but said that timing had been the main reason for the disappointing result in qualifying.
“We have had very limited dry running with our new aerodynamic package this weekend, as well as having to come to terms with the change in engine strategies,” he said. “Rain in the final sector prevented Nico from achieving a better lap time at the end of Q3, which would have made a reasonable difference to our starting position.
“Michael lost out by less than seven-hundredths in a very close battle in Q2, but it was a patchy qualifying session during which we didn’t catch the track at the right times. Today was the first step in utilising the new exhaust designs and technologies, and we are still finding our way.”