Although Schumacher’s return to F1 has not seen him achieve the sort of results many expected, he had at least always qualified in the top 10 – that is until Saturday in Canada.
Struggling with grip, balance and tyres, the seven-time World Champ failed to make it through to Q3, bombing out in the second segment after going straight across the final chicane.
Schumacher will start Sunday’s Canadian GP – a race he has won seven times – from 13th place on the grid.
“I am obviously disappointed after today’s qualifying. We simply did not have the balance or grip and overall we had a lot of problems with braking and handling,” said the German.
“The car was just not performing as we expected. We had similar issues yesterday afternoon and we made some changes after second practice.
“This morning, the changes seemed to have made sense as our position was reasonable but this afternoon, I was facing similar issues again.
“It’s difficult to understand the reasons at the moment but we will look deeply into it now and find a good strategy for the race tomorrow.”
And although his team-mate Nico Rosberg at least made it into the final qualifying segment, the younger German could only P10 in the end, almost a full second down on the pole position time.
“That wasn’t a great qualifying session for us today. We have a good car here this weekend but unfortunately we couldn’t get the tyres to work properly this afternoon,” he said. “That was the big issue for us today.
“The harder tyre wasn’t too bad in Q1 but we struggled with the option later on and there was just no more lap time to be had.
“It is very disappointing to be starting in tenth place but anything can happen in the race so we can only look forward and take advantage where possible tomorrow.”
Meanwhile, team boss Ross Brawn was not a happy man, especially as he had expected a great deal after the team’s solid performances in Friday’s practices.
“A very disappointing qualifying session for us today, particularly as I was quite encouraged by our performance yesterday and this morning.
“However when it came to qualifying, we just weren’t able to put our laps together. We tried both the prime and option tyres but finding the performance seemed to get away from us.
“There was very little difference between the tyres and ultimately we struggled to get the best out of them.”