Michael Schumacher was left disappointed at the end of qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix on Saturday and will start ninth having once again been beaten by his Mercedes team-mate, Nico Rosberg.
Indeed while Rosberg shone and will line-up on the second row of the grid in fourth [see separate story - click here
], Schumacher in contrast was not nearly as good and finished up more than half a second slower. The record-breaking multiple F1 world champion was also lucky to even make it through to the top-ten shoot-out and only narrowly edged out Rubens Barrichello's Williams in Q2 for P10, just 0.033 seconds quicker.
"I am obviously disappointed about my qualifying," Schumacher conceded. "It didn't really come together today. 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."
Mercedes GP's Norbert Haug and Ross Brawn meanwhile are confident Schumacher can do better in tomorrow's 56-lap race.
"Michael has not achieved such a good balance on the car this weekend - and had a less satisfying day [than Nico Rosberg in the sister car]," Brawn noted. "However he will give it everything in the race tomorrow and should have the opportunity to show the progress made since the start of the season."
"Michael was not so happy with his car but he is in a good position to score the points tomorrow that he could not achieve in the last two races through no fault of his own," Haug added.
"There seems to be a chance of rain during the race so it will be interesting to see how it develops."