Rubens Barrichello will line up on the sixth row of the grid in his home race tomorrow after enjoying one of his best qualifying sessions of the year this afternoon at Interlagos. His day got off to a positive start when he was placed sixth in...
Rubens Barrichello will line up on the sixth row of the grid in his home race tomorrow after enjoying one of his best qualifying sessions of the year this afternoon at Interlagos.
His day got off to a positive start when he was placed sixth in this morning's final free practice session, which gave him a boost ahead of the crucial qualifying hour. He ended the afternoon in 11th position after missing out on a place in Q3 by less than 0.05s and will start tomorrow's Brazilian Grand Prix from the sixth row of the grid. His Honda team-mate Jenson Button had a more difficult session and ended the day in 16th position.
After a damp start to the weekend, the circuit basked in ambient temperatures of up to 32C. Both drivers completed two flying runs in Q1 and improved their lap times on each occasion. Rubens' first effort placed him 11th, and although he improved by 0.2s on his second run, he ended the 15-minute session in 12th place. Jenson's first run left him in the drop zone, but a determined second lap saw him through to Q2 by 0.02s.
Two more flying laps followed for both drivers in Q2, Rubens' best being a 1:12.932s which just squeezed him out of the top 10. Jenson continued to struggle with a lack of grip and his best lap, a 1:13.469, put him 16th.
"I am very pleased to have had a stronger weekend so far here at my home race but at the same time a little disappointed that we could not make it through to the final qualifying session today. The car felt very good this morning but this afternoon the rear was moving around a little too much so we lost a bit of time there. We got every last bit of performance out of the car today and I think we can have a good race from 11th."
"Not a great qualifying session for me today which reflects that we have been off the pace pretty much all weekend. The car has a consistent lack of grip and unfortunately we haven't been able to improve the set-up to overcome this. It will be a tough race from 16th so we will just have to see what opportunities the race presents."
Jacky Eeckelaert, Engineering Director:
"This morning we were able to work on the car balance in dry conditions on both prime and option tyres. Rubens was immediately pleased with his set-up, while Jenson was unable to find a good balance through the lap."
"In qualifying it was disappointing for Rubens to miss out on a place in Q3 by less than 0.05s and to find Jenson still struggling with an unpredictable balance. The hotter ambient temperatures in the afternoon affected the car balance a little more than we anticipated but we will work to find a strategy that gives us the best possible chance in the final race of the season tomorrow."