Formula 1

Mercedes Endure Difficult Qualifying in Budapest

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Both Mercedes drivers failed to make it into Q3 in today’s Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying session, and Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher will have to start the race from thirteenth and seventeenth respectively.

“That was a difficult qualifying for us today, and we need to analyse why it turned out like that,” said Rosberg. “Qualifying is always a compromise and I was focused on finding a good race set-up for tomorrow as we may have more tyre degradation on our car than others, but it is still disappointing not to make Q3 by two-tenths”

Schumacher thinks he could have been higher up the grid but for a dust problem on his final flying lap, although the seven-time champion admits that getting through to Q3 would have still been a challenge.

“It was quite a tough and difficult day for us,” said Schumacher. “We have to clearly see that we did not have the pace to be in the front.

“I could have done a faster lap probably, without the dust having been brought to the track by Maldonado, but then I still do not think it would have brought me into Q3. I don’t think we could have done much more.

“This morning we practised for long runs as yesterday we could not do that due to the rain but I don’t think it compromised our performance. You have to accept the gap is quite big. We know the combination of track layout and temperature does not suit us too much, and we will try to make the best out of it tomorrow.”

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn said that the team would keep working hard to eliminate these sort of poor results in the future.

“A very disappointing qualifying for us today,” said Brawn. “The car hasn’t been great so far this weekend, and with the margins being so tight, it didn’t help us today.

“We didn’t quite get it together with the balance and the tyres, and with the times being so close, this is where we have ended up on the grid as a consequence.

“Michael was especially unfortunate not to get a proper clean lap with his new tyres in Q2. We are working very hard to improve our position and will continue to do so.”

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David is an occasional contributer to the site on matters related to Formula 1. You can follow him on twitter at @Dr_Bean.
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