Abu Dhabi Qualifying Report

Abu Dhabi Qualifying Report

After the final qualifying session of the Formula 1 2017 season which took place earlier today (See Post Here), we also managed to hear from the drivers about their time out on the track and what they’re looking forward to ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Mercedes – Abu Dhabi Qualifying Report

Lewis Hamilton


Lewis Hamilton – 2nd, 1:36.403

“Congratulations to Valtteri, he did a fantastic job in qualifying. It’s good to see him performing at this level, particularly at the end of the season which puts him into a great position for next year.”

“For me, practice was great. Then I made some changes in anticipation of the track cooling which I think were not the right ones in hindsight. But it was good to experiment a little which I hadn’t really done all year long. However, that’s why I struggled a little bit with the balance in qualifying.”

“I think in the end I was up about a tenth and a half out of Turn 1, but then I lost it somewhere else through the rest of the lap. Nonetheless, it was fun to be out there, challenging in the last qualifying of the year.”

“Now we can get on with the race tomorrow. It’s a very hard track to overtake, but I will give it everything for sure.”

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas – 1st, 1:36.231

“It’s only the fourth pole of my whole career and I had to beat some pretty good qualifiers, so it’s a great feeling to start from P1 tomorrow. It was a really good qualifying, clean and smooth.”

“With the changes we made, the car was behaving much better in qualifying than it did in free practice. Run after run, I could always find some time here and there, I really worked on the details. But the weekend is not over yet; we want to finish strong tomorrow as well. We were nearly there in Sao Paulo and now I get a second opportunity.”

“It would mean a lot to end the season on a high. However, no matter how tomorrow goes, it will be nice to head into the winter break knowing that I had the speed to be on pole two races in a row.”

“That’s a good feeling and a good basis to start working for 2018.”

Toto Wolff – Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport

“That was a great lap from Valtteri and I’m really pleased to see him claim pole position – it shows he has really bounced back after some tough races after the summer break.”

“Lewis scored a very strong second place, too, and it’s great to see our boys lock out the front row at the final race of the season. Our car was the fastest in every sector today and that is a first sign of how we have kept the level high since winning the championships. Looking ahead to tomorrow, we cannot underestimate the importance of the race.”

“The final race gives an important momentum into the winter and we will be going all out for the win. The long runs yesterday looked very similar between ourselves, Ferrari and Red Bull so we are in for a close fight!”

Ferrari – Abu Dhabi Qualifying Report

Sebastian Vettel


Sebastian Vettel – 3rd, 1:36.777

“I think we were missing some speed today in qualifying but I think tomorrow we can be closer to our competitors, so we’ll see. Especially in Q3, in sector 2, they were very fast, while in the first and third sector we were more or less on the pace.”

“Hopefully tomorrow it can be different: I think during the race we should have a better pace.

“Winning is always possible, even though here it’s difficult to overtake if your speed is not different to the other cars.”

“So, let’s see what this race can bring and hopefully we can put pressure on our rivals.”

Kimi Raikkonen


Kimi Raikkonen – 5th, 1:36.985

“It was not an easy qualifying and fifth position is far from ideal. The car felt good all day, I had good feelings. In Q1 we did few laps and it was very easy, but then it got tricky with the tyres.”

“For whatever reason, I struggled to make them work and trust them on a flying lap. In some runs, they were ok, then in another one it was more difficult. It was a bit of a guessing game.”

“I’m sure that tomorrow the race is not going to be easy. The start is the easiest place to overtake, but even after that the race is far from over.”

Red Bull Racing – Abu Dhabi Qualifying Report

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen – 6th, 1:37.328

“It wasn’t a great Qualifying session for me today, we have struggled to find a good set-up all weekend and today was no exception.”

“The changes we have tried did not impact the car how I would have liked and then by the time you get to Qualifying it is too late to change anything else.”

“Like I said yesterday, I haven’t been able to find a good level of grip here which means I am always fighting with the car and it makes it difficult to drive. The conditions for the race should be similar to tonight so I think it will be a hard race from our side but let’s wait and see what we can do.”

“Daniel is in front of Kimi so hopefully that could mean a bit of a fight for us tomorrow and we can avoid a lonely race. I did the best I could with the car, sometimes you have to accept that you are not fast enough, learn from it, come back and try harder next time.”

“I’ll do my best so let’s see what we can achieve from P6.”

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo – 4th, 1:36.959

“I’m happy with the end of Quali. I’m so happy to have jumped Ferrari and the second row is good. We thought we could get close to Ferrari but as Qualifying went on, it looked like they were too quick.”

“During the first run in Q3 we were slow but I knew we could get a lot more out of the car, we just had to figure it out. We understood the tyre temperature a little better and then it was a much quicker lap.”

“It hasn’t been the perfect year of Saturdays for me, so it’s nice to finish 2017 with a good one.”

“We were pretty solid all weekend, just not quite on the pace of the top three but tomorrow I think we can have a chance for the podium.”

“I don’t think the start will be straightforward, it’s the last race of the year and everyone wants to win so there could be some action and hopefully I’m there to be a part of it.”

Christian Horner, Team Principal

“Today we saw one of Daniel’s best Qualifying laps of the season to make it on to the second row for the start of tomorrow’s race.”

“He managed to put it all together right at the end of Q3 with an excellent effort. Max is starting in P6 on the grid and has not been happy with his car balance all weekend, and whilst that improved during Qualifying, he still wasn’t totally at ease with the car.”

“As we go into the last race of the year, we will certainly give it all we’ve got. It will be great to finish the season on a high note and hopefully we can sign off on 2017 with that tomorrow.”

McLaren – Abu Dhabi Qualifying Report

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso – 11th, 1:38.636

“I’m happy with 11th – it’s what we deserved today. I don’t think we were super-quick in qualifying, and it’s not worth making it into Q3 to be ninth or 10th and then start on a scrubbed set, when the guy just behind you can start on fresh tyres. Tomorrow we’ll be that guy, and we’ll take advantage of the situation”

“We extracted the maximum, but when we get to qualifying everyone seems to have a magic qualifying mode button for their engines, so we step back a little bit.”

“I’m also happy with the car balance – it has been good all weekend: we were seventh and eighth this morning and we’re looking quite competitive on the long runs, so for race pace we should be there and tomorrow we have a good opportunity to score points.”

“I hope tomorrow we will put on a good show and an exciting race, especially now that there’s no pressure for anyone, and there are no championship points to fight for as nearly all positions are basically decided.”

Stoffel Vandoorne 


Stoffel Vandoorne – 13th, 1:38.808

“I have mixed feelings after today.”

“Final practice was pretty good this morning and we were looking reasonably strong – we were the fourth quickest team. But, as we usually see going into qualifying we don’t have a magic button like the other teams to gain a little bit of extra horsepower and we lose out.”

“We expected that it was going to be difficult for us today but it was very close and I think the potential was there to get into Q3.”

“I experimented a little bit with the set-up and tried to go aggressive to find some more lap-time, but maybe it didn’t turn out as it should have done and we plateaued after Q1. Saying that, I’m reasonably happy and hopefully we’re going to have a good race tomorrow.”

“There’s only one more race to go and we’re all looking forward, but the whole team is treating it like any other race and there’s still an opportunity to score points.”

“We’re trying to make the most of it and hopefully we can make it a good one. Race pace has looked pretty decent in clear air recently, but qualifying is so important this year as overtaking is hard for us, so we’ll have to wait and see.”

“We know that strategy is going to be a little bit limited, so hopefully we can have a good start, a clean opening lap, and find ourselves in a strong position. We’ll give it our best and we want to finish on a high.”

Sauber – Abu Dhabi Qualifying Report 

Marcus Ericsson


Marcus Ericsson – 19th, 1:39.994

“It was a decent qualifying session. I was not completely happy with the balance of the car in FP3 so we made some changes for qualifying.”

“I felt more comfortable in the car after that, which shows us that we are moving in the right direction. In qualifying, my lap time improved with each lap.”

“The final lap in Q1 was a good one, but in the end it was not enough to make it to Q2 today. I am looking forward to fighting back tomorrow.”

Pascal Wehrlein 

Pascal Wehrlein – 18th, 1:39.930

“Qualifying today was alright. Of course, I am not satisfied with the qualifying result – however, we knew that we would have some difficulties getting the tyres into the right operating window due to the drop in temperature that occurs in Abu Dhabi in the afternoons.”

“The race will be at the same time of day as today’s qualifying, so we will see what is possible.”

“I will give my all to finish the race in the best possible position.”

More coming soon!

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂



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