Williams took advantage of the heavy rain in Malaysia qualifying to get both cars in strong starting positions for tomorrow’s race.
Their new driver Nico Hulkenberg will be fifth on the grid in just his third Formula 1 race, while teammate Rubens Barrichello starts seventh.
Hulkenberg was understandably very pleased with his grid position, and said the FW32 handles well in the damp conditions. “Finally we had a bit of a breakthrough today. It was very tight out there and my lap wasn't perfect so I could have done a little better, but I'm happy where I am and I'm happy for the team as well. The car has proved to be good in wet conditions and I like driving in the wet, so I'm looking forward to the race. A lot will depend on what the weather will do tomorrow though.”
Barrichello concedes that without the rain qualifying wouldn’t have been as successful, but still thinks he could have done better. “There are two ways to look at qualifying. The positive is that we are happy as a team, but I don't thinkwe would have achieved P5 and P7 in a dry session. In hindsight, I should have chosen intermediates for my last run, which would have given me a better lap time. I'm still pleased as we are better prepared for tomorrow.”
Technical director Sam Michael praised his drivers and the crew on the pit wall who made the strategy calls throughout the session. “That was a great qualifying result for the team. Both drivers drove well in the conditions and it was encouraging to watch. Furthermore, the engineers made good calls with the windows that they chose to send the cars out in. We’ll now look to converting our position to a good race result tomorrow.”
Photo credit: Glenn Dunbar /LAT Photographic