Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg qualified in eighth and ninth places respectively today for the Italian Grand Prix.
The team ran a tactical qualifying session this afternoon in Monza with a focus on saving new tyre sets. Michael qualified P8 after completing a single quick lap on soft tyres in Q3, and has one new set of options for the race. Nico qualified P9 on hard tyres in Q3, and will have two new sets of option tyres tomorrow.
“Qualifying today went mostly according to plan. I don’t think we could have taken much more; maybe I could have ended up one place higher. I didn’t have an ideal fast lap as I tried to use the slip stream from Lewis but then he locked up in the second chicane which made me lock up too. However I will be on soft tyres tomorrow which should be better for my race. As our race pace looked quite good yesterday, I was more focusing on the race and trying to use the tyres in the right way. For tomorrow, I will try to get a good start and take it from there.”
“I’m happy with today’s qualifying and the compromise that we made to be strong in the race tomorrow. The performance in Q2 shows that the car is working well here, and we saved two sets of options which is good. I’m the only driver who took part in Q3 who will be starting on the hard tyre, so it will be interesting and should help me a lot at the start of the race. I think it will be a really good race tomorrow.”
“Tyre management will be crucial in the race, and we were very mindful with both cars that we must start the race on the same tyres as we qualified on. For Nico, we opted for a prudent approach by running the hard tyre which could open up a nice opportunity for him tomorrow and it will be very interesting to see how he progresses. Michael decided to use the soft tyre in Q3, but only completed a single lap to preserve them for the race. Both drivers have fresh sets for the race – two sets of softs for Nico, and one for Michael – so we will see how this afternoon’s tactical decisions play out. I think we can look forward to plenty of action.”
“Our target since Friday has been to get our preparations right for the race. We knew this could cost us one or two positions on the grid, but we hope that our strategy will pay off in the race tomorrow. Both Nico and Michael will have a number of fresh tyres for the race which should help us too. But of course we are realistic in our targets and a result similar to Spa a fortnight ago is what we can achieve in a best-case scenario.”
Source: Mercedes GP