Having to cope with changes made to avoid a repeat of Friday's suspension problems, Ralf Schumacher again struggled to make the cut in the first round of qualifying in Canada, eventually dropping out the session in 18th place.

The German, whose place in Formula One is rumoured to be in jeopardy if he does not produce some better results in Montreal and Indianapolis, had his attempt to make the cut further hampered by a red flag thrown to aid the clear up after Heikki Kovalainen hit the wall, but escaped the bottom six late in the session as the order changed rapidly.

His joy did not last long, however, as an improvement from Scott Speed dropped him back into the mix and the frenetic activity on track caused enough of a delay that he was unable to improve his time on his final run.

"The whole weekend has been far from perfect for us," Schumacher sighed, "Yesterday's problems meant that we could not make the most of practice, but we still expected more this afternoon.

"Instead, traffic meant that I just didn't get a clear lap and that's all there was to it. For my last run, four cars came out of the box in front of me, and they were in the way. On the second lap, I had another car in front of me the whole way round.

"It's a pity because there has been potential this weekend and, in yesterday's first practice session, I was able to put in some reasonable lap times. It will be a hard race."

Senior general manager Pascal Vasselon backed up Schumacher's claims and, despite seeing Jarno Trulli put the other TF107 into the top ten, admitted that the session had not been a good one.

"We have recovered from our lack of running in P2 yesterday, but today was still our worst performance of the season in terms of pace," he said, "We have lost ground to our immediate rivals like Renault, Red Bull and Williams. Jarno did well to break into the top ten, but Ralf was unlucky. He had traffic in the last outing which is obviously the most important one after the red flag we had in Q1."

 

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