Michael Schumacher failed to make the top 10 in qualifying for his home race in Hockenheim, but the narrow margin meant he was in a far from unhappy mood after the session.
Michael was 11th in Q2 but was only 0.080s behind team mate Nico Rosberg. However, that meant the difference between going through or not.
“A hundredth between my team mate and myself, that just kicked me out of Q3!,” said Schumacher. “A bit disappointed because we were naturally expecting to be fifth or sixth instead of 1oth/11th. It’s not a very optimistic view for tomorrow, I have to say. Naturally we’re a bit stronger in race pace than we are in qualifying pace.
“It’s under expectations, especially for our fans. You want the world for all of those guys here, it’s such a nice atmosphere. Then you are handcuffed with certain things you are given. We are trying hard, everybody has tried hard. We have new upgrades here, but unfortunately others have done even better or (ours) just haven’t affected enough to our expectation.”
Michael said he had no real answer as to where Mercedes was losing out: “If there are specific reasons for this we’ll check it out. I had specific issues on my brakes, but I don’t think that’s a real factor for not being fifth or sixth, it might be a factor for being 10th or 11th. It’s not really important at this stage.”
Schumacher does of course now have a free choice of tyres, but he has another reason for preferring to be on the odd-numbered side of the grid.
“I’d prefer to be 11th than 10th, I have to say. The difference right to left is apparently significant. That’s the good thing about it. I’m just behind my team mate, I can take a slipstream from him and see what we can do…”