Veteran Rubens Barrichello claimed a very impressive sixth in qualifying for the F1 2010 Singapore Grand Prix today.
Barrichello was strong throughout the session and in the end he finished a couple of tenths up on Nico Rosberg and Robert Kubica, his closest challengers, in seventh and eighth. It was his best Q performance of the season.
“First of all I'd like to say thanks to the team for bringing new components to this race which have worked,” said the Brazilian. “Of course expectations were pretty high, but I think we have matched our ambition today and we have the basis for a good race tomorrow.”
Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg in contrast had a more difficult day and despite being quick all weekend, endured a difficult pair of runs in Q2 and was unable to progress to the top-ten shoot-out for the first time in five races. He qualified 12th, but will drop to 17th due to a five-place penalty for a gearbox change.
“It was a totally frustrating session for me,” Hulkenberg noted. “It's pretty inexplicable, the car has been good all weekend long and we have been consistently in the top ten very comfortably. On the first run in Q2 on prime tyres, I got backed up by [Adrian] Sutil, then there was a yellow flag.
“So when I boxed for options I was still confident we could bank a good lap, but the car balance was like night and day. I am not sure if we had a problem, but we will fight on. Although overtaking is not easy, incidents do occur here, so possibilities still exist and the car remains fast.”
Williams technical director, Sam Michael, added: “It was a great qualifying performance from Rubens tonight, showing that the improvements that we have on his car are working well.
“Unfortunately Nico missed Q3 by less than a tenth of a second - such a shame because he's been quick all weekend. But it's not over yet and a street circuit can throw up many surprises in the race.”