Rubens Barrichello's hopes of making it into the third qualifying session were dashed by a KERS problem as both Williams were knocked out during Q2 in Hungary. The Brazilian will line up in 15th place after struggling to engage the system early in his final run and after putting in a solid performance on the prime tyre, felt he could have gone much quicker than he eventually did on the options.
“Everything was running so well and we had a promising strategy in place, but I couldn’t engage KERS in sector one of my last lap, and that compromised my time. I still had a pretty good lap, but I’m disappointed because we had a competitive run earlier on with the primes and so were thinking that 11th or 12th was possible on the option. Still, we’ve saved enough tyres and with a solid strategy we can have a better race tomorrow.”
Teammate Pastor Maldonado was also eliminated after choosing not to run at all in Q2. The rookie barely scraped through the first session with his final lap only just good enough to edge out Sebastien Buemi, but he then chose to sit out the second session to save tyres for the race.
With the midfield battle likely to be intense tomorrow, Maldonado hopes his strategy will help him steal a point or two tomorrow.
“We decided not to run in Q2 to save a set of options. It is essential we get the best result we can from the race and so for our strategy it was important to save some tyres today. I think there will be a big fight tomorrow with the cars starting around us, but we have one more set of supersofts. I am looking forward to seeing what we can do now.”
Technical Director Sam Michael explained that Maldonado's near-elimination in Q1 was because the team had taken the gamble to try and get through the first session on the Prime tyres. He also added that it was always the plan to save a set of the options in Q2.
“Our plan today was to look at conserving tyres for the race so we only used the prime throughout Q1 on both cars. Rubens looked quite strong in the opening session so we actually ran one set of options on his car in Q2. Unfortunately a problem with KERS at the start of his quick lap compromised that decision and cost him some time so we really didn’t get the most out of using the new option, as can be seen from the small, four tenths difference between his prime and option time. In Pastor’s case, he chose not to run in Q2 to save the option tyre for tomorrow, which was the team’s plan.”