Mark Webber insists that there are a 'lot of positives' to take away from qualifying at Interlagos, even though he will only line up on the second row of the grid behind Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel.
Both men were out-qualified by the surprise package of Nico Hulkenberg and Williams, who timed the switch to slick tyres just right and posted two laps faster than anyone else could manage, but the inside of row two appeared to sit well with Webber, who admitted to struggling on the ever-changing surface as early rain continued to dry throughout the hour.
Although down the order in morning practice, the Australian - who earlier in the weekend snapped that it was 'f*cking obvious' who the Red Bull team favoured for the title - was in the mix throughout qualifying, and briefly held provisional pole before the remaining ten drivers switched to slicks as a dry line eventually appeared. Along with his main title rivals, however, Webber was not immune to errors, especially in the final sector of the lap where the track remained damp in places, and simply couldn't extract enough time to overhaul Hulkenberg.
“It was a challenging session for all of us," he confirmed, having insisted that he had enjoyed the battle nonetheless, "It's easy to get things wrong in those conditions and not qualify, so I'm very happy to get that position near the front."
With the tension of having two drivers still in the running for the championship still clear at Red Bull, Webber toed the party line in finding the positives in a session in which both he and Vettel out-performed McLaren and Ferrari.
"It was really tricky to get clean laps in Q3, but I did my best - it was pretty close between Sebastian and I and we're both up there," he commented, "It was a good team performance today and both Seb and I have laid good foundations for the constructors' championship, so there are a lot of positives from today. We're in a good position for tomorrow."
Having set the pace in Friday's two dry practice sessions, Red Bull and Renault were pleased to see the RB6 remain at the front when the conditions turned, even if they were helped by their rivals failing to get the best from their slicks in the final session.
“It was a messy qualifying, but the car proved to be good in the wet as it was yesterday in the dry," Renault's Fabrice Lom confirmed, "We have a very good package and all our main contenders are behind us for tomorrow's race.”
Like many of his peers, Webber also had good words for the surprise poleman, who ended the session a full second clear of the chasing pack.
"Nico got his car working very well, he was very confident and got the most out of it when it mattered, so congratulations to him for pole," the Australian admitted, "It was like he was driving on a different track!”