Michael Schumacher qualified in sixth place today for the inaugural United States Grand Prix at the Circuit of the Americas. He'll start from 5th after a penalty for Romain Grosjean. Team-mate Nico Rosberg had a more difficult afternoon with the old exhaust system fitted on his car. He will start from P17.
Michael Schumacher, F1 W03 / 03:
Q: P6, 1:36.794
Qualifying was better than we expected, especially as we have struggled over the weekend and have worked hard to make progress and achieve such a solid job today. Qualifying in sixth place is a good and important position for us as a team. I had a good lap in Q3 and everything felt right with the car so we were able to maximise the potential. It will make a big difference here whether you start from the clean or dirty side of the grid, so gaining an extra place due to Grosjean's penalty was a nice surprise. The car looks reasonably consistent for the race and I would like to achieve the maximum result possible tomorrow.
Nico Rosberg, F1 W03 / 09:
Q: P17, 1:38.501
I ran our old exhaust system in qualifying today as part of our evaluation programme for next year. We had already used it yesterday and made the decision to continue for the rest of the weekend to help with the learning process. The car felt good this morning in the cool temperatures but the difference to Michael's car surprised me this afternoon. So I hope that the race pace is better tomorrow and the switch will be worth it. I will definitely push to score points.
Ross Brawn, Team principal:
Today has been about getting the tyres into the right working zone, and the unusual number of laps that everyone ran in qualifying reflects that. With Michael, it worked very well today. He was able to get his tyres working exactly how he wanted, and it was a great effort from Michael and the team to post the sixth fastest time. The extra place gained from Grosjean's penalty means we're on the right side of the grid so an excellent job all round. Nico ran the standard exhaust this afternoon as part of our programme to ensure that we go into the winter fully understanding our exhaust system. Consequently he found it difficult to get the tyres working and that led to the result we got. Whilst it's disappointing to qualify in 17th, and we know that Nico could have done far better in a different car, we will get the full picture of the changes made in the race tomorrow and then have all of the data that we wanted to collect.
Norbert Haug, VP of Mercedes HPE:
A good performance from Michael today who posted the sixth fastest time and will start from fifth place on the grid. Unfortunately Nico did not have the set-up in today's qualifying with which he could achieve a similar or better result. But let's see whether he will be better up over the race distance.