by Adrian-Liviu Dorofte

F1 Istanbul 2011 - SAT - Qualifying - Nico Rosberg grabs 3rd position on the grid


Istanbul, Turkey, May 07, 2011

MERCEDES GP PETRONAS delivered its strongest qualifying performance of the 2011 season so far this afternoon at the Turkish Grand Prix. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher took third and eighth positions respectively in cool and sunny conditions at the Istanbul Park circuit.

• Both MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers qualified in the top ten for the first time in 2011.
• Nico Rosberg’s third place on the grid represents his best qualifying performance since the 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix and his second consecutive second-row start in 2011.
• Michael Schumacher will start from eighth position, his first top-ten start of the 2011 season, but he had expected an even stronger performance after placing second in practice this morning.
• Both drivers saved one set of new soft tyres for the race, after using hard tyres in Q1 and one set of new soft tyres each in Q2 and Q3 respectively.

“I’m very happy with our performance in qualifying and it’s amazing to see where we are right now. After a difficult start to the season, we are getting closer to the front and I’m pleased that we are making a small step forward each weekend: thank you to the team for a great job so far. We saved one set of new soft tyres for the race, which will be important in terms of strategy. I’m really looking forward to the race.”

“Understandably I am not happy at all with today’s qualifying. It was just strange, it seemed that the more I pushed on my last lap, the more went wrong. I was at the limit of what I had in my hand but the car was just sliding around and therefore I never got into my rhythm. It’s a real shame after this morning’s promising session.”

“We’re pleased with the steady progress that we’ve made over the last couple of races. At the start of the season, we said that the car had more potential then we were extracting from it, and that’s now being proven true. There haven’t been any dramatic changes; the team and drivers have just kept their calm, and worked hard to get our package sorted. I’m now hoping we can have a good race tomorrow.”

“It was a great lap from Nico and everybody in the team has done a very good job to improve the car consistently over the last two Grands Prix. Third place behind Sebastian and Mark is a good result for us and our guys have worked extremely hard. Michael did not get the perfect lap in Q3, after being second fastest during the morning session, but with a good start from his place on the fourth row, he can improve in the race.”

* Official photos and report courtesy of MERCEDES GP PETRONAS *

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