Abu Dhabi

Last Race: 23rd Nov Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi GP Results
Pos Driver
1 Lewis Hamilton
2 Felipe Massa
3 Valtteri Bottas

Sat: McLaren, Merc, Red Bull, Lotus

Saturday 24th March 2012

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Sat: McLaren, Merc, Red Bull, Lotus

Sat: McLaren, Merc, Red Bull, Lotus

Lewis Hamilton bagged pole position in Australia, beating Jenson Button while Michael Schumacher was third...

McLaren:
Lewis Hamilton: "Qualifying is an intense experience and, as drivers, we all put a huge amount of pressure on ourselves, but it's probably the part of the race weekend I most enjoy. On my quickest lap in Q3, I lost a little time in the final corner- maybe a tenth and a half - so it's massively encouraging to still be in the position I'm in. It's great for the team to have another one-two, too: that's a huge achievement from everybody, but we just need to make sure we keep pushing because the guys behind us won't give up. Tomorrow, there's a long haul down to Turn One, but I'll be making sure to get a good launch and stay ahead cleanly. Anyway, the key will be to look after your tyres in the race - they'll have a tough time, especially on 150kg of fuel. But we've hopefully got a car that has better race pace than it does qualifying pace. It's been a good weekend for the team so far, but we'll keep pushing massively for another strong result tomorrow."

Jenson Button: "Qualifying has been pretty good to me in the last two races. We've worked well as a team, and it's always nice when your engineer cues up on the radio at the end of Q3 and you can hear all the mechanics in the background cheering. I was pretty happy with my quick lap but it'll be a long, hot afternoon tomorrow so I'll be working hard to ensure I'm properly prepared and hydrated for the race. This place is so physically tough - not just on the cars and drivers, but it's tough on the mechanics too - they're wearing fireproof racesuits during the pitstops, which people often forget, so hopefully they're fit and ready for some strong pitstops tomorrow. For the strategists too, the heat and humidity are so high that you really don't know how the tyres will work and what strategies will best play out in the race. We've really got to be on your toes. Anyway, the most important thing is that we're on the front row. It's a long race tomorrow - I think anybody in the top four has a chance of winning this race, but our long-run pace in practice was reasonably consistent and I think we've got a lot of confidence as a team in what we're doing."

Mercedes:
Michael Schumacher: "I am more than happy about my return to the top three today, and the fact that our guys here and back at the factories in Brackley and Brixworth have enabled me to be here with the superb work they have done. It felt nice being in the qualifying press conference for the first time in over five years! What is obviously more important would be sitting here again tomorrow, and I will certainly try to do my best to achieve that. From where we were last year, I think it is quite an achievement, and I am pleased for our title partner PETRONAS at their home Grand Prix here in Malaysia. I would also be happy to give a good result back to Mercedes-Benz who have been so strongly supportive of me."

Nico Rosberg: "I would obviously like to be further up the grid, however unfortunately I lost some time on my quick lap after a poor first corner which cost me a few tenths and left me with a lot of tyre vibrations for the rest of the lap. However I'm quite confident that we can compete very well tomorrow as we have worked hard on our race pace over the weekend. I hope that I can move forward a few places and score some good points in front of our Malaysian supporters and our partner PETRONAS."

Red Bull:
Mark Webber: "It wasn't too bad, we had a reasonable run. In Melbourne we were a bit stronger in the race than in qualifying and looking at the gap to pole today, it seems we are two or three tenths off, which is a step in the right direction. We will re-group and have a look at how we go tomorrow. We've made progress with the car from Melbourne though. It's tight between the first four rows, there's some very good performances going on from quite a few teams - it's good for the fans."

Sebastian Vettel: "We didn't feel so good on the medium compound tyre, so we decided to go onto the harder tyre for the final lap, which was a step forward. I didn't feel that good in the car and was struggling to find the balance, so I didn't get everything out of it for one flying lap. There's not been much time to react since Australia - only one week. The McLarens were strong in Australia and they are strong here, so they are the ones to beat. I think in race trim we might look a bit better, but nonetheless I think you can see that we don't have the easiest car to drive, we are aware of that and are pushing very hard."

Lotus F1:
Kimi Raikkonen: "The car was working well today. Unfortunately, I made a couple of mistakes on my fastest lap which probably cost a couple of tenths. Without that, we were in with a shout for pole today. I got a little bit sideways at the exit of turn nine and we lost some time, but that's how it goes sometimes. We had some issues with KERS yesterday, but there was no repeat today; the car worked exactly as it should and it felt good. It's a shame we have a penalty on the grid but the car works well. Today was definitely a positive day. Tomorrow we start from tenth and will try to improve from there."

Romain Grosjean: "It's great to have both cars in Q3, and I'm really pleased to have been part of the top ten in both of my first two races. The team has done a great job to get the most out of the car, and we can be really pleased that we're fighting for the top positions. It's going to be an interesting race tomorrow, and hopefully we can move up even further. You never know what will happen with the weather here, our pace is not too far off the leaders and it will be a long race, so anything is possible. In these conditions managing the tyres is crucial. Qualifying is one thing, but the race will be a whole other matter. I'm looking forward to the race, if we can finish in the top five that would be great, but the most important thing is to get my first points of the season."

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