Michael Schumacher reckons 'solid points' will be a 'realistic target' in Sunday's 2012 F1 Italian Grand Prix.
The German struggled with KERS problems again this morning in final practice, but with his car back to full health in qualifying, came through to post the fifth best time in the top ten shoot-out. He will start from fourth though, and the second row of the grid, as Paul di Resta ahead of him has a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.
“I think we can be satisfied with our qualifying performance as we have performed consistently all weekend," said the Mercedes man. "Our car clearly suits this circuit more than at the last races, but we've had a couple of hiccups along the way in practice. Our guys back at the factory and here at the track did a good job to sort out the problems however and compliments to them.
“Solid points should be a realistic target for tomorrow now. The fact that I will start from fourth is another small positive point, because here the even numbers on the grid are probably the better start positions.”
Team-mate Nico Rosberg meanwhile also made it through to Q3 and despite not being completely happy with his car, set the seventh best time - 0.293 seconds off Schumacher. He will also gain a place due to di Resta's penalty and will therefore start on the outside of row three.
“Starting from sixth place here in Monza is a decent result from a tricky qualifying session today,” he remarked. “I wasn't happy with the balance of my car by Q3 and, although it started well, I then lost the right balance so I couldn't improve my time. I'm looking forward to the race tomorrow and I hope we can gain some positions.”
“It was a pretty solid qualifying session for the team this afternoon,” summarised team principal, Ross Brawn. “The key to the session was using the tyres in the correct way and getting them at their best for the timed laps. We could perhaps have squeezed a little more out of our package today in terms of pure performance, but our positions are close to our maximum at this circuit."
"Yesterday's race preparation was, for the first time in a number of races, untroubled by poor weather so we were able to achieve a lot of very good work on various fuel loads. Now, we will see how that translates in tomorrow's race here," he concluded.