A disappointed Michael Schumacher says he is still hopeful of a good points finish at the Chinese Grand Prix tomorrow. The seven-time champion endured a difficult day, qualifying in ninth position as he struggled with the handling of his Mercedes. Schumacher finished five places behind teammate Nico Rosberg, who outpaced the German by seven tenths of a second.
"I am obviously disappointed about my qualifying," said Schumacher, who is yet to outqualify his teammate this season. "It didn't really come together today. In certain areas I was just not quick enough and at some corner exits, I struggled a bit with rear-end grip. I haven't really found the balance of the car all weekend.
"It will be tough to be too optimistic for tomorrow from my grid position but then I had some good starts lately and there is always room for lots of things to happen in Formula 1 races. We can still achieve some good points and I am definitely going to go for it."
Rosberg, on the other hand, was justifiably delighted after qualifying in fourth place, the Mercedes driver insisting his team has taken a step forward in China.
"Fourth place is quite a nice surprise and I'm very pleased that we seem to have made a step forward this weekend," he said. "We really got the most out of the car in qualifying and I've worked well with my engineer Jock and the team to improve the car and get the set-up right this weekend.
"We didn't think we would be this far up the grid today, as we were struggling in practice this morning compared to the McLarens but to be level with the quickest Ferrari and a bit closer to the Red Bulls is very satisfying. It's a good step for us and we're well placed to have a good race tomorrow."