Record-breaking multiple F1 world champion Michael Schumacher endured another disappointing qualifying session today ahead of Sunday's European Grand Prix at Valencia in Spain.
Schumacher, who failed to make it into Q3 for the first time this year in Canada two weeks ago, struggled again this time out and after only just getting through Q1 in his Mercedes – posting a lap that moved him up to 12th right at the end of the first session, the German was again knocked out in Q2, his best lap a 1m 39.234s.
"Obviously I am disappointed with my position today and it is certainly not where I want to be," said Schumacher, who will line-up 15th. "I had to fight with two things. Firstly, as in Canada we have a general problem with the tyres and we can't get them to work in qualifying. Secondly, I had some difficulties with the brakes and I was locking the front right all the time. This made things extra difficult and is something we need to understand.
"However our new updates are definitely an advantage, although this was not evident in the performance. I could have gone maybe three-tenths quicker on my last lap if [Sebastien] Buemi had not been in the way but it would still not have been enough for Q3.
"But we are fighters and we know this sport long enough. Our starts are good and with more fuel on board, things do not look so bad. We will certainly try to make the best out of our situation tomorrow."
Team-mate Nico Rosberg also struggled and while he will line-up in 12th in the sister car, a few places ahead, it wasn't much consolation. Indeed it is the first time this year he has not made it into the top-ten shoot-out.
"It's very frustrating to be so far back on the grid although my lap was good today. There was just no more performance to get out of the car," revealed Rosberg, who was looking good on Friday. "We had a few issues this morning so we had to make a compromise on our upgrade package and that made the difference of being in the top ten.
"It's not easy to understand what happened as we hoped to take a step forward here but we haven't got the best of our updates yet and we need to understand the tyres quickly. The car will be stronger in the race so we stay positive and see what will happen."