Rubens Barrichello declared himself delighted with seventh on the grid in Abu Dhabi, while his Williams teammate Nico Hulkenberg blamed unexpected handling changes for his slump to 15th place, a week after his amazing pole in Brazil.
Barrichello will start from the "best of the rest" position tomorrow, behind the Red Bulls, Ferraris and McLarens, and admitted he had not anticipated such a result having struggled in practice.
"It was a great qualifying, especially considering where we were yesterday," he said. "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."
Hulkenberg was a second slower than Barrichello in Q2 as he found himself back on row eight.
"To begin with, Rubens and I were quite evenly matched but I ended up in P15 while Rubens made it into the top 10," said Hulkenberg. "In Q1 everything was fine, with the prime tire working well. We then selected the option for Q2 and everything changed. 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."
The German is still optimistic that he can salvage some points from the weekend.
"With a good start, we could gain some places and end up with a more positive result tomorrow," said Hulkenberg.
The team's engineering director Patrick Head confirmed that something unusual had happened to Hulkenberg's car's behavior.
"Nico had shown the potential needed to make it into Q3, but something caused understeer in the slow corners in his final set of tires," Head said.