Montreal: Michael Schumacher always knew his return to Formula One would not be easy, but the seven-time champion was still at a loss to explain his poor showing in qualifying at the Canadian Grand Prix on Saturday.
Not only did the German qualify 13th, failing to make the final phase of qualifying reserved for the top 10, he was three places behind Mercedes team mate and countryman Nico Rosberg.
“I am obviously disappointed after today’s qualifying,” said Schumacher, who has won at Montreal a record seven times.
“We simply did not have the balance or grip and overall we had a lot of problems with braking and handling. The car was just not performing as we expected.”
Schumacher has battled all year since returning to the sport he once dominated, but he was confident of a strong showing in Canada.
He showed some encouraging signs during the three practice sessions but was unable to get the most out of his car during official qualifying.
Rosberg said the Mercedes car was functioning well but they could not get the right balance with the tyres.
“That wasn’t a great qualifying session for us today,” he said. “We have a good car here this weekend but unfortunately we couldn’t get the tyres to work properly this afternoon.”