Jenson Button recorded his worst qualifying result of season with fourteenth on the grid.
Afterwards the world championship-leader bemoaned a lack of grip from his Brawn car and said that he was disappointed with his qualifying position.
Rubens Barrichello enjoyed a stronger qualifying, setting the fourth fastest time. The Brazilian admitted after the session to be on an aggressive strategy and hopes for a strong finish in tomorrow’s race.
Rubens Barrichello – 4th: I’m extremely happy with our qualifying performance today and the second row of the grid is a great starting position for the race. The results today have to be one of the biggest surprises of the year and it’s great for Giancarlo Fisichella to be up there on pole. It’s good to see that the ‘old-timers’ still have it! I took the best out of my car today, particularly in Q2 which was one of my best laps around Spa, but that was only enough for sixth position in that session. We’ve been quite aggressive on the strategy and the race is wide open tomorrow so I’ll push as much as I can and we can get a good result from here.
Jenson Button – 14th: I didn’t expect to qualify in 14th position today but we really struggled with grip levels, particularly on the softer tyre. The car hasn’t felt quite right all weekend and unfortunately I wasn’t able to get any more out of it today. Rubens and I are usually very closely matched but he was quick on the option and I wasn’t, so we need to look into the reasons for that. I just couldn’t find any grip on the softer rubber so the rear end felt unstable and I had no confidence under braking, particularly in the middle sector. It’s strange as our set-ups are different but not by much. It’s going to be very tough in the race from here but at least we have more time to choose our strategy. We need to get it right and see if we can score some points tomorrow.
Ross Brawn – team principal: It was a challenging qualifying hour today and the end result has seen one of the most mixed-up grids of the season which is great for the sport and will probably make for a very interesting race tomorrow. Rubens put in another very strong performance today and fourth place on the grid, with an aggressive strategy, puts him in a good position for the race tomorrow. It’s fair to say that qualifying got away from us a little bit today with Jenson. We have been struggling with the car balance on his side this weekend and although some changes were made overnight, we were not able to get the car to a position which he felt comfortable with. Looking on the positive side, our main championship rivals are behind one of our cars and only a few places ahead of the other. We have focused on our race performance during the practice sessions here and believe we will have the pace to take the fight to them tomorrow.