|© AP Photo/Andres Kudacki
Michael Schumacher is set for yet another tough race after he qualified 12th for the European Grand Prix on Saturday.
In a close session, in which the top ten were covered by a bit over two-tenths, the German driver was edged out in the second leg of qualifying for a race where grid position is more important than at any other track.
But the seven-time world champion failed to eke out any advantage although his teammate Nico Rosberg managed to settle for sixth place.
“What a close qualifying session. Of course, I'm not particularly happy about not making it through Q2 but that was clearly down to me - I didn´t get my lap together," Schumacher confessed. "On my first run, I was too aggressive in turn 12 on my first timed lap, then had to abort the second lap and pit because the tyres were no longer in good enough condition to improve.
"After that, I was a bit too conservative on the second run and that cost us, because the times were so close," he explained. "On the other hand, my starting position opens up strategic possibilities for tomorrow. I have new sets of tyres available which is the positive aspect of my situation. We will certainly make the most of them."
The 43-year-old missed the top-ten shootout by less than 0.07 seconds with team principal Ross Brawn admitting the Mercedes had better potential than Schumacher's grid position.
Rosberg, in contrast, said that he could have done better had he not encountered traffic on his quickest lap.