Mercedes GP experienced mixed fortunes in qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix at Interlagos today with Michael Schumacher qualifying in eighth place and Nico Rosberg in 13th position. Both drivers however feel today's result could have been better.
A wet track and a brief shower led to an exciting qualifying hour with tyre strategies playing a crucial role. Despite making the right calls, the day didn't quite work out for the team with Michael unable to maximise his dry tyres in Q3 and Nico held up by traffic in Q2, leaving him unable to progress to the final session.
Michael Schumacher, car 3, MGP W01 / 05:
"I am somewhat disappointed as the circumstances today were exactly as I had wished them to be. I really hoped for more from qualifying but it didn't turn out right for us. I couldn't have gone any quicker on my lap and there were no issues so the only explanation is that my tyres cooled down at the beginning when I had to leave the racing line to let Sebastian and Mark past. It's a shame that it didn't work out better today. Congratulations to Nico Hülkenberg who did a fantastic lap."
Nico Rosberg, car 4, MGP W01 / 01:
"We were on for a good result in qualifying today but on the drying track, the intermediate tyres were only good for one fast lap and I was blocked by Buemi on my lap in Q2. So that was it for me and it's disappointing to qualify so far down the field when we could have taken advantage of the conditions."
"It was a very exciting qualifying session and although we made the right decisions, it didn't quite go our way today. Nico was baulked on his crucial lap which meant he missed out Q3. If you look at the sector times, he should easily have made it. With Michael, we didn't quite get the dry tyres into their working range at the end of Q3. He got caught up with other cars coming through, had to go offline where the track was still damp, and therefore the temperatures weren't there when he had to push. So it didn't quite work out as we planned today but there is still a lot to be gained tomorrow. We are in reasonable positions with a ringside seat for the championship race ahead and will be ready to take advantage where we can."
"Q3 started well with Michael being second fastest on the intermediate tyres. After the change to slicks, he got into traffic which lost him tyre temperatures and grip, and that was it. Instead of a possible top five result, he ended up in eighth place after driving excellently in the wet conditions. Nico would have made it into Q3 without hitting traffic in the last sector of his quickest lap and will start in 13th place. Tomorrow should be dry and we will hope to make up places with both our drivers. Congratulations to Nico Hulkenberg and Williams Cosworth on their first joint pole position today."
Weather: Damp with intermittent showers
Temperatures: Air: 19-20°C Track: 21-24°C