Michael Schumacher’s third place on the grid in Malaysia represents his best qualifying performance since his comeback, but despite being behind just the two McLarens, he insists that he’s not thinking about victory.
Back in Melbourne, where Michael qualified fourth, this writer asked him whether it was the first time since his comeback that he could genuinely sit down on a Saturday night and discuss how to win the race.
He didn’t agree at the time, and when I put the question again to him tonight, he remained cautious.
“Certainly we’re going to sit and think about how we’re going to achieve the best result,” he said. “I don’t think we have to think right now about winning races, that’s a bit too optimistic unless who knows what happens upstairs [he glanced to the heavens].
“But in general terms I think it’s obvious we’ve done a good improvement with the car. Not only in Australia, that sometimes is not let’s say a factor for the future of the year. But here this circuit is a little bit more representative for the rest of the year, and that’s good, to have a car that’s competitive in both those tracks. And naturally we hope we can prove the point tomorrow in the race after the lesson in Australia.”
Asked whether he could foresee getting a pole sometime soon, Michael was equally non-committal.
“I don’t know, but it’s not really important, because the race we know is a lot more important than qualifying these days, and you have to always optimise your weekend, and that is when the flag drops, that is when you want to have the best result. There have been years where qualifying had a much higher percentage to the success, and that was different.”