The AT&T Williams team held approximate station with their qualifying performance just a week ago in Melbourne, setting up the prospect of a good opportunity to challenge for a points finish in tomorrow's race. Nico Rosberg led the team's ...
The AT&T Williams team held approximate station with their qualifying performance just a week ago in Melbourne, setting up the prospect of a good opportunity to challenge for a points finish in tomorrow's race. Nico Rosberg led the team's performance into Q3 and used a scrubbed set of softer option tyres to record the sixth fastest time of the day with his race fuel on board. Kazuki Nakajima missed the possibility of joining his team-mate in the final qualifying shoot-out by less than a tenth of a second, but professed himself comfortable with his car and confident of a good race tomorrow with the additional advantage of the freedom to set his race fuel -- a tactic which saw him prosper in Australia. Both drivers will be assisted by grid penalties for two competitors that will see Nico Rosberg promoted to P4 for tomorrow's start and Kazuki Nakajima will start from eleventh place.
I am very happy with fourth on the grid for tomorrow's race. Our general pace in the first two qualifying sessions wasn't quite where we wanted to be, but it gave us enough to work with. Then in Q3, with some fuel in the car, it felt really nice which allowed me to put in a very good lap that put me on sixth, which after the penalties for the other cars, is on the second row. From that start position as well as with a good car and a good strategy, we can be optimistic and say we have a good chance to aim for a podium. One consideration is of course the start and I will have to check who will be using KERS around me. My preference for tomorrow would definitely be a dry race because it's always the safer way to go, but if it rains, even though it will mix things up, it will be no problem and we will make the best of either situation.
The car was good, I had a good feeling in the cockpit and everything went okay today, but I just needed to find another tenth to get into Q3. Despite this, I now have the freedom to fuel the car for the optimum strategy, and with this benefit and a good long run pace, a good finish is possible if I keep my head down during the race.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
Today Nico had a good qualifying session and we expected that Kazuki would also make Q3, but he will nevertheless race well from just outside the top ten. The cars both ran well, without problems and we are looking forward to a strong race tomorrow and collecting some points.
* Vettel P3 plus 10 position penalty for infringements in Melbourne and Barrichello P4 plus 5 positions for a gearbox change. Rosberg start position therefore P4, Nakajima P11