SINGAPORE, Sept 25, 2011 (AFP) - Canny Michael Schumacher revealed that he chose to duck out of final qualifying on Saturday for the Singapore Grand Prix to save his tyres for the big race.
The seven-time world champion German, 42, said he and his Mercedes team decided it was a risk worth taking, as he took a respectable eighth place on the grid.
"It was quite a tactical qualifying session, in which we chose not to run in Q3 to save new tyres for the race -- in theory, this should be worth some time over the race distance, so it was a calculated risk worth taking," he said.
"As we all know from the past, a lot of incidents can happen during the Singapore Grand Prix, so I will certainly go for any opportunity which might occur."
"And of course, I will definitely keep my fingers crossed for Sebastian (Vettel, a fellow German) to clinch his second world title here tomorrow."
Schumacher has enjoyed a recent resurgence in form, finishing fifth in each of the last two races and his confident attitude at the Marina Bay track could see him fighting for a good finish again.
His Mercedes team-mate and compatriot Nico Rosberg qualified in seventh position after, unlike Schumacher, he decided to use all his tyres in order to try and beat the time of Brazilian Felipe Massa of Ferrari.
Rosberg said: "I had a good fast lap in Q3 and we were able to take the most out of the car today so I'm quite satisfied.
"Starting in seventh place was the maximum that we could have achieved, although Massa was very close so it was definitely worth trying to catch him.
"Being on the clean side of the grid gives me a good position for the start, so I will try to make up positions there and score some good points."