Williams press release
In front of a home crowd, Rubens Barrichello delivered one of the strongest qualifying laps of his season at Interlagos today. Making it through Q1, Rubens went on to set his fastest lap of the afternoon, a 1:13.801, on the soft tyre, which puts him in P12 for tomorrow's race. A combination of traffic and tyre balance issues left Pastor Maldonado unable to progress out of Q1 and lining up in 18th on the grid for the season finale.
I feel great! I'm so glad that I put in a good lap because I have lots of family here this weekend. Also for the team and for the fans, it really felt like they were pushing me on which was an amazing feeling. I have to drive 71 laps like that tomorrow but we have the best chance now so let's hope for a good one!
We're a bit on the back foot with P18. We didn't find the best balance on the option tyre and so didn't get a clean lap in. I will need to make up lots of ground in the race but after doing that in Abu Dhabi, I'm optimistic I can do it again here.
The threat of rain increased pushing us to run earlier
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer:
This morning's final practice went well and with further set-up work the general balance and pace of the car improved steadily through the session. Going into qualifying, the threat of rain increased pushing us to run earlier than we normally would have done. Rubens progressed into Q2 but unfortunately Pastor didn't get a clean lap and finished P18. Rubens had a good, clean lap on his new set of soft tyres in Q2 to finish a credible P12.