Pastor Maldonado delivered another top six qualifying lap to wrap up a sequence of frequently brilliant Saturdays in F1 2012.
This is as close as the Venezuelan star gets to a home race but it would prove to be a short celebration for the Williams
man as he was then hit with a penalty for missing a weight check in Q2 – which dropped him ten places on the grid [See separate story HERE
Prior to the penalty, Maldonado was justifiably satisfied with his day's work as – having successfully negotiated a tricky first couple of sessions afflicted by the weather - he beat the likes of Fernando Alonso
and Kimi Raikkonen
to go sixth quickest.
“I'm happy with the qualifying result today,” he said. “Q1 was a bit close at the end because of the traffic, but the car felt good. It was very consistent and quick which meant we were able to push hard in the top 10. We have continued the form from the last few races, so things are looking good for the team in this race.”
Team-mate Bruno Senna, competing at his first home race in a Williams, was twelfth in Q2 as he missed out on the shootout by a couple of tenths, before being promoted by his team-mates penalty.
“We were optimistic of getting into Q3 today, but unfortunately as the weather got hotter it wasn't the best conditions for the car, and we were doing slower lap times than this morning's practice session,” he said. “We made a few decisions before qualifying based on the fact that we were expecting the track to be a bit cooler, but ultimately that wasn't the case. P12 (now p11) isn't a bad position to start in at Interlagos though, so we're in a good position to score points tomorrow.“