Rubens Barrichello had the dubious distinction of being the driver this week to join the usual line-up Lotus, Virgin and HRT cars exiting qualifying for the Korean Grand Prix at the first hurdle at the end of Q1.

The Brazilian driver was putting a brave face on the situation after qualifying in 18th position, and said that they had done all they could in the circumstances.

"We made the best call we could today based on the performance we have in the car at the moment," explaining that the team had put tyre conservation ahead of grid position this weekend.

"My first lap in Q1 was quite good but my tyres had started to go off by the third lap," he said. "As we had decided to conserve tyres before the session started, we aborted the run and came in."

"No one is happy with our performance in qualifying," said Williams' chief operations engineer, Mark Gillan. "We are all aware of the need to continue to improve throughout the remainder of the season."

He added: "As a team we are pushing hard to understand the areas where we need to concentrate on in order to accelerate the development process and drive the performance forward."

Barrichello's team mate Pastor Maldonado did manage to get through to Q2 at the expense of dumping his senior team mate back down into the drop zone. He will start immediately in front of Barrichello on the grid in Korea when he lines up in 16th place.

"I think I did some good laps in qualifying, in both Q1 and Q2," the Venezuelan driver insisted, before admitting: "We are a bit far away from the top ten so we need to keep working.

"Tomorrow is another day and we have lots of new tyres which is important for our race strategy."


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