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Schumacher, Heidfeld fall in Q2

Michael Schumacher and Nick Heidfeld were the big casualties of a torrid end to second qualifying in China.

A frenetic end to the second phase of qualifying for the Chinese Grand Prix saw Michael Schumacher once more drop out of the race for pole position as 14 drivers effectively jockeyed for a spot in the top ten.

Although the front of the grid was not up for grabs, a late mechanical problem that stranded Vitaly Petrov out on track - and brought out the red flag - meant that the final two minutes of the session became crucial for those attempting to get themselves into the shoot-out.

Ironically, while Petrov had pushed himself into the reckoning, Renault team-mate Nick Heidfeld was obliged to join the throng having not set a time in the opening 13 minutes, while the likes of Michael Schumacher and Q1 pacesetter Nico Rosberg both needed to run again to get themselves into the leading group. In the end, only the younger German made enough of an improvement, getting at least one Mercedes into the top ten, but Schumacher made a minor mistake that not only cost him a shot, but also potentially caused those in his wake to lose vital tenths as well.

Schumacher wound up 14th, his third successive failure to make the pole shoot-out, while Heidfeld will line up only 16th. Adrian Sutil was the man bumped by Rosberg's improvement, while Force India team-mate Paul di Resta finished tenth, albeit with a car that sounded les than healthy. Sauber twins Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi, and Williams team-mates Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado also missed the cut, with the Brazilian calling for Petrov to be penalised for not getting his ailing car off the road.

Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button set the pace for McLaren, with Sebastian Vettel the only other driver able to match their times, while Fernando Alonso, Felipe Massa and Toro Rosso pairing Sebastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari joining them in the battle for pole.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 2, Lewis Hamilton (GBR), McLaren  Mercedes, MP4-26
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 2, Vitaly Petrov (RUS), Lotus Renault GP, R31
09.04.2011- Saturday Practice, Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM04
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 2, Nick Heidfeld (GER) Lotus Renault GP R31
15.04.2011- Friday Practice 1, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP Petronas F1 Team, MGP W02
Michael Schumacher
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Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
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Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
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Manxie - Unregistered

April 16, 2011 10:29 AM

arcuid, i hear you but we said the same last year! Surely his mistakes need to be recognised also. I'm not sure any more, he can be quick but no longer consistently so. His starts are awesome but that wounn't help put him on the podium. I'm puzzled... Come on, he needs to friggen get a fantastic result to help him find his mojo... the car seems good, good enough for NR

Manxie - Unregistered

April 16, 2011 9:52 AM

I'm an avid supporter of MS for the past20 years... but i'm growing increasingly frustrated with him. I would've thought that if Nico can make Q3 then MS should be there somewhere near him, as he's been for the past 2 races (not mentioning last season). His experience should also count for him... he seems to not even make use of that anymore. On Swiss TV he's apologised for his mistake, he locked his rear breaks. So why does it no longer work for you Michael but NR is doing an incredible job with his 1.34 place 4 spot?

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