Michael Schumacher reckoned he could have been one or two spots further up the grid following qualifying today for Sunday's F1 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final round in the championship.
Schumacher eventually had to settle for eighth in his Mercedes GP W01, his best effort in Q3 a 1 minute 40.516 seconds.
However after making a few errors on his quickest lap he felt he could probably have got the better of Williams' Rubens Barrichello and Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who were both only around three tenths quicker.
"I didn't have the best last lap in Q3 today unfortunately as I didn't quite get the sectors together,” Schumacher confirmed. “That was a shame because I could have ended up one or even two positions higher.
“However this gives me room to improve for tomorrow and that will be my target for the race. We've had a pretty straightforward weekend at this fantastic venue. I really enjoy driving here, the atmosphere is great and driving from day into night is very special. It's a big spectacle and I hope the race adds to it."
Team-mate Nico Rosberg meanwhile will line-up one spot behind in the sister car, 0.073 seconds slower, on a 1m 40.589s. He complained that the car didn't feel as good on the option tyre.
"The speed was there today,” Rosberg noted, “However, unfortunately only on the hard tyre, so it's disappointing to be starting from ninth place on the grid.
“For our race strategy, I had to run the options in Q3 and I just struggled with them all the way through qualifying."
"We made very solid progress into Q3 today with the car looking pretty reasonable throughout qualifying,” Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn added.
“However we were much better on the prime tyre with both Nico and Michael struggling on the option in Q3. This gives us reason to be optimistic in the race tomorrow when we should be on the right strategy. Overall we're in a reasonable position."