Abu Dhabi GP: Top 10 quotes after Friday free practice

Silver Arrows light up the Marina to kick off final race weekend of 2016 in style

ClaDriverChassisEngineLapsTimeGapInterval
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 36 1'40.861    
“It's been a great day. Generally very smooth with no real issues. The first run in FP2 wasn't ideal as there was so much traffic and I didn't get to do a flying lap. But after that I managed to get a decent time in. Not perfect, as I was still feeling where the car was, but good enough. We got a lot of work done both on the short and long runs. I'm really happy with the car and we're in a good position for tomorrow. Pole is the goal for tomorrow. I haven't managed it at this track for a long time but I know I'm quick here, the car feels great and there's still some time in it, so that's my absolute focus right now.”
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 38 1'40.940 0.079 0.079
“A decent start to the weekend. Straight away the car started off with a balance that was in the right area. It's always interesting going from hot conditions to cooler ones between the afternoon and evening sessions. Adapting to that and knowing what to expect can be a challenge but our car was working well in both conditions, on low and high fuel. Graining on the front tyres when they're cold is the main thing we need to get to grips with in preparation for the race.”
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Ferrari 31 1'41.130 0.269 0.190
“I am fairly happy with the day. Obviously, it is not ideal to have a gearbox issue on Friday, but I am not worried and it shouldn't have any impact on the weekend. In general it was a very good Friday. This afternoon P1 was somewhat tricky, as we struggled a bit on the hot track. But during P2 in the evening things calmed down, the car also calmed down, it was quite good and I was happy. In the long run I struggled a bit with the front end, maybe I was a bit too aggressive, but overall the car felt good. To be honest, i think we should have a good pace. Hopefully tomorrow we have a similar feeling in Quali and put the car where it belongs.”
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull TAG 24 1'41.389 0.528 0.259
“My last Friday at the track for this season wasn’t bad. We had a few issues with the car today which meant aborting the last run was the sensible thing to do so we can check the car and make sure we are ready to go in the morning. Nothing is broken and there is nothing to worry about, just safe to stop early. The grip is always a bit difficult in the first session here with the temperatures being higher but already you can tell it’s a lot better as the track is cleaner in FP2. The Ultrasoft compound dropped off quite quickly, as you can tell by the short runs on them but the soft seems to be performing well. Ferrari look strong but we are up there also. I had a bit of traffic on my quick lap so I’m confident we are competitive, it should be an exciting qualifying tomorrow. Generally over the season we have improved from Friday to Saturday so I think tomorrow we will be strong.”
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull TAG 33 1'41.390 0.529 0.001
"It’s hot here, even if it’s night-time and the tyres get worked pretty hard both front and rear so relative to everyone I think we still look pretty good. If we all put it together tomorrow we’re more or less there and I’m confident it’ll be a good fight for third place. As expected Mercedes are ahead but I don’t think they are miles ahead, so looking at today maybe we can still race them on Sunday. It’s a dangerous circuit around here, but I don’t see any reason to hold back in practice. If it’s Monaco then I understand if you’re being careful about your equipment but here you can definitely push and go on the limit so we’ll see tomorrow. Maybe Nico is holding back a bit and not showing Lewis too much. I think everyone predicts Lewis to take pole so it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out tomorrow. I definitely felt comfortable today and am looking forward to the next two days.”
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari 34 1'41.464 0.603 0.074
“Today we had a very normal Friday practice, trying different things. The car was working pretty fine: it's just that I could not put a decent lap together, but overall it was a "basic" day. We had some tire graining, but this is very normal on the first day on track and it was not a big issue, as it's going to change for the race. Now we just have to work here and there and we should be ok.”
7 Valtteri Bottas Williams Mercedes 35 1'41.959 1.098 0.495
"As a Friday, everything went well. In FP1 we were doing some pretty specific tests with the engine and aerodynamics so, from the lap times, it’s difficult to comment. But FP2 felt a lot better and it looks like we are where we have been at the last few races. Once again, we’re battling with Force India. But I know there are improvements we can make to the car and there’s plenty more to come tomorrow.”
8 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 35 1'42.041 1.180 0.082
“It was a positive day for us. We managed to complete a big programme and we have plenty of information to analyse tonight. Looking at the times, I don’t see any big surprises: we are where we expected to be before the weekend started and we’ve done some good race preparation. The track evolved a lot between the sessions, especially with the temperature drop between FP1 and FP2, but I think we’re nearly there in terms of set-up. I think we have done a good job and I am really looking forward to tomorrow.”
9 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 36 1'42.264 1.403 0.223
“I was in the car for the evening session only, but it wasn’t a big disadvantage because that’s when the track conditions are representative of what we’ll experience in qualifying and the race. I felt quite good with the car straight away and I was able to find a good rhythm quickly. There’s still some work to do with the balance, because it’s not where I want it to be yet, but we should be able to find some extra grip overnight.”
10 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 36 1'42.268 1.407 0.004
"It was my last Friday so I would have loved to finished in first position! In fact, I’d like to that on my last Saturday and especially my last Sunday too! Today we were trying to find out as much about the tyres and the car as we could, particularly on long runs. It won’t be an easy race, but I will definitely do everything I can to have a good result here in Abu Dhabi for my final grand prix. I will try to enjoy it as much as I can – but the best enjoyment will come from a good race result, so that’s what I’m hoping we can achieve on Sunday.”

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Abu Dhabi GP
Sub-event Friday practice 2
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Lewis Hamilton , Felipe Massa , Nico Rosberg , Sebastian Vettel , Nico Hulkenberg , Sergio Perez , Daniel Ricciardo , Valtteri Bottas , Max Verstappen
Teams Ferrari , Williams , Red Bull Racing , Mercedes , Force India
Article type Practice report