A well-balanced Monza-specific aero package enabled the Williams team to make a positive start to the Italian Grand Prix weekend, with Nico Hulkenberg and Rubens Barrichello carrying the momentum into qualifying by making the top ten shoot-out.
Getting both cars onto the front five rows for the fifth time this season, Williams upstaged the likes of Force India - which had been expected to shine at Monza - and Mercedes which, despite seeing Nico Rosberg grid ahead of both its cars, also had Michael Schumacher fall at the Q2 hurdle. In the final ten-minute showdown, Hulkenberg was just pipped to seventh place, as near namesake Rosberg edged him by a hundredth of a second, while Barrichello closed out the top ten.
"It was a very, very positive qualifying and I really enjoyed driving here today – the car feels good, I really enjoy the track, so you might call it harmony!" Hulkenberg reported, "This gave me a lot of confidence and meant I was able to put in a mega lap in Q3, even though I could have been quicker in sector one.
"Overall, I am really pleased and must thank the factory, which developed a great aero package that works well on the straights for top speed, but is also perfectly balanced under cornering. This afternoon's performance means I am now really looking forward to the prospect of the race tomorrow."
While Hulkenberg raved about the latest developments from Grove, veteran team-mate Barrichello admitted that he was having more trouble adapting to the revised FW32.
"It's been quite difficult for me to find an ideal set-up here, despite the fact that at I am at home on this track as I won here last year," the Brazilian sighed, "I think we hoped for better, around P7, which should have been possible, but we have not quite optimised our potential so far. However, the race still provides plenty of opportunity tomorrow and I am sure we have the possibility of a good result."