Schumacher barely made it in to the final qualifying segment for the Chinese GP, just managing to beat Rubens Barrichello to tenth place by 0.03s.
However, once in the top ten, he wasn’t able to do much as he struggled with the balance of his W01.
The seven-time World Champion finished over a second off the pace and down in ninth place, his worst grid slot so far this season.
I am obviously disappointed about my qualifying. It didn’t really come together today,” Schumacher said.
In certain areas I was just not quick enough and at some corner exits, I struggled a bit with rear end grip. I haven’t really found the balance of the car all weekend.
It will be tough to be too optimistic for tomorrow from my grid position but then I had some good starts lately and there is always room for lots of things to happen in Formula One races.
We can still achieve some good points and I am definitely going to go for it.”
As for his team-mate Nico Rosberg, the younger German was once again the quicker of the two Merc GP drivers, qualifying in fourth place ahead of the McLarens.
Fourth place is quite a nice surprise and I’m very pleased that we seem to have made a step forward this weekend, said Rosberg.
We really got the most out of the car in qualifying and I’ve worked well with my engineer Jock and the team to improve the car and get the set-up right this weekend.
We didn’t think we would be this far up the grid today as we were struggling in practice this morning compared to the McLarens but to be level with the quickest Ferrari and a bit closer to the Red Bulls is very satisfying.
It’s a good step for us and we’re well placed to have a good race tomorrow.