23 October 2010
Barrichello back in top ten for Korean qualifying
Rubens Barrichello just made it into the final phase of qualifying for the inaugural Korean GP - at the expense of Williams F1 team-mate Nico Hulkenberg.
He may be a couple of weeks too late to expand the 10-10-10 analogy that had thousands of couple flocking to wedding chapels in a bid not to forget their anniversary date in future, but F1 veteran Rubens Barrichello racked up the tenth top ten qualifying position of the 2010 season with tenth place in Korea.
Despite being unhappy at the block former Ferrari team-mate Michael Schumacher put on him during his fastest lap of Q2, Barrichello squeezed through to the pole position shoot-out by seven-hundredths of a second - ahead of Williams team-mate Nico Hulkenberg - but was unable to get the better of the seven-time world champion in the final ten-minute segment and had to settle for a spot on the outside of row five for the first-ever race at Yeongam.
"That was a great qualifying in that the spirit was very high," the Brazilian commented, "I went into Q3 knowing that we had four-tenths to make up, and I did a good lap and made up the difference, so I'm delighted. We are still at the tail-end of the top ten, and we don't seem to be as competitive as we expected we would be, but that's where we are. The track is quite slippery so I'm predicting a lot will happen in the race and I'm hoping we will get some points out of it."
Hulkenberg's final opportunity to post a flying lap in Q2 was compromised by a momentary lack of rear-end stability in turn twelve, which saw him run wide and take to the grass, and the time lost almost certainly cost him the chance to overhaul his team-mate.
"It was as tight as we thought it was going to be out there today," the young German admitted, "It's always disappointing not to get into Q3. The lap I was on would have pushed me into the top ten, but I lost the rear in turn twelve and was forced to abort. However, P11 is still a good position to start from.
"We have the flexibility to choose our tyres, so we will give that thought overnight and come up with a good strategy. There are overtaking opportunities here, so there's still a chance to score points tomorrow."
Director of engineering Patrick Head conceded that it was disappointing not to get two cars into the top ten, but said that tenth and eleventh still represented a decent showing in the circumstance.
"I don't think we're as strong here as we have been at other tracks," he noted, "but it's going to be a very interesting race as we understand there's some rain coming. That will make tyre strategy interesting, so we're looking forward to it."
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