Schumacher and Rosberg closely matched

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Europe, Valencia Street Circuites

Mercedes GP were in today's qualifying where they expected to be. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher qualified in seventh and eighth places today at the Valencia Street Circuit ahead of Sunday's European Grand Prix, Round Eight of the 2011 Formula One World Championship.

Nico and Michael qualified just 0.009 seconds apart, which equates to a difference of 62cm over the start-finish line. Both drivers made only one run in Q3 after having both run a set of option tyres in Q1
Nico saved a new set of option tyres earlier in qualifying for the race by completing a single run on used options during Q2.

Nico Rosberg, MGP W02 / 07, P7, 1:38.231:
"Yesterday was very busy with a lot of set-up changes but the team and I did a decent job today to improve the car, so I'm quite pleased. It is difficult out on track this weekend and we have to be careful of overheating the rear tyres - that will certainly be something to watch out for tomorrow. I was able to save one set of soft tyres, by running used options in Q2, and this can be important in the race as we aim to score some nice points. I'm looking forward to it."

Michael Schumacher, MGP W02 / 09, P8, 1:38.240:
"I am ok with today's qualifying result which I would say was an average one. I might have improved by one place but in the penultimate slow corner, I attacked a bit too early, got oversteer and had to lift for a moment which cost me the place to Nico. But all in all, we came in where we had expected to finish. It would be optimistic in my view to expect that we can attack the cars in front of us tomorrow because I think our starting positions realistically reflect where we stand at the moment. So let's see how the race develops and what we can make out of it tomorrow."

Ross Brawn, Team Principal:
"Qualifying went pretty much to plan today. All of the drivers in Q3 managed reasonable laps, so we fell into the natural order, with Nico and Michael in seventh and eighth positions. The team has done a good job all weekend to maintain our position and get everything out of the current package. We are in good shape for the race, particularly Nico with a fresh set of option tyres available, and our high-fuel running has not been too bad. We must be aware of potentially even higher track temperatures tomorrow, but today we achieved the maximum that's possible for us at the moment. However, our plan and ambition remains to move forward out of that position over the next months."

Norbert Haug:
"Nico and Michael achieved today what was achievable with our current technical package, which we will improve step-by-step over the season. Both drivers did only one run in Q3 with a new set of options. Nico's and Michael's lap times are split by 0.009 seconds, so a good effort on the limit of the car from both drivers."

Weather: Hot & sunny Temperatures: Air: 26-27°C / Track: 43-46°C