Mercedes remains confident that Michael Schumacher can still have a good Bahrain Grand Prix despite a disastrous qualifying session leaving him 18th on the grid.
The seven-time champion suffered a DRS problem in Q1, then found his early time insufficient to keep him inside the cut-off for the second part of qualifying. Schumacher had returned to the pits so that the issue could be fixed for Q2.
Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug said that with the pace Schumacher had shown so far this year, and as the problems had allowed him to save plenty of tires, he would be well-placed to make progress through the field on Sunday.
"I feel sorry for Michael, who had the pace for a good starting position, as he has proven with a fourth place and two third places in Q3 at the previous races," said Haug. "A problem with the rear wing mechanism prevented him from getting a good result, but he can achieve this tomorrow.
"Michael showed good pace during our long runs and he will be well equipped with fresh tires."
Schumacher defended the team's handling of the Q1 issue, saying pitting to get the DRS fixed made more sense than trying to do another lap without it operating properly.
"Trying for a lap without DRS on different tires would not have made sense," he insisted. "We now have to try to see what we can do from here and push as much as possible."
Nico Rosberg qualified fifth in the other Mercedes.