Rosberg overshadows Schumacher

Seven-times world champion finds going tough as he qualifies behind teammate at Sepang.

    Rosberg achieved his best qualifying result [AFP]

    Michael Schumacher endured more frustration in his Formula One comeback when he was again overshadowed by Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg in Malaysian Grand Prix qualifying.

    Rosberg qualified second as Mark Webber splashed to pole position on Saturday after a tropical storm caused chaos.

    While the Australian grabbed Red Bull's third successive pole, teammate Sebastian Vettel, on pole in Bahrain and Australia, qualified third with Force India's Adrian Sutil an encouraging fourth and Nico Hulkenburg fifth for Williams to ensure German drivers filled four of the top five slots.

    Seven-times world champion Schumacher, who has looked slightly off the pace since resuming his racing career after a three-year hiatus, will start from eighth place on Sunday.
     
    The 41-year-old has been outqualified by Rosberg in all three races so far this season, even if Schumacher fared a lot better than the McLaren and Ferrari drivers who failed to read the Malaysian rain clouds correctly and ended up at the slow end of the grid.

    Could do better

    "I am obviously a little disappointed with my result today as it was evident from the earlier qualifying sessions that we looked pretty good and I clearly could have achieved more," Schumacher said.

    Malaysian GP starting grid

    1 M Webber (AUS) Red Bull
    2 N Rosberg (GER) Mercedes
    3 S Vettel (GER) Red Bull
    4 A Sutil (GER) Force India
    5 N Huelkenberg (GER) Williams
    6 R Kubica (POL) Renault
    7 R Barrichello (BRA) Williams
    8 M Schumacher (GER) Mercedes
    9 K Kobayashi (JPN) Sauber
    10 V Liuzzi (ITA) Force India
    11 V Petrov (RUS) Renault
    12 P de la Rosa (ESP) Sauber
    13 S Buemi (SUI) Toro Rosso
    14 J Alguersuari (ESP) Toro Rosso
    15 H Kovalainen (FIN) Lotus
    16 T Glock (GER) Virgin
    17 J Button (GBR) McLaren
    18 J Trulli (ITA) Lotus
    19 F Alonso (ESP) Ferrari
    20 L Hamilton (GBR) McLaren
    21 F Massa (BRA) Ferrari
    22 K Chandhok (IND) HRT
    23 B Senna (BRA) HRT
    24 L Di Grassi (BRA) Virgin

    "On my last run, I wanted to secure a lap time and then go for the second lap but after I finished my first quick lap, the tyres were already gone so I could not go for it anymore.

    "Though it is good to know the limits of the wet tyres for tomorrow, now I have to concentrate fully on the race."
     
    Rosberg was delighted by the best qualifying result of his Formula One career.

    "My last run was definitely my best of the day and I put in a good time on the first quick lap," he said.

    "By the second lap, the tyres started to degrade so it just wasn't possible to go any quicker from there. I'm confident that we can have a strong race tomorrow, if it is wet or dry."

    Team principal Ross Brawn tasted success at Sepang a year ago when the then-Brawn GP of Jenson Button won a rain-shortened event on his way to the world title, and the Briton was full of praise for both his drivers.

    "An excellent performance from Nico today to achieve his first front row grid start in what were very challenging conditions for all of the drivers,' Brawn said.

    "In these situations, it is important to keep a cool and calm head and I'm very pleased with how the team worked together to ensure that we competed in all three sessions.

    "It was a bit close on occasion but we reacted well and the drivers did the most important job of keeping the car on the track."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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