MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher qualified in fifth and ninth places today for the first Korean Grand Prix which takes place at the Korean International Circuit in Yeongam tomorrow.
Both drivers felt they got the best out of their MGP W01 cars around the new 5.6km track with Nico having a particularly good lap to achieve fifth place and line up on the third row of the grid.
"I'm very pleased with fifth place and it is the best possible position that we could have achieved today. It's nice to be ahead of one of the McLaren and Ferrari cars and also Robert who has been very close to us recently. We're in a good position for the race tomorrow. Strategy will be crucial with the tyre graining but we are strong in that area and with a bit of luck, it would be nice to give the team a great result."
"I had a busy qualifying getting everything together with some changes we made but I'm quite happy with my position. There was no room for much more today. The team did a great job getting both cars into Q3 and we will be starting from the better side of the track in my opinion. I'm quite optimistic for tomorrow and we should score some points, especially as our set-up is focused on the race. We had a good race pace in practice yesterday and I'm looking forward to the first Korean Grand Prix."
"We have seen another solid performance from the team and our drivers here with Nico putting in a particularly good lap in qualifying today to achieve fifth place. The team have got the most out of the car and adapted well to the new circuit. We have good straightline speed and the car seems reasonable on high fuel so we can look forward to an exciting race tomorrow."
"As in recent races, we achieved the best possible result with our current package today. A superb lap from Nico on this challenging new circuit puts him in fifth place on the grid and Michael also has the opportunity to score good points from ninth place. The forecast predicts rain for Sunday so we may be able to benefit as our drivers have shown strong performances in these conditions. Our ultimate goal is to fight for pole positions and race wins however it is satisfying for everyone in the team when we achieve the best result possible. Compliments and thanks to the organisers here in Korea for building a thrilling new race track. With very hard work, the track is ready 'just in time' and I am sure everyone in the paddock wishes for a great race tomorrow as a reward."