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Page last updated at 12:36 GMT, Sunday, 18 April 2010 13:36 UK

Michael Schumacher frustrated by struggles in China

Michael Schumacher

Schumacher frustrated after difficult race

Mercedes driver Michael Schumacher admitted he was "frustrated" by his finish in the Chinese Grand Prix after a disappointing weekend in Shanghai.

Schumacher was 10th after qualifying ninth, 0.723 seconds slower than team-mate Nico Rosberg, who finished third.

"It is one of those races that you call frustrating," said Schumacher, 41, a seven-time world champion.

"All weekend it didn't work out for myself. There were some good emotions, but there were too many bad emotions."

Schumacher, who has won a record 91 races in an illustrious career, is four events into his comeback after three years in retirement.

Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug

Haug unsure over Schumacher troubles

The German had a thrilling battle with Lewis Hamilton in an eventful race in Shanghai and it looked as if he was about to claim eighth place only for Red Bull's Mark Webber and Ferrari's Felipe Massa to pass him late on.

The rain-affected race saw Schumacher make four pit stops, two early on, as the teams tried to make the right choice between slick and intermediate tyres.

"At the beginning I thought we were quite clever as some others changed for intermediates but it turned out to be the wrong decision," he added.

"Those intermediates are slightly different to what I know them from the past and you have to pace yourself dramatically in order to keep them alive for long enough.

"The difficulty was with the weather to predict how long the rain is going to last. Congratulations to Nico, at least one of us scored good points."


The German has been out-qualified and out-performed by Rosberg at every race so far this year, with his best finish of sixth coming at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix.

He finished 10th in Australia after his car was damaged in a first-corner collision, before being forced to retire in Malaysia and has 10 points from the opening four races.

His displays have raised questions about the merits of the decision to return to Formula 1 but Schumacher's boss, Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug, says he has full faith in his driver's ability.

"He could sit on his sofa but he is a competitive guy, and he wants to do it," Haug told BBC Sport. "He is an institution and will come back.

"As team management, this is our time to support our guys. The sport has so many positives from Michael and we want to give him some back.

"Give him a chance. I am 100% sure we will do a better job with Michael in the future."

And Haug revealed that the reason for Schumacher's difficulties in China may have been mechanical.

"I would not exclude that something is wrong with Michael's car," he added. "Give us a chance to look at that and we can come up with a good explanation."

Nico Rosberg talks to Jake Humphrey

Right strategy pays off for Rosberg

Rosberg, meanwhile, has settled in quickly with Mercedes following his switch from Williams over the winter and is sitting in second in the drivers' standings on 50 points after two successive podium finishes.

And the 24-year-old brushed off suggestions that he is the team's number one driver.

"From the very beginning we have been even in the team, even though everyone saw Michael as number one and me as number two," he said.

"Before the season I was hoping to be on one level with Michael all year, but I expect him to be there again next race and to be fighting with him would be great, and would be good for the team as well."

Rosberg insists there is more to come from his Mercedes, saying: "It's quite promising for us.

"This weekend we really got the best out of the car. We made the right calls throughout the race.

"At the moment I am feeling really comfortable in the team and I am thankful. They have helped me integrate really well.

"We have had a good step forward this weekend and had some upgrades for this track. I am really happy with the way it is going for me and with my season so far."

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see also
Button revels in 'best' victory
18 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Button pips Hamilton to China win
18 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton & Vettel given reprimand
18 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Red Bull 'blown away' says Webber
18 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Ferrari play down Alonso overtake
18 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Volcano cloud threatens F1 teams
19 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Chinese Grand Prix as it happened
18 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton admits 'weaving' error
17 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Vettel charges to pole in China
17 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Chinese Grand Prix qualifying results
24 Feb 10 |  Results
Hamilton sets China practice pace
16 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Alonso unfazed by engine problems
16 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Buemi escapes 200mph China crash
16 Apr 10 |  Formula 1

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