Michael Schumacher is targetting ‘solid’ points in tomorrow’s Italian Grand Prix after qualifying fifth in Monza today.
The German will actually start from fourth place, thanks to a gearbox penalty for Paul di Resta.
Schumacher’s Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg will start from sixth.
“I think we can be satisfied with our qualifying performance as we have performed consistently all weekend,” said Schumacher. “Our car clearly suits this circuit more than at the last races, but we’ve had a couple of hiccups along the way in practice. Our guys back at the factory and here at the track did a good job to sort out the problems and compliments to them.
“Solid points should be a realistic target for tomorrow. The fact that I will start from fourth is another small positive point, because here the even numbers on the grid are probably the better start positions.”
Rosberg complained of a lack of balance in the car during Q3 today, and hopes to finish the race higher than where he starts it.
“Starting from sixth place here in Monza is a decent result from a tricky qualifying session today,” he said. “I wasn’t happy with the balance of my car by Q3 and, although it started well, I then lost the right balance so I couldn’t improve my time. I’m looking forward to the race tomorrow and I hope we can gain some positions.”
Team principal Ross Brawn seemed generally pleased with today’s efforts: “It was a pretty solid qualifying session for the team this afternoon,” he said. “The key to the session was using the tyres in the correct way and getting them at their best for the timed laps.
“We could perhaps have squeezed a little more out of our package today in terms of pure performance, but our positions are close to our maximum at this circuit.
“Yesterday’s race preparation was, for the first time in a number of races, untroubled by poor weather so we were able to achieve a lot of good work on various fuel loads. Now, we will see how that translates into tomorrow’s race.“