Michael Schumacher: â€œAfter this morning, we were still not sure what was the best procedure for qualifying, which is why I experimented with trying to do two flying laps. I think it was the best solution for me, even if I had to abort the...
“After this morning, we were still not sure what was the best procedure for qualifying, which is why I experimented with trying to do two flying laps. I think it was the best solution for me, even if I had to abort the attempt. I made a mistake on my first quick lap, running wide at Turn 2, so I backed off to save everything for the next lap. At the end, I was lucky to still have a lap in hand and I went out because I didn’t know who might go faster. But I was unlucky because Verstappen spun in front of me. It was not a big drama. I thought I could get by, but in fact I couldn’t and had to go on the inside. I was expecting him to come back across the track. On this circuit, the wind, which changed direction, can be an important factor and you also need to have a special set-up and get everything right. The start will be critical. With launch control, all the front runners should get away at the same time and it will be vital to be first in the first corner. Then, you can dictate the pace and force others to run the race you want. I am not discounting McLaren. If they make a good start they could be fourth or fifth and then it will depend if they can move up from there.”
“My session was affected by traffic and it was very hard for me to get a clean lap. At the end, there was a lot of dirt on the circuit and that meant the plan to go for four runs was not ideal. I am always very close to pole, but I am disappointed not to have managed better than fourth place.”
“Today, the most important factor was to get the best out of the tyres. We went for a mix of old fronts and new rears which gave us the best balance. We did have some problems with traffic on Rubens’s car, while Michael was happy with his car and seemed to be enjoying himself, until the little moment on his last lap. I think we are in good shape for tomorrow.
“That was a great qualifying session and we managed to get our cars onto the first and second rows. The grid is a bit different to the picture we have grown used to in recent times. I am particularly pleased to see a Sauber, using a Maranello-built engine, so high up the grid. Tomorrow’s race should be open and interesting. Reliability will be fundamental because this track is particularly hard on the machinery.”