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Schumacher: From where I started it's a real shame to grab just one point

Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher during the Malaysian Grand Prix

Mar.25 (Reuters) After a strong performance in qualifying, Michael Schumacher was disappointed to finish Sunday’s Malaysian Grand Prix with just a single point.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 in parc ferme. Formula One World Championship, Rd2, Malaysian Grand Prix, Race, Sepang, Malaysia, Sunday 25 March 2012.
Michael Schumacher

“From where I started the race, it’s a real shame to grab just one point at the end today and of course I would have wished for a better finish for our team,” the seven-times world champion said.

Schumacher had been in fine form on Saturday, qualifying in the top three for the first time since his return to F1, in 2010, with a time of less than a tenth of a second behind second-placed Jenson Button.

However, the 43-year-old German, who is in potentially the final year of his comeback with Mercedes, was left chasing an elusive 155th podium place as he could not translate his qualifying pace into a strong race result.

A slow start followed by a collision with Lotus driver Romain Grosjean that pushed him into a spin led to him falling to 16th.

He was running 11th towards the end of the rain-interrupted race and looked certain to finish outside the points before a smoky end to Williams driver Pastor Maldonado’s race gifted him 10th place.

“After the re-start, the pace wasn’t that far off but it was the same for a lot of teams so there was no way to gain positions,” Schumacher said.

His team mate Nico Rosberg fared no better. The younger German was running fourth after following the safety car into the pits at the restart to switch from wet weather to intermediate tyres, but he could not get them to last and was left behind by Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen.

Motorsports: FIA Formula One World Championship 2012, Grand Prix of Malaysia,  #7 Michael Schumacher (GER, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team),    *** Local Caption *** +++ www.hoch-zwei.net +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI +++
Michael Schumacher

He finished the race out of the points in 13th.

“I had a good restart and because of a good strategy I was in fourth position,” Rosberg said. “But then I had problems with my intermediate tyres. The degradation was very high which forced me to do another pit stop for a new set.”

The team’s results in Malaysia were little better than they managed in last weekend’s season opener in Australia.

In Melbourne, after another strong result in qualifying, Schumacher retired early in the race with a gearbox failure while Rosberg, who had been fourth at one point, finished 12th after being hindered by high tyre wear and a late collision with Sauber’s Sergio Perez.

“We are strong in qualifying but not yet in the race and we need to work on that before the next race in China,” Rosberg said.

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