|© AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi
Mercedes had a dismal qualifying session for the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday after both its drivers got knocked out in Q2 providing Michael Schumacher in particular a gloomy prospect for Sunday’s race.
The German, who announced on Thursday that he would retire from Formula 1 at the end of the season, posted the 13th quickest time but will incur a ten-place grid penalty for causing a collision at the preceding Singapore Grand Prix.
The veteran driver however confessed that the team didn’t expect to look in great shape at Suzuka as the high-speed characteristics of the circuit didn’t suit the German manufacturer’s cars, although he had hoped he could have done better.
"Perhaps I could have made it through to Q3, because the data showed that I lost two-tenths in turn 11 because of traffic, but I wasn’t quite sure what (Lewis) Hamilton was doing ahead of me,” he pointed out.
Teammate Nico Rosberg qualified in 15th but will pushed up further by two positions owing to the penalties of Schumacher and Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg.