Belgium Grand Prix Qualifying – AT&T Williams
As anticipated, conditions in the Ardennes forest delivered a wet qualifying at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit today forcing the field onto intermediate tyres for the duration of the three rounds. AT&T Williams’ Rubens Barrichello and Pastor Maldonado drove the team’s FW33s through Q1; which concluded with Pastor setting the 11th fastest time, Rubens the 12th. Q2 proved more troublesome for the pair. A red flag with six minutes remaining left the field clambering for space once the track went green and so traffic ultimately compromised both drivers’ final attempts at a quick time. At the chequered flag, Rubens just bettered Pastor’s time to claim 14th on the grid, with Pastor 16th.
Sam Michael, Technical Director:
Both drivers made it easily through Q1. We were looking good for getting through to the top ten in Q2, but the red flag compromised our programme completely. With so much traffic at the re-start, we didn’t get a clear lap after that. It was the same conditions for everyone through and we will concentrate on the race now.
Today was one of those qualifying session that I enjoy very much. We have a new package for this race but the car is still not as fast as we would wish. Unfortunately I had traffic all the way through which is a shame as if it wasn’t for that, I’m really sure we could have gone into Q3.
It was a difficult qualifying because of the changing conditions and I had some problems with the balance because of that, especially during Q1. I was expecting a bit more in Q2 and thought we’d make it through to Q3 but I had traffic in my final lap which cost me a quicker time. This race is a long one and I think our pace is better here so we will see. About what happened with Lewis. He slowed down a lot at the end of the session, so I tried to go past him. I then felt contact at the back of my car. I don’t really know what happened. It was a difficult moment.