• Turkish Grand Prix - Qualifying

Schumacher shrugs off spin

ESPNF1 Staff
May 29, 2010 « 12th place was what we deserved - Alonso | »
Michael Schumacher spins off on his final qualifying attempt © Sutton Images

Michael Schumacher has shrugged off his spin in qualifying and believes Mercedes has made significant progress since introducing major updates to the car in Spain.

Schumacher set the fifth fastest time in Q3 but on his final attempt at a quick lap ran wide in the 170mph turn eight and spun off.

"What happened in turn eight was that it was my last go, the fast lap before was a good one, so obviously you try to push even more, especially as on this lap you can win time. I went out a bit wide and off it went," he explained.

He is confident Mercedes has made significant progress with its longer-wheelbase chassis after qualifying just over half-a-second off the pole position time set by Red Bull's Mark Webber.

"I am quite happy with my qualifying today and I really think that we have made a step forward," Schumacher said. "If you consider that this is a track which is aerodynamically demanding, you can clearly say the hard work of our guys paid off and I would really say thank you to them."

He is also happy that his grid spot was on the racing line.

"In my view, the side I am starting from tomorrow is an advantage as it is much cleaner," he said. "I have tried practice starts from both sides and felt my side was the better one. As for tomorrow's race, I will certainly try to have a good start and try to achieve the best result possible."

Team principal Ross Brawn said he was pleased with both his drivers' performances and confirmed Schumacher had not damaged his car when he spun off.

"A good qualifying performance from the team today after a lot of hard work here at the track and back at the factory on the latest developments for our car," he said. "Michael and Nico [Rosberg] have been very evenly matched throughout the weekend and have worked well together to ensure that we have been able to get the new parts functioning and extract the maximum performance. Fifth and sixth positions on the grid gives us the potential to have a strong race tomorrow and we look forward to seeing what Nico and Michael can achieve. We've seen just how challenging the Istanbul Park track can be with turn eight catching out many drivers over the course of the day and Michael was no exception but thankfully there is no damage done."