McLaren had to overcome issues in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi GP

Eric Boullier: "There’s no reason why both our drivers shouldn’t notch up decent results tomorrow, in fact.”

Both drivers had to overcome issues in qualifying. In Q2, they were each forced to abort their runs before setting a lap-time. In the final minutes, while Jenson secured sixth, Kevin failed to scrape through after encountering traffic. He wound up 11th. Into Q3, Jenson was unfortunate not to qualify higher – his fastest lap was good enough for eighth, but was only 0.071s away from sixth.

Jenson Button (Q3: 8th overall 1m41.964s):  “I thought we had a decent shot at getting P6 today, and in the end we were just seven-hundredths’ off. As the track temperature drops, you start to lose grip, and you’re never certain from which end that loss of grip will come. On my final lap, I had a lock-up into the hairpin at Turn Eight – it locked the loaded right-front wheel, which is quite unusual, so we didn’t get it quite right.

“Looking forwards, I’m not sure what our race pace will be like, as I didn’t get much running done on Friday. I don’t know where we’re going to be, but I intend to have some fun. One thing’s for sure, I’ll go out there and get the maximum out of the car.

“Considering where we were yesterday, this was an okay performance.”

Kevin Magnussen (Q2: 11th overall 1m42.198s): “I’m a bit disappointed, to be honest. There was a bit of traffic out there, but, more important, in Q2 I struggled quite a bit with the rear of the car – it just didn’t have much grip. It felt a bit better yesterday, so we’ll have to look at why that was.

“Our race performance looks promising though; certainly, our pace on the Prime tyre didn’t look too bad on Friday. So the Prime will probably be our race tyre, and we’ll be trying to get the best out of it tomorrow.

“As always, our target is to score as many points as possible.”

Eric Boullier - Racing director, McLaren Mercedes: “Jenson put in a solid performance in qualifying today, and will start tomorrow’s race from eighth slot on the grid. He’s well placed to mount an effective challenge for a decent clutch of world championship points tomorrow.

“Kevin was quick in Q1, but then made a mistake at Turn Six on his first hot lap in Q2 and chose to abort that lap. Through the first two sectors of his next and final Q2 lap, he was on it again; however, he lost time behind Checo [Perez] in sector three, losing a couple of tenths, which unfortunately left him 11th-quickest and prevented him going through to Q3. Had he not had that mishap, he, like Jenson, would have made it into Q3 easily.

“He’ll be disappointed, but, again, you may be well sure that he’ll be approaching tomorrow’s race in a positive frame of mind. There’s no reason why both our drivers shouldn’t notch up decent results tomorrow, in fact.”

McLaren Mercedes

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Abu Dhabi GP
Sub-event Saturday qualifying
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Drivers Jenson Button , Kevin Magnussen
Teams Mercedes , McLaren
Article type Qualifying report
Tags mclaren