At a blisteringly hot Bahrain International Circuit, where ambient temperatures peaked at 38o.C this afternoon, both AT&T Williams drivers executed the transition from the opening Q1 round of qualifying into Q2 today. Kazuki Nakajima ended up just one and half tenths short of progressing through to Q3 and will take the 12th slot on the grid for tomorrow's race. Team mate Nico Rosberg faired only slightly better. Making it into the final shoot out session, and therefore leaving his run of Q3 appearances so far this season unblemished, Nico will line up in P9 for the Bahrain Grand Prix.
That was not a good qualifying from me as I really didn't feel comfortable in the car today. We were just lucky we made it through to the third round because it was very close. In the end, P9 is ok because we have a lot of fuel onboard so, strategy-wise, I think we are looking pretty competitive. My hope for tomorrow is definitely to finish in the points and I think that's achievable. Our race car is pretty good, so we should have a consistent pace and everything is possible from ninth.
It's difficult to say where I lost my time. I didn't make any mistakes and the car was performing pretty well. If I think about the gap separating Nico and me, I'm pleased with my afternoon. Overall, though, I have mixed feelings as I should have made it into Q3.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
This result is where we expected to be. Ninth is a good position from where Nico can target a points-scoring finish tomorrow and Kazuki did a good job considering he doesn't have the same package that Nico is running. He also equalled his season best qualifying position today. In conclusion, we will be aiming for points with both cars. Congratulations to Toyota for taking the front row.