F1 - Mercedes/Petronas GP - Qualifying - Shanghai
Mixed fortunes at the Shanghai International Circuit today saw MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher qualify in fourth and 14th positions for tomorrow's Chinese Grand Prix.
· Nico posted the fastest time in Q1 with Michael going through in P5 · Drama struck in Q2 when a red flag left just 2:02mins for Michael and Nico to achieve a lap quick enough to progress · Michael missed out in the rush to post a time and qualified in P14 with Nico going through in P9 · Nico went on to deliver a strong performance with his one Q3 run to qualify on the second row of the grid
NICO ROSBERG "I'm happy with our performance and it was a good day for us. It's clear that we have improved the car this weekend and I'm really pleased for everybody back at the factory who will have enjoyed watching that today. We're still not where we want to be but we have made progress and are closer to some of the guys in front of us, today at least. We have also worked hard on the race pace so there is every chance of a good race tomorrow."
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER "What a shame for me today as we have clearly demonstrated this weekend that as a team we have improved a lot. Nico proved that strongly with his fourth place which was our realistic target. I didn't quite get my lap together in Q2 and since then we have found out that my rear wing was not functioning correctly as I was braking into turn 14. I am obviously hoping to have a strong start and that we have good race pace tomorrow so I can hopefully make up some positions."
ROSS BRAWN "The car has been much better this weekend and both drivers were in a good position going into qualifying today. It's a shame for Michael this afternoon as it didn't quite work out with the red flag and then his rear wing malfunctioned at the end of his crucial lap costing valuable time. Nico did a fantastic job this afternoon, firstly to get into Q3 in tricky circumstances, and then putting in a great lap on tyres which had already seen some usage just before the red flag. I'm pleased that we have stabilised the situation and made some encouraging progress this weekend. There is still a long way to go but it's a start."
NORBERT HAUG "A very good lap from Nico and a thorough job from all our guys during the weekend so far. The gap to pole position is still big but at least Nico's time is closer to the McLaren Mercedes cars at two and a half tenths behind P2. To start on the second row is a good reward for the team who have worked so hard and had a difficult start to the season. Michael had good speed in Q1 and posted a time that would have been good enough in Q2 to make it to Q3. Unfortunately in the second to last corner, Michael had a problem with his rear wing which we have to investigate. His long run pace yesterday did not look bad so there is a chance for him to finish in the points tomorrow. For Nico, we hope for a good start and of course it would be great to finish the race where Nico finished last year in China."