Schumacher Expecting More Struggle

World Champion Michael Schumacher expects to continue to struggle in tomorrow's final qualifying for the Malaysian Grand Prix

Schumacher Expecting More Struggle

Schumacher, chasing his first points of the new campaign after failing to finish in Melbourne, was a hefty 1.490 seconds slower than Fernando Alonso, who set the pace in his Renault.

The German, who will try out Ferrari's new car for the first time next week and could race it at the next round in Bahrain after starting the season with a modified version of last year's F2004, was two places ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello as the World Champions struggled for pace.

Schumacher, however, believes Ferrari will be able to up their game in the race.

"Naturally, I am not happy with the way things went," said Schumacher. "Yesterday and  after  the  first  45  minutes  of  today's  practice,  the  situation  seemed  better,  but already in the last free practice, we begun to understand that we would be struggling.

"It's clear that, on a quick lap, with new tyres, our performance is not at the same level as our rivals, but we know that over a distance things are different, as indeed we saw yesterday.  And  that's  what  counts,  isn't  it?

"So  I  still  expect  to  be  competitive  in tomorrow's race, while I don't think things will change significantly in second qualifying. It's  a  very  long  and  tough  race  and  our  aim  is  to  finish  in  the  points,  if  not  on  the podium."

Barrichello was equally disappointed.

"To be honest, I am very disappointed because this morning we were looking better than in qualifying when I just did not have enough grip," said Barrichello. "It was a bit of a struggle. However, the balance of the car was okay and I think my tyre choice will mean that I will be much stronger than this in the race on Sunday."

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