Mercedes, Michael Schumacher, Schumacher, Schumi, Nico Rosberg, Rosberg, Ross Brawn, Brawn, Yeongam, Korean Grand Prix, Korean GP, KoreaMichael Schumacher has said that his Mercedes car is better suited to the Yeongam track in Korea than recent circuits have been and is optimistic about his chances of making it through to Q3.
The German was sixth quickest after the two Friday practice sessions and declared himself happy with his day's work.
“I was pleased with both sessions today,” he said. “As expected, it looks like our car is better suited to the circuit.
“The day went well, so I think we can get into the top ten tomorrow and plan our strategy on that basis. We have made some small changes, nothing major, and we looked okay on our long runs.
“Of course, I haven't been able to study the times from the other teams yet, but we will try to secure a solid result this weekend.”
Schumacher made these comments before he knew that the stewards had given him a reprimand for holding up the HRT's of Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan, midway during the second practice session.
He will not be affected by the decision unless he is found to have done the same thing during the third practice session or qualifying, then the stewards may take further action.
Schumacher's team-mate Nico Rosberg also spoke enthusiastically about the team's chances in the race weekend, having finished Friday with the eighth quickest time.
“It was a good day for us and we made some progress over the two practice session,” he said. “We had some small new things to try on the car which worked quite well, and we seem to be looking better here than in Suzuka.
Team principal Ross Brawn continued the team's happy mood as he reflected on the sessions.
“We've had a very solid Friday working through our planned programme and were able to complete a lot of running,” he said. “The car seems reasonable on lower fuel levels, although there is some work to be done on high fuel.
“The grip evolves very rapidly here and I expect we will see a different track on Sunday to the one we saw today, so we need to try and anticipate that. Overall it's been a pretty reasonable day.”
Mercedes are looking for not just a reasonable day, however, but a reasonable race as they look for a return to form in Korea after they scored no points in Japan, and Sauber closed the gap between the two teams to 20 points in the constructors' championship following Kamui Kobayashi's maiden F1 podium.
by Cameron Paterson