Williams are tonight celebrating their first pole position since the 2005 European Grand Prix after Nico Hulkenberg grabbed pole position in qualifying for tomorrow’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
The German secured Williams first pole position in one hundred races with a lap that was over a second faster than the Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel could manage. Teammate Rubens Barrichello qualified sixth in the wet conditions at Interlagos.
“I didn't expect to be on pole today but the team gave me a car that worked really well in these conditions and I hooked up a tidy lap,” said the excited pole-sitter. “My engineer came over the radio and told me I was on pole, but I couldn't quite believe it. It's such an amazing feeling.
“We have to stay realistic for the race, and I'm aware that there are drivers behind me fighting for the championship, but we are fighting for position and we will be doing everything we can to get a good result. For now, thanks to AT&T Williams for giving me a really great car today; I'm just so happy and I want to enjoy the moment with the team!”
Although Barrichello wished that it was he who had claimed the pole for Williams, the Brazilian generously congratulated his rookie teammate. “I am truly happy for the team; it's been a wonderful afternoon for us,” said Barrichello. “We have a pole position, just not with me! I am thrilled for Nico though. In these conditions, you need to keep temperatures up in the tyres, but I had a car in front of me going a bit slow so I lost temperature and went off. I'm pleased with P6, it's still a strong place to start the race from.”
Patrick Head, Williams Director of Engineering, was delighted with the efforts of the team today: “That was a fantastic qualifying for the team; and for Nico and his engineers in particular. I think we saw something pretty special from him today. He did three timed laps on dry tyres, with his pole time over a second quicker than anyone else's. Rubens also drove well to sixth, a good starting point for the race.”