Schumi says win his only focus
Michael Schumacher admitted he was thrilled to have set the fastest time in Monaco qualifying irrespective of his penalty and was now targeting a win.
Last Updated: 26/05/12 4:34pm
An overjoyed Michael Schumacher says his sights remain set on securing the first victory of his comeback on Sunday after he limited the damage of his Monaco grid penalty in the most sensational way possible by setting the fastest time in qualifying.
The seven-times World Champion rolled back the years in the dying stages of Q3 as he vaulted from fifth on the timesheet to pole position in his Mercedes.
And although the grid penalty meted out by stewards at the last race in Spain for ramming Bruno Senna means what would have been his 69th career pole only amounts to sixth place on the grid, Schumacher was nonetheless delighted to see his name back on top of the Saturday afternoon timesheet at the most famous F1 venue of them all.
"First of all I'm more than thrilled and excited about making a pole here in Monaco," he said in the post-qualifying press conference.
"Monaco, to all of us, is the track of the year that has a very prestigious position and to manage a pole position here after what I have gone through in the last two and a half years is just fabulous and that's what sticks in to my mind."
Schumacher reminded journalists that on Thursday he had said he would claim pole, and therefore start sixth, and that now the only thing on his mind was achieving the second part of his prediction and a record-equalling sixth Monte Carlo victory.
"I told you guys [the media] already in the press conference my situation is [I'm] going to be pole, start the race on sixth [place] and going to win it.
"And that's what I'm here for and what I'm going to aim for. That's all I have in my mind and the past doesn't matter - at all."
The 43-year-old's return to the kind of form he displayed so regularly in his spectacular first career was particularly timely given the German had been subjected to renewed media speculation about his F1 future in wake of his collision with Senna at Barcelona.
Schumacher says he has felt he has been capable of such a performance again for some time and thanked Mercedes, and his race crew, for the support they have given him in his often rocky comeback to the sport.
"I leave it up to the others what it [his performance] means or not means but to me I'm obviously excited, very happy. It confirms what I have felt for a long time; it's just sometimes you have to put everything at the right moment together," he said.
"Here it worked out and I have to say a great thanks to all of the team, particularly to some of the guys that work very closely with me. We had a special session earlier this week that sort of uniforms and unites us even further together and those are the sort of results that come together with it.
"So I'm grateful to all of the trust that Mercedes, the team had in me and supported me. I'm able to give back a little and I hope I'm able to give even more back tomorrow."