It was a mixed qualifying session for the Williams team today in Australia. Rubens Barrichello will start from eighth – an improvement on his Bahrain grid slot – but Nico Hulkenberg struggled with traffic on his Oz debut and could only manage fifteenth spot on tomorrow’s grid.
Barrichello sounded satisfied when speaking after the session. “Qualifying went quite well for me and I'm happy with the way things went. We went through Q1 and then I put a good lap in during Q2. I was pleased with my lap in Q3 but there was a bit more there which we missed out on due to traffic. I think we can achieve a better result tomorrow than we did in Bahrain. Eighth is a nice result, but I know everyone in the team aims a lot higher. I'm sure we will get there, but right now that is the limit of the car.”
Speaking after his first experience of qualifying around Albert Park, Nico Hulkenberg thinks a points finish will be tricky unless it rains tomorrow. “I'm disappointed with qualifying and expected more. The target was obviously to get into the top ten, but I didn't get the lap together and this is the result. This is my first qualifying here; it's not an easy circuit to learn and it's very narrow and quite bumpy. It will be difficult to get into the points tomorrow from P15, but you never know what could happen if the weather turns.”
Williams Technical Director Sam Michael implied that traffic held his drivers back slightly, but is looking forward to tomorrow’s race. “That was a good effort from Rubens today to qualify in P8, even if he lost time in traffic on his fastest lap. We only had enough tyres for one run in Q3 and decided to send Rubens out early to avoid any potential rain. Nico struggled to manage the traffic during Q2 so he wasn't able to put in an ultimate lap. We're looking forward to a strong race tomorrow, regardless of the weather.”