Michael Schumacher said he got the maximum out of his Mercedes after qualifying in sixth place for the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya today, the fifth round on the F1 2010 schedule.

Schumacher, who was third fastest in both practice sessions on Friday, was fifth this morning in FP3 and while he said his MGP W01 didn't feel quite so good in qualifying, he was still a lot happier with it than he had been in China.

Furthermore, he also out-qualified his team-mate, Nico Rosberg, for the first time this season, another bonus for the record-breaking multiple F1 world champion, who hasn't really delivered since opting to come out of retirement.

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"Today's qualifying was straightforward in my view. We had a good car yesterday meaning that conditions were quite ideal for us in terms of balance and so on," Schumacher reflected.

"Today admittedly, the car was not as perfect. It is little things that can trigger that change one way or the other, and whatever happened today just triggered us to fall over the edge towards the downside a little. Nevertheless, I feel a lot more comfortable driving the car that I have in my hands now. But there is a maximum that you can get out of it and that is what we have achieved today."

Rosberg meanwhile had to settle for eighth and having trailed Schumacher in every session this weekend, he wasn't a happy boy.

"It's been a difficult weekend for me and we need to look into the reasons for this and understand why," Rosberg stated. "The changes that we have made with the car are obviously good and we have made a step forward but I haven't really been able to use the improvements so far.

"Considering that I have found the car difficult to drive and haven't had the best of set-ups, our performance today was acceptable but it's not where I wanted to be fighting this weekend."

"We have certainly improved our car considerably since the beginning of the season but other teams have improved as well and the third and fourth rows are not where we hoped to start this important first race of the European season," added Mercedes boss, Norbert Haug.

"Michael has done a very good job since the first lap here in Barcelona with Nico closing the gap to his team-mate from half a second yesterday to just over a tenth today. But of course sixth and eighth places are not where we want to start a race from and we will be working very hard to improve that position as soon as possible."