Rubens Barrichello put in a strong run today in qualifying for the F1 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Williams driver once again made it into Q3 and then put in a convincing performance to secure seventh, just 0.001 seconds off the Ferrari of fellow countryman Felipe Massa in P6 and ahead of both Mercedes GP cars and Renault's Vitaly Petrov.

"It was a great qualifying, especially considering where we were yesterday," said Barrichello. "On Friday we were struggling a little, but we have improved the car in every aspect and I am just delighted with the outcome today.

"Seventh is better than I expected and I hope we can maintain this tomorrow. Of course tomorrow is another day, but my engineers and I have good momentum together this weekend, so I am very positive."

Team-mate Nico Hulkenberg however didn't do so well, and after taking pole in Brazil seven days ago, was unable to manage better than P15.

"To begin with, Rubens and I were quite evenly matched but I ended up in P15 while Rubens made it into the top ten. In Q1 everything was fine, with the prime tyre working well. We then selected the option for Q2 and everything changed," he explained.

"My car suddenly behaved very unexpectedly, I lost balance and grip and the car was just sliding around all over the place.

"It was very strange and we will be looking into it tonight. With a good start tomorrow though, we could gain some places and end up with a more positive result."

Williams' director of engineering, Patrick Head summed-up: "It was a great qualifying from Rubens. Together with his engineer, he extracted the very best out of the car this afternoon and we'll be looking for good performance in the race.

"Nico had shown the potential needed to make it into Q3, but something caused understeer in the slow corners in his final set of tyres.

"Both drivers can run a good race tomorrow and our intention is to maintain position in the constructors'."



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