After an eventful and weather-affected qualifying hour, Michael Schumacher will start from the second row of the grid tomorrow for the German Grand Prix, with team-mate Nico Rosberg qualifying in 17th place.
The pole position time this afternoon was 24.9 seconds slower than the fastest time in Q1. Nico was third fastest in the dry first qualifying session, where the top 17 were covered by less than one second. Michael qualified fourth on wets and will start third for the second consecutive race after Webber’s gearbox penalty. Five Mercedes-powered cars will start in the top ten tomorrow for the German Grand Prix.
That’s certainly a nice way to start the German Grand Prix – we had been expecting a position between fifth and seventh on the grid, so fourth in qualifying, which will become third place on the grid, is even better. Naturally I’m particularly happy for all the Mercedes colleagues in the grandstands: they support us throughout the year and we wanted to give something back to them. In any case, we can be satisfied with this result. Perhaps it would have been even better to change to a new set of tyres right at the end, but I don’t think we could have done much more today. Now we have to focus completely on tomorrow’s race. We know that it should be dry tomorrow and we should be more competitive here than we were in Silverstone.
It’s a bit surprising to finish so far down in qualifying today, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the right temperatures in my first set of intermediate tyres in Q2 so I was a few seconds off the pace. Yesterday I was quite confident in the wet and in the dry so it is frustrating, especially on top of the gearbox penalty. But I will still hope to score some points tomorrow because a lot is possible in the races this year. I will definitely push a lot in front of all our fans here.
It was a very eventful qualifying today but the positive thing was that our car was fundamentally fast in both the dry, intermediate and wet parts of the session. Nico was the second fastest prime tyre runner in Q1, but when the rain came, he struggled to generate temperature in his intermediate tyres. In those conditions, once you lose tyre temperature you never get it back, so we certainly missed the window with him. Michael did an excellent job in Q2 and Q3; he was fourth fastest, will start P3, and could potentially have been even further up. But we can be satisfied with a second row start in such tricky conditions.
The conditions were extremely difficult during the qualifying session today, probably the most challenging of this season so far. Michael coped well and posted a top four qualifying result for the sixth time in ten races. Nico suffered from a lack of grip owing to less-than-ideal tyre temperatures and has to start from a long way back. After the wet qualifying, the weather forecast predicts a dry race tomorrow.
Source: Mercedes AMG