Abu Dhabi GP: Top 10 quotes after qualifying

Lewis today took his 61st career pole position - his third at the Yas Marina Circuit and 12th of the 2016 season so far.

ClaDriverChassisEngineTimeGap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 1'38.755  
“It's been an awesome weekend so far. It's rare that you end almost every session on top, so I'm very, very happy, with that. It's down to the hard work done by the mechanics and the engineers to get the car where I need it, so I'm grateful to them for that, as always. I felt so great out there tonight. It's really sad that this is the last Qualifying session we're going to do in this car! It's a dream for any driver to have something this good to drive. I've been doing my practice starts from the pole slot all weekend as I wasn't planning on being anywhere else for tomorrow. I came here knowing that was a big part of what I needed this weekend and, now I've got that, I can focus on the race. Getting away in front will be the next important step. You need a big pace delta to overtake here, so the start will be crucial. Tonight, though, I need to look at strategy and how things need to work for me to get the win. At the moment, my pace is that little bit better. But I can't control what happens behind me. All I can do is focus on my own race. You never know what might get thrown into the mix, so I'm just hoping my car is as beautiful as it has been so far this weekend and aiming for the win.”
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes Mercedes 1'39.058 0.303
“I came here to be on pole, so I'm not ecstatic today. I was feeling good in the car today and put in some good laps at the end. But Lewis did a great job and was just a few tenths quicker. I'm still in a good position to win the race and I want to end the season on a high. There are a few opportunities tomorrow, so I look forward to an exciting battle. The Yas Marina Circuit is a great track and I'm feeling very good before the last race of the year. I am proud and happy about how this season has gone for me until now. Tonight I will relax a bit with Vivian and some friends and come back tomorrow in top shape.”
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull TAG 1'39.589 0.834
“I’m definitely pleased I got the third place I was after. It feels really good. This morning was hard, I did a run quite early and I was nearly a second off Max so it didn’t look good on paper but the track warmed up so much that we didn’t really know what to expect coming into quali. Q1 was a little bit slow but then I picked it up and Q3 was solid enough so I was happy. We’ll see about the strategy. It’s just nice to do something different to Mercedes. We know on the same equipment they’re probably going to be quicker so we feel it should make us go a little bit longer at the start and then perhaps we can bring the race back to us towards the end when our tyres might be a bit different. For tomorrow of course I wish I was in their position, obviously they’ve both got a little bit more pressure than us this weekend, which I’m kind of envious about. But if the win is there for me tomorrow then I’ll go for it and there will be no holding back. You always have this level of respect as they’re fighting for the title, but if they leave the door open and I think I can pass, then I won’t make it easy for them and let them sail into the sunset.”
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari Ferrari 1'39.604 0.849
"It was a pretty good qualifying, the car has behaved well all day. Today we went a lot faster than we had been in practice, we did our best and it was almost enough for third place, but my last lap was not perfect in some places. It's hard to say if we'll be able to fight with the Mercedes tomorrow: usually in race conditions we are a bit closer, but I'm sure they will also be very strong. Tomorrow we can only do our best, we'll try to make a good start and then we'll see."
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari Ferrari 1'39.661 0.906
"I'm not really happy with the result. I was struggling a bit with the balance of the car to start with. In the end it was good, but then in the last lap I had a bit of a messy last sector. I saw a bit of smoke from Verstappen ahead, enough to lose a bit of concentration. After this morning we were expecting a bit more, not really to fight the Mercedes, but to beat Red Bulls. I don't think we were any slower, but we didn't get the lap together when it mattered, probably we were a bit on the aggressive side trying to anticipate the track conditions. For tomorrow it should be positive, for tonight it was a bit too much. Otherwise the car feels good, we managed to improve it today. Mercedes are a bit far away, but we hope to get ahead and be in front of Red Bulls tomorrow. We are on the softer compound, which should give us an advantage off the line and for the first lap."
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull TAG 1'39.818 1.063
“I’m pretty disappointed with sixth today. Qualifying up until Q3 went very well, we had no issues and didn’t touch the car. In my last run I was pushing hard and a few tenths up but I locked up into turn 11, if not for that I feel I would have been around P3. It was a bit unfortunate as my pace was there and the car felt good. It would have been great to be a bit higher on the grid as the tyre strategy means that by starting on the supersoft we need a really strong start and to be careful with the cars behind. We should be able to stay out a bit longer, the tyre seems to work well in the higher temperatures so this suits the start of the race. The pace has been there all weekend so I am definitely aiming to go forward tomorrow and work my way to the guys up front. I will put today behind me and focus on having a strong race and closing the season with another successful result.”
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India Mercedes 1'40.501 1.746
“I’m very happy and I think seventh place was probably the maximum result for us today. I’m pleased with my laps, especially considering the lack of running I have had this weekend, sitting out FP1 and missing half of final practice. Going into qualifying I thought it was going to be quite difficult, but we made good progress with the car during the session and I had the confidence to really push on all of my laps. Hopefully we can deliver more of the same tomorrow to end the season and my time with Force India in style. The cars ahead in the top six may be just out of reach, but we will give it a go and see where we end up.”
8 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1'40.519 1.764
“I am pleased with the result for the team, locking down the fourth row of the grid, but I am not very happy with my performance because I know I could have done better. I had a bit of understeer on my last lap so I tried to change my lines to counter it, but it didn’t really work. I could have been in P7 with a perfect lap, but with Nico just ahead it’s still a great result for the team. I am looking forward to our last race as teammates and beating the cars around us to finish the season on a high note. I want to outscore our rivals because finishing fourth in the championship is a really important objective for us.”
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 1'41.106 2.351
“I think we have to be happy today: it was definitely a good quali for us. The conditions are always difficult here, because you practice in hot conditions, then head into qualifying when the track conditions are much cooler. That means you need to anticipate what’s going to happen, and make set-up changes a little blindly as you don’t really know how the conditions are going to change. Happily, our car felt competitive, and making it into Q3 and finishing 9th in the final qualifying session of the season is extremely positive. We capitalised the performance of the car today and we got everything we possibly could out of it. There are no big threats from behind us in terms of the championship, and it’ll be hard tomorrow to finish higher than the position we’re already in, so let’s just enjoy this final race and hopefully finish on a high by scoring some good points.”
10 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1'41.213 2.458
"It definitely was not a very easy qualifying today, but I was happy with the result. To be honest, I wasn’t happy with the tyres but I just tried my hardest to set a good lap. I had a very good time in Q2, which was important. I definitely expected a bit more from my lap in Q3, but maybe I didn’t have as much grip in the tyres as Q2. We’re not far from where we expected to be and we will see what we can do compared to the other cars."

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