• European Grand Prix - Qualifying

Schumacher keeping expectations in check

ESPNF1 Staff
June 25, 2011 « Button frustrated by lack of rear grip | »
Michael Schumacher admitted to making a mistake in the penultimate corner on his qualifying lap © Sutton Images

Michael Schumacher is not expecting Mercedes to take the fight to the top three teams at Sunday's European Grand Prix.

Schumacher qualified eight on Saturday, just 0.009s behind team-mate Nico Rosberg but nearly 0.6 seconds shy of Jenson Button's McLaren in sixth. He finished fourth in Canada after battling with the front runners but said it would be "optimistic" to expect to do the same in Valencia.

"I am ok with today's qualifying result which I would say was an average one," he said. "I might have improved by one place but in the penultimate slow corner, I attacked a bit too early, got oversteer and had to lift for a moment which cost me the place to Nico. But all in all, we came in where we had expected to finish.

"It would be optimistic in my view to expect that we can attack the cars in front of us tomorrow because I think our starting positions realistically reflect where we stand at the moment. So let's see how the race develops and what we can make out of it tomorrow."

Rosberg sounded a little more optimistic after overcoming some setup issues to qualify seventh, but said Mercedes would have to be wary of excessive tyres wear, which has been its Achilles heel in recent races.

"Yesterday was very busy with a lot of set-up changes but the team and I did a decent job today to improve the car, so I'm quite pleased," Rosberg said. "It is difficult out on track this weekend and we have to be careful of overheating the rear tyres - that will certainly be something to watch out for tomorrow. I was able to save one set of soft tyres, by running used options in Q2, and this can be important in the race as we aim to score some nice points. I'm looking forward to it."

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