• Valencia, Saturday: Norbert, “We achieved today what was achievable with our current technical package.”

Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher qualified in seventh and eighth places today at the Valencia Street Circuit ahead of Sunday’s European Grand Prix, Round Eight of the 2011 Formula One World Championship. Nico and Michael qualified just 0.009 seconds apart, which equates to a difference of 62cm over the start-finish line.

Both drivers made only one run in Q3 after having both run a set of option tyres in Q1. Nico saved a new set of option tyres for the race by completing a single run on used options during Q2. Both MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers qualified in the top ten for the fifth consecutive race.

Ross said after the session that qualifying went pretty much to plan: “All of the drivers in Q3 managed reasonable laps, so we fell into the natural order, with Nico and Michael in seventh and eighth positions. The team has done a good job all weekend to maintain our position and get everything out of the current package. We are in good shape for the race, particularly Nico with a fresh set of option tyres available, and our high-fuel running has not been too bad. We must be aware of potentially even higher track temperatures tomorrow, but today we achieved the maximum that's possible for us at the moment. However, our plan and ambition remains to move forward out of that position over the next months.”

For Norbert, Nico and Michael achieved today what was achievable with our current technical package, which will improve step-by-step over the season. “Both drivers did only one run in Q3 with a new set of options. Nico's and Michael's lap times are split by 0.009 seconds, so a good effort on the limit of the car from both drivers.”