Schumacher outshines Rosberg on home soil
22 July, 2012
Jul.22 (F1 Media) While Nico Rosberg laboured to 17th place in qualifying for the German Grand Prix, teammate Michael Schumacher enjoyed the tricky wet conditions at Hockenheim to end the session fourth in front of his home crowd.
Schumacher, with four Hockenheim victories to his credit, calmly worked through the changing conditions. His fourth place in qualifying will translate to third on the grid for the second race in a row, with Mark Webber facing a gearbox-change penalty.
“That’s certainly a nice way to start the German Grand Prix,” said a satisfied Schumacher. “We had been expecting a position between fifth and seventh on the grid, so fourth in qualifying, which will become third place on the grid, is even better. Naturally I’m particularly happy for all the Mercedes colleagues in the grandstands: they support us throughout the year and we wanted to give something back to them.”
Schumacher was one of those who ran through Q3 uninterrupted. With Fernando Alonso snatching pole of fresh tyres, the seven-times champion questioned whether he had made the wrong choice but didn’t believe is would have made a significant difference.
It was a contrasting experience for Nico Rosberg who struggled to 17th in qualifying and now, faced with a gearbox-change penalty of his own, will start even lower. “It’s a bit surprising to finish so far down in qualifying, but unfortunately I couldn’t get the right temperatures in my first set of intermediate tyres in Q2 so I was a few seconds off the pace,” he said.
Despite being ten places lower than his worst grid spot of the year to date, Rosberg expressed belief that he would still be able to convert his lowly position into a top ten finish. “Yesterday I was quite confident in the wet and in the dry so it is frustrating, especially on top of the gearbox penalty. But I will still hope to score some points tomorrow because a lot is possible in the races this year. I will definitely push a lot in front of all our fans here.”