• Japanese Grand Prix

Schumacher pleased to maximise potential

ESPNF1 Staff
October 9, 2011 « Fourth was the best we could do - Webber | Rosberg calls tenth 'decent' »
Michael Schumacher enjoyed one of his more competitive races this season © Sutton Images

Michael Schumacher says that Mercedes "maximised our potential of the car" by finishing sixth in the Japanese Grand Prix.

Having started eighth, Schumacher beat Kamui Kobayashi off the line to run seventh, before a long stint in the middle of the race actually saw him leading for a few laps after the safety car period. The competitive lap times allowed him to rejoin ahead of Felipe Massa following his final pit stop, where he comfortably stayed for the rest of the race, and Schumacher said it was the best result Mercedes could have hoped for.

"I'm very happy with what we achieved in Suzuka today as we maximised our potential of the car, and managed to put in a good race," Schumacher said. "The team did a great job the whole weekend in finding performance and transforming it into the race. I think there was not more to expect and achieve. The pit stops were perfectly timed and everything worked out according to plan."

With Sebastian Vettel finishing third to become Germany's first double world champion since Schumacher himself, Schumacher said he was "proud" of what Vettel has achieved.

"I would like to congratulate Sebastian and his team who have been exceptional the whole year. It is extremely emotional to see him win the Championship again - I am very happy for him and even a little bit proud."