• Italian Grand Prix - Qualifying

It'll be tough to challenge McLaren - Schumacher

ESPN Staff
September 8, 2012 « Vettel doesn't expect to challenge for victory | Mercedes' improvement due to circuit - Rosberg »
Michael Schumacher: "We're not that far off but we might be enough behind that it will be difficult to challenge" © Getty Images
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Michael Schumacher is expecting McLaren to be just out of reach during the Italian Grand Prix as he prepares to line up fourth on the grid for Sunday's race.

Schumacher was fifth fastest in qualifying but gained a place thanks to Paul di Resta's grid penalty for changing a gearbox. His best lap was 0.530s off Lewis Hamilton's pole time, and although he is not entirely sure about how the cars will stack up on race pace, he suspects the McLarens might be too far ahead.

"We're not that far off but we might be enough behind that it will be difficult to challenge them," he said. "If you take the qualifying performance and extract it to the race then maybe it's not completely true, and that is something to prove tomorrow."

Schumacher said the car was pretty much to his liking and any further performance he may have been able to extract would have been unlikely to move him much further up the grid.

"Whether there was more potential in the car that we didn't extract, I don't know. Looking at the time difference forwards, if you take di Resta away, it would probably have been difficult to really challenge anybody in front of us, but it made the day a bit more difficult.