- Singapore Grand Prix - Qualifying
Mercedes pair explain Q3 no-show
Nico Rosberg said Mercedes is worried about its tyre situation ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix and as a result decided to save a set by not running in Q3.
Both Michael Schumacher and Rosberg got through to the final part of qualifying by finishing 9th and 10th respectively in Q2, but were competitive as one Lotus and one Ferrari dropped out. However, neither driver set a time in the battle for the top ten positions and Rosberg admitted that he still expected a tough race despite the decision to save tyres.
"We decided to do this strategy because we think for us we think it's going to be beneficial tomorrow, but how much it's going to help us in terms of positions compared to other people is difficult to say," Rosberg said. "I think generally this weekend has been a bit difficult for us - in the longer runs as well as qualifying - so tomorrow I don't expect an easy race for us, especially when you look at the guys who are around us like a Lotus in front of us who I expect to be a little bit faster than in qualifying. So it's going to be challenging but this was the best strategy for us, we'll do our best and see how it goes. It's going to be a tough situation for the tyres tomorrow that's for sure."
Schumacher said that starting in the top ten was actually a good result for Mercedes, having decided it wouldn't run if it made it in to Q3 after final practice.
"I am reasonably pleased with our qualifying result, considering what we have seen this weekend," Schumacher said. "Of course, we could have tried to make up one or two positions, although this would have been very difficult. However we decided to give up this possibility in favour of the fact that we now have a fresh set and free choice of tyres going into the race. We decided this strategy after the final practice session, and after seeing who made it into Q3, we went for it. Hopefully we can make the best of this choice tomorrow."
Despite the decision not to set a time, Schumacher added it was clear the Mercedes updates had improved the car's performance.
"We can clearly see improvements with the package that we have, yes, so that is pretty straightforward. Now we have to learn how to operate and set-up the car with all this characteristics changed at this circuit which is slightly different."