Williams had both cars in the top ten in qualifying again but only scored two points. Still it helped reduce the gap to Force India in the constructors’ championship.
|Rubens Barrichello||Nico Hulkenberg|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q3)||1’31.535 (-0.024)||1’31.559|
|Average race lap||1’43.739|
A pneumatic leak on Barrichello’s engine cost him time in second practice. He qualified seventh.
Moved up to sixth at the start but was despatched by Michael Schumacher at the chicane when the race restarted.
He pitted on lap 20 and dropped behind Nick Heidfeld, who he had been leading. Heidfeld pitted sooner – taking two seconds less than Barrichello – and lapped quicker after leaving the pits to take the place.
The other Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi also passed him near the end of the race, leaving him ninth. Barrichello said:
My car was skating all over the track this afternoon. I don’t know why and, to make matters worse, I had quite a lot of vibration. We managed to salvage some points today, but I really thought we were going to finish higher up.
Hulkenberg ended first practice within a few hundredths of his team mate at a track he hadn’t driven on before. But his car suffered electrical problems during the second practice session.
For the second Grand Prix in a row Hulkenberg was unhappy after qualifying. This time his anger was directed at Lewis Hamilton, who he felt held him up in Q3:
We did a good job this morning, but my last run of Q3 was destroyed by Hamilton. I don’t understand why he backed off into me because there wasn’t a car in front of him. You need all the downforce you can get here so to be only a second behind the guy in front isn’t going to help you get a good lap and it didn’t help me today.
His qualifying sector times showed he would have out-qualified Barrichello without the delay.
His race ended early after he was taken out by Vitaly Petrov:
I had a bad start and I didn’t get off the line at all. I then saw Petrov coming up behind me. He touched my front right wheel and that was it. You never want to finish a race that early, but today it happened and it was unfortunate for us both.
2010 Japanese Grand Prix