• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

I could have been sixth - Schumacher

ESPNF1 Staff
November 13, 2010 « Vettel focused on victory | »
The Mercedes drivers struggled on the soft tyres © Getty Images

Michael Schumacher reckons he could have qualified in the top six in Abu Dhabi had he linked his three best sectors together in Q3.

Schumacher has been in much better form over the past three races and qualified ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg in eighth on Saturday. However, he believes the car was quick enough to be ahead of Rubens Barrichello in seventh and possibly Felipe Massa in sixth.

"I didn't have the best last lap in Q3 today unfortunately as I didn't quite get the sectors together," he said. "That was a shame because I could have ended up one or even two positions higher. However this gives me room to improve for tomorrow and that will be my target for the race. We've had a pretty straightforward weekend at this fantastic venue. I really enjoy driving here, the atmosphere is great and driving from day into night is very special. It's a big spectacle and I hope the race adds to it."

Nico Rosberg, ninth fastest, pinpointed the soft tyres as the main problem, but said he had not wanted to use the hard tyres as he would have had to start the race on them.

"The speed was there today, however unfortunately only on the hard tyre, so it's disappointing to be starting from ninth place on the grid. For our race strategy, I had to run the options in Q3 and I just struggled with them all the way through qualifying."

Team principal Ross Brawn also said the soft tyres were to blame, but he said the car would be quick in race trim.

"We made very solid progress into Q3 today with the car looking pretty reasonable throughout qualifying. However we were much better on the prime tyre with both Nico and Michael struggling on the option in Q3. This gives us reason to be optimistic in the race tomorrow when we should be on the right strategy. Overall we're in a reasonable position."