BUDAPEST, July 28, 2012 (AFP) - Michael Schumacher conceded on Saturday that his Mercedes team were just not fast enough to be competitive in this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.
After the team's worst showing of the season in qualifying, Schumacher, 43, will start down in 17th position, four places behind his team-mate Nico Rosberg.
Schumacher's flying lap was compromised by dust left on the track by Williams driver Pastor Maldonado, but the seven-time world champion said that mattered little and he was unlikely to have done much better.
Schumacher said: "It was quite a tough and difficult day for us.
"We have to see that we did not have the pace to be in the front. I could have done a faster lap probably, without the dust having been brought to the track by Maldonado, but then I still do not think it would have brought me into Q3.
"I don't think we could have done much more. This morning we practised for long runs as yesterday we could not do that due to the rain, but I don't think it compromised our performance.
"You have to accept the gap is quite big. We know the combination of track layout and temperature does not suit us too much, and we will try to make the best out of it tomorrow."
Rosberg said that the team needs to look at why the pair of F1 W03s have been so slow, and is hopeful that prioritising his race set-up during qualifying will help him have a stronger Sunday.
"That was a difficult qualifying for us today and we need to analyse why it turned out like that," said Rosberg.
"Qualifying is always a compromise and I was focused on finding a good race set-up for tomorrow as we may have more tyre degradation on our car than others, but it is still disappointing not to make Q3 by two tenths."