Patrick Head says he’s delighted with Nico Hulkenberg’s pole in Brazil, and believes that the German can have a strong race, despite having the ‘big guns’ ranged up behind him.
Hulkenberg was backed up today by Rubens Barrichello, who took sixth place in the other car.
“I think we were reasonably confident about getting two in the top 10 if it was going to be wet,” Head told this blog. “But it was a very special run from Nico. He did three timed laps on the dries, and my impression was that every sector was a ‘purple.’ I think there were nine purples. So, very impressive. The boy’s obviously got a future! He’s very good in tricky conditions.
“I think he can get away well. I don’t think we’re kidding ourselves that we’re fully competitive in the dry with Red Bulls or Ferraris. Inevitably it will be difficult for him. But then nobody’s going to complain about starting on pole. It’s a question of trying to run a sensible race without being improperly defensive, which I don’t think he will be.”
Frank Williams is not in Brazil, but he has spoken to Patrick by phone: “He said ‘not bad chap, we’ll see how you get on tomorrow!’”
The big question now is what happens next year, with the team seemingly facing an awkward ‘three-into-two’ scenario when Pastor Maldonado comes on the scene, and neither Hulkenberg nor Rubens seemingly guaranteed a seat.
“At the moment we’re just totally focussed on trying to get a good result here, so we’re not thinking about that…”