Mercedes suffered their worst performance in qualifying for the second race in a row.
Tenth and 13th on the grid in Canada two weeks ago had been their worst to date.
But Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher will start tomorrow’s Eureopean Grand Prix from 12th and 15th respectively after both failed to reach Q3.
Rosberg said he got the most he could out of the W01:
It’s very frustrating to be so far back on the grid although my lap was good today. There was just no more performance to get out of the car.
We had a few issues this morning so we had to make a compromise on our upgrade package and that made the difference of being in the top ten. It’s not easy to understand what happened as we hoped to take a step forward here but we haven’t got the best of our updates yet and we need to understand the tyres quickly.
The car will be stronger in the race so we stay positive and see what will happen.
Schumacher – who was threatened with elimination in Q1 until he improved his time with his final effort – said he lost time in traffic but didn’t think he could have reached Q3:
Obviously I am disappointed with my position today and it is certainly not where I want to be. I had to fight with two things.
Firstly, as in Canada we have a general problem with the tyres and we can’t get them to work in qualifying. Secondly, I had some difficulties with the brakes and I was locking the front right all the time.
This made things extra difficult and is something we need to understand. However our new updates are definitely an advantage, although this was not evident in the performance. I could have gone maybe three-tenths quicker on my last lap if Buemi had not been in the way but it would still not have been enough for Q3.
Ross Brawn said the team are still struggling to get the most out of the tyres – despite having introduced a new version of the W01 earlier in the year with revised weight distribution to improve how it uses them:
Clearly that was a difficult qualifying session. After Montreal, we thought that we understood our issues with the tyres but they are still proving to be a challenge.
The team and drivers did as well as they could today but we do not have the pace at the moment and we are not making the tyres work well, particularly in qualifying.
2010 European Grand Prix
- The physics of Webber’s Valencia crash
- Technical review: European Grand Prix
- Sauber “thrilled” by Kobayashi’s passes
- 2010 European Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- Alonso retracts Valencia criticism
- FIA must learn from Valencia shambles
- Best finish of 2010 (Williams race review)
- Di Grassi shines (Virgin race review)
- Double finish at home (HRT race review)
- Buemi slips to ninth (STR race review)