Williams used their new updates to get both drivers into the top ten in Valencia qualifying today, with Nico Hulkenberg eighth fastest, one place higher than teammate Rubens Barrichello.
“It was a good qualifying session for the team,” said Barrichello in summary. “Ninth is a strong position to be starting from, but I could have done better than that if it weren't for a problem with brake warm up in Q3.
“I'm looking forward to tomorrow and certainly feel we can achieve a top sixth finish as the car is looking competitive. We are quite happy with the improvements we've brought here this weekend. We still need to keep pushing, but this demonstrates that we can be fast.”
Hulkenberg’s lap time in qualifying was identical to Barrichello’s but he set his time first, and therefore out-qualified his teammate.
“A positive Saturday; that wasn't a bad qualifying!” said the German. “No one expected me to be ahead of Rubens today because he's been quicker than me all weekend. Somehow I pulled out a good lap in Q3 and beat him by a fraction.
“We're obviously happy that we have both cars in the top ten, which was the aim. Hopefully we'll have a good race and get some points tomorrow.”
Sam Michael confirmed that Barrichello suffered from a brake problem in Q3, and revealed that the Brazilian will have an F-duct at his disposal for tomorrow’s race, but that Hulkenberg will have to do without. “To get both cars into Q3 is good progress with the whole car package,” said the Williams technical director. “Rubens had an issue with glazed brakes, which was a shame as that pushed him down the order. Nico did a good job in qualifying today.
“We do still have to improve across all areas of the car, and if we do that quickly we’ll feature in the top ten more regularly. Rubens will be racing the blown rear wing tomorrow while Nico will run a standard version.”
Photo Credit: Lorenzo Bellanca/LAT Photographic