• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Schumacher happy despite gap to Rosberg

ESPNF1 Staff
November 12, 2011 « Lap 'not perfect' - Button | Di Resta focused on race pace »
Michael Schumacher: "The fact that the track temperatures will drop during the race might be good for us" © Sutton Images

Michael Schumacher said he was satisfied with his eighth place qualifying position at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and is confident of a strong race on Sunday.

He was almost a second slower than his team-mate Nico Rosberg and had to go out on the soft tyres in all three sessions to make sure he stayed in contention. However, Schumacher still has one set of fresh soft tyres for the race and is hoping the cool temperatures in the evening play to the strengths of his car.

"It was quite a tight qualifying today," he said. "I aborted my last lap in Q1 to save tyres, and having some fresh tyres left is the good news from Q3 as well. Overall it was a normal qualifying where we would probably not have much more in the pocket. I also expect a straightforward race and we will try to make the most out of opportunities that arise. The tyres should not be a big issue here, and we tested their behaviour in P2 yesterday which took place at the same time as the race. The fact that the track temperatures will drop during the race might be good for us as we struggle a bit with the tyre temperatures here."

Team principal Ross Brawn revealed that Schumacher was also lacking top speed, which may have cost him time compared to Rosberg.

"It was a reasonably straightforward qualifying session for us today with both drivers and the team doing a very good job. There was a little difference in straight-line speed on Michael's car which hampered his pace in relation to Nico so we need to have a look at that and understand why. Otherwise we are in good shape for the race and looking forward to tomorrow."