Michael Schumacher enjoyed his best qualifying performance in over three months on Saturday ahead of this Sunday's F1 2010 Singapore Grand Prix.

Schumacher will start the race from ninth place and while he was again slower than his Mercedes team-mate, Nico Rosberg, at least he made it into the top-ten shoot-out, something he hadn't managed since the British GP back in July. Indeed he hasn't qualified better than P9 since the Turkish Grand Prix in May, when he lined-up fifth.

"Our target was to get into Q3 which we achieved so I'm reasonably happy with our qualifying performance today," said the record-breaking multiple F1 world champion. "We tried various set-ups throughout the sessions and whilst they paid off at some points, they did not at others.

"But it was a lot of fun driving the track at this time of night and it really is a special experience. It is definitely different to drive in the artificial light but it doesn't compromise your performance at all.

"Starting from ninth place means starting from the presumably better side of the grid so the plan must be to try and gain some positions at the start and go from there."

Rosberg meanwhile will start seventh in the sister MGP W01, his best lap in Q3 a 1 minute 46.443 seconds, 0.259 seconds up on Schumacher.

"I feel that we should have done slightly better in qualifying today however seventh position is still okay," Rosberg noted, "especially as I found the soft tyre quite difficult to drive and lacking rear grip. We are starting from the clean side of the grid so it will be important to have a good start. We need to keep scoring points in the remaining races so that will be our aim."

Mercedes team principal, Ross Brawn added: "We're reasonably happy with our performance so far this weekend. We weren't as comfortable with the car yesterday but the engineers and drivers did a great job overnight to find some improvements and we have probably qualified where we should be with the car that we have.

"We could perhaps have squeezed a little more out of Q3 but it is still a decent result. Nico and Michael are starting from the good side and the car is handling fairly well and seems to be pretty easy on the tyres. So we're in a good position to have a strong race tomorrow and well done to the team for getting the most out of the car today."