Schumacher struggles with gap

By on Saturday, October 29, 2011

Michael Schumacher. Photo credit: Mercedes GP

Michael Schumacher has admitted he needs to “get on top” of the gap in pace to his quicker team-mate Nico Rosberg, after the seven-time champion qualified almost eight tenths of a second behind his younger compatriot in India.

“Qualifying today was not really very good for us,” said Schumacher, who qualified 12th, some five places behind Rosberg. “At first I hit some traffic, and then on my final run in Q2, there was again vibrations on the set of tyres I used, which was not helpful. Saying that, this certainly does not explain the time gap to Nico, so we need to understand what the reason was for that and get on top of it.

Schumacher will, however, start the race one place further up the grid as Renault’s Vitaly Petrov, who qualified 11th, will drop five places thanks to a penalty imposed on him for colliding with the Mercedes driver in Korea. Schumacher admitted the race should be better for him than qualifying.

“As for the race tomorrow, this should work out better for me, and my aim undoubtedly is to score some points,” he added, “I’m not really sure which side of the grid will be the better one, so I will just take it from there and try to gain as much as possible.”

Rosberg, meanwhile, claimed the team had made a step forward at the Buddh International Circuit and also hailed the track as one of the finest in motorsport. “I’m pleased that we made a step forward today but we could perhaps have finished higher,” said the German, who will start seventh.

“In Q1, I hit a kerb quite heavily and damaged the floor which lost some of the car’s downforce for the rest of qualifying. I was on my quickest lap at the end of Q3 but unfortunately I had to slow down for the yellow flag after Felipe [Massa’s] incident, so that cost me some time.

“I will push hard to gain places tomorrow and have a good race on this fantastic track. I'm guessing it will be an exciting race and the Indian people should be proud to have one of the best tracks in the world of motorsport now!"

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