• Monaco, Saturday: Ross, “We can look forward to a reasonable race tomorrow”

At the end of a busy day of track activity, MERCEDES GP PETRONAS drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg qualified in fifth and eighth places respectively for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. The team’s best wishes go to Sergio Perez and Sauber after the Mexican driver suffered a major accident during qualifying this afternoon.

Following a heavy crash in P3, exceptional work from the team to repair the car enabled Nico to take part in qualifying. Both drivers qualified in the top ten for the third consecutive race weekend, with Michael starting from P5. Nico will start from P8 after setting his time in the closing minutes of Q3, after the interruption caused by Perez’s accident

Ross felt the team achieved a reasonable result considering the circumstances: “The crash that Nico had this morning took a huge amount of effort from the boys to repair and I must pay tribute to the team for the fantastic job to get his car ready for qualifying. Nico’s programme understandably didn’t run very smoothly in qualifying and he suffered with the timing of the red flag. Michael had a much smoother day and did a good job of putting the car in fifth place which is an excellent result. I think we can look forward to a reasonable race tomorrow. We were all horrified to see the severity of Sergio Perez’s accident, particularly as it was so similar in nature to Nico’s crash this morning. It is a credit to the FIA and all of the teams that such progress has been made in terms of safety. It’s one of those moments that really help us realise what a challenging sport this can be and how important it is to keeping improving our safety standards. We are all really pleased that Sergio seems to be ok.”

Norbert also wanted to stress that the most important result of the day is that Sergio Perez is ok after his crash: “From our side, our entire team did a fantastic job to put Nico’s car back together in less than two hours after his crash in the morning session. It was not a foregone conclusion that he would be able to compete in qualifying, but our great guys managed it. Michael did a good job to put his car in fifth position on the third row. Nico did not set a competitive time on new tyres before the interruption to Q3; after the restart, the track conditions had changed and he was lacking grip. We hope for a good race tomorrow after our cars showed respectable speed in all the sessions.”