• Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying

Rear wing problem slows Schumacher

ESPNF1 Staff
April 16, 2011 « Rosberg pleased with 'improved' car | »
Michael Schumacher's moveable rear wing made his car difficult to drive in Q2 © Sutton Images

Michael Schumacher said a malfunctioning rear wing was partly to blame for him missing the cut for the final session of qualifying at the Chinese Grand Prix.

The Mercedes has been quick all weekend but Schumacher's plans went awry in Q2 when a red flag stopped the session with just over two minutes remaining. At that point Schumacher had completed one run on hard tyres and needed to improve on a last-gasp soft-tyre run in order to make the top-ten shootout.

However, he was hampered by traffic and looked ragged in the final sector of the lap as he battled for control with the rear end of his car.

"What a shame for me today as we have clearly demonstrated this weekend that as a team we have improved a lot," he said. "Nico [Rosberg] 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."

Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug predicted that Schumacher would come through the field during Sunday's race.

"Michael had good speed in Q1 and posted a time that would have been good enough in Q2 to make it to Q3," he said. "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."