The seven-time World Champion has not been on the pace of team-mate Nico Rosberg all weekend, and will line up five places behind his younger compatriot, blaming the balance of his car in qualifying.
However, he remains optimistic he can score points tomorrow.
“I am obviously not very happy with our qualifying today but my position is probably what my car was giving me,” Schumacher said after qualifying.
“We did not have a perfect balance, especially in some corners where the car was a bit loose, but then we did not come here expecting to achieve a great performance. However the race will be long tomorrow and having been welcomed so nicely by all of my Italian fans, I obviously wish to at least grab some points for them.
With the silver cars not expected to do well at this high-speed circuit, Nico Rosberg admitted that his seventh-placed starting position was the best he could have managed.
“Seventh place is definitely the best performance that was possible for us today so both I and the team can be pleased with that,” he told the media after qualifying. “However we obviously want to be further up the grid so we shouldn’t get too used to being happy with such results.
“In race trim, we are probably a little stronger than in qualifying, so I can hopefully gain a place or two tomorrow if something happens amongst the top six guys, and look to achieve some good points.”
[Original image via Sutton Images]
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