The AT&T Williams team celebrated Nico Hulkenberg's maiden pole position today, claimed following a storming drive at Brazil's Interlagos circuit in difficult conditions. The result marks the team's first pole since the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in 2005 and the first in one hundred races. Rubens Barrichello concluded a successful day for the team as he claimed the sixth quickest time of the session in front of a home crowd.
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. 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!
I am truly happy for the team; it's been a wonderful afternoon for us. 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, Director of Engineering:
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.