Michael Schumacher reckons he got the maximum potential out of his W03 in qualifying for the US GP - and now hopes to do the same in Sunday’s race
For the first time in three grand prix weekends, the seven-time World Championship made it into the top ten in qualifying where he set the sixth fastest time.
However, as Romain Grosjean ahead of him has a grid penalty, Schumacher will start Sunday’s race at the Circuit of the Americas from fifth place on the grid.
“Qualifying was better than we expected, especially as we have struggled over the weekend and have worked hard to make progress and achieve such a solid job today,” said the German.
“Qualifying in sixth place is a good and important position for us as a team.
“I had a good lap in Q3 and everything felt right with the car so we were able to maximise the potential.
“It will make a big difference here whether you start from the clean or dirty side of the grid, so gaining an extra place due to Grosjean’s penalty was a nice surprise.
“The car looks reasonably consistent for the race and I would like to achieve the maximum result possible tomorrow.”
But while Schumacher was smiling, Nico Rosberg had a disappointing afternoon, qualifying down in 17th place.
“I ran our old exhaust system in qualifying today as part of our evaluation programme for next year. We had already used it yesterday and made the decision to continue for the rest of the weekend to help with the learning process.
“The car felt good this morning in the cool temperatures but the difference to Michael’s car surprised me this afternoon.
“So I hope that the race pace is better tomorrow and the switch will be worth it. I will definitely push to score points.”