Rubens Barrichello is relishing the prospect of racing in the Bahrain Grand Prix for Williams – despite only managing eleventh position.
Although the Brazilian failed to make the top-ten shootout, under new regulations for this season he will have an advantage over the drivers around him, as he will be able to select which compound of tyre that he wants to start on.
Nico Hulkenberg was thirteenth on his qualifying debut, but blamed his thirteenth place grid slot on poor car setup.
Rubens Barrichello (11th): I think Williams did well today, not as well as any of us would wish, but we have had some minor problems and we lost some running time yesterday. This meant we were playing catch up this morning. But our general direction is good, we have a good understanding in the garage and we have real belief in the team. So we almost made it to final qualifying – I was just a little bit behind Jenson, so it was not so bad and of course I have some new tyres for tomorrow, which will be helpful.
Nico Hulkenberg (13th): I had hoped to achieve more in my first qualifying session, but we didn’t get the car quite perfect and I didn t manage to put the good lap together. This combination is very costly as you would expect in Formula One and we didn t therefore make it into Q3. It is probably not worth speculating too much on the race tomorrow, the only thing I can say with certainty is that it will be tough for everyone and I believe the key thing will be managing our tyres well.
Sam Michael, Technical Director: We thought we should be able to get through to Q3, but it wasn’t to happen today. Rubens did well to make up some ground after practice and it was Nico’s first Formula One qualifying session. Our focus is now on the race, using our normally competitive starts to make position on the first lap and then race hard for points. Thank you also to our mechanics who’ve put in some really hard hours trackside over the last three days.