Interlagos can always be guaranteed to provide an exciting race weekend, packed full of incidents both positive and negative as this scenario is pretty much part of the furniture at the Carlos Pace circuit. Today’s qualifying was just the latest example in a long line of similar episodes. This time we had a wet track that was drying out with the final top ten shoot-out seeing all the contenders for pole position fitting slick tyres in the closing stages.
For Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the final outcome of this penultimate qualifying session of the season did not match up to expectations, nor to the potential of the F10. Fernando Alonso ended up fifth, after a mistake at Turn 10 on his final run robbed him of what should have been a front row start. Ninth fastest time for Felipe Massa, who was struggling with a lack of grip on the slick tyres in the last moments, when he had hoped to shine in front of his home crowd. Whatever the outcome, the young Nico Hulkenberg deserves recognition for taking his first ever pole at the wheel of his Williams.
Of course there is good cause for regret, but it is also true that they don’t dish out the points until Sunday after the chequered flag has been waved. Indeed, there have been plenty of occasions this year when the outcome of qualifying has been turned on its head come the race. According to the forecast, the rain should stay away tomorrow and given the excellent race pace demonstrated by the F10 here in free practice, there is every reason to believe that a big points haul ought to be on the cards. Staying focussed and doing the best job possible will be the key factors once the lights go out at the start.