Continuing their poor form from Friday, Toro Rosso duo Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat were both knocked out of Q1 while Pascal Wehrlein made into Q2.
Jolyon Palmer: “I’m really happy with how we’ve been going ; I’ve been in Q2 at every race I’ve qualified for after the Malaysia GP now so it’s been a strong run for us including today. Yas Marina isn’t the easiest of tracks for us but I did a really good lap in Q1 and managed to beat Wehrlein in Q2, so fifteenth is probably as good as it can get. I think our race pace is a bit stronger, so we should be able to move forward. If something kicks off at the start and we make up some places then we have the pace to stay up there.”
Kevin Magnussen: “We’ve been lacking pace so far here in Abu Dhabi and that was the same for qualifying today ; it just hasn’t been my weekend. We had three runs planned but I was called into the weighbridge so that didn’t help. Hopefully we can have a good race, as a lot more can happen and we’ll be looking for every opportunity to fight our way forward”
Pascal Wehrlein: "My fifth time in Q2 this year and that's a really special way to finish in the last qualifying of the year! In Q2 I only had one set of Ultrasoft tyres so my second run was the limit and it wasn't possible to improve any more. But I think we have to be happy with P16 and my thanks to the team because together we've done a really great job so far this weekend. I like the track but I don't think it's our best one, so we're really pushing hard to end the season in a positive way. Well, who knows. We're in front of Sauber and our pace looks really strong, so you never know what might be possible and what might happen in front of us. I think we should dream big and push for points. Why not? Brazil was a tough day for us, so I would love to put the smile back on everyone's faces."
Esteban Ocon: "Yes, my qualifying was a disaster. Free practice looked positive this morning and we were ahead, but as soon as we put the Ultrasoft on I was standing still and my team mate and everyone else was improving. There was nothing more in terms of pace on that tyre for me. I was losing speed and we have to look at what the problem was because for sure, there was one. It's a great track, which I enjoy, and up until qualifying the signs are all good in terms of our performance. I'm starting at a disadvantage in terms of grid position, but if we can get a good start – and we know we can – then I hope we can recover some places and have a good race."
Carlos Sainz: “Honestly, it’s being a very tough last two days here in Abu Dhabi, which is a bit painful as I really wanted to finish the season with a clean weekend and enjoy myself. The team has struggled to solve the problem regarding the rear of the car and, because of this, we haven’t had much track time unfortunately. We’re working hard and every time we do a change on the car it seems to be positive – the team has done a great job since yesterday. Obviously, this has conditioned our set-up and we’ve not had much time to develop it or get used to the track – something which is not ideal when you’re preparing for a race. Tomorrow we are starting from very back on the grid but let’s see what we can do – I will definitely try and enjoy it, hope for no reliability concerns and follow a good strategy. Let’s go for it!”
Daniil Kvyat: “After all the problems we’ve been struggling with this weekend, today’s result is actually the maximum we could achieve, at least from my side – I don’t think I could’ve done a better lap to be honest. We’ve had very little track time during the practice sessions, so it was difficult to go into qualifying without many laps under my belt… I’m happy with the recovery and we still have a chance to fight tomorrow, when I will try and do a clean race and see where we end up. We’re also going blind into the race, as we didn’t complete any long runs, but we will keep fighting until the end, that’s for sure!”
Marcus Ericcson: “A disappointing qualifying for me. The car has been difficult to drive throughout the weekend, especially on the ultrasoft tyres. We were already struggling to find a good feel on them yesterday in the practice sessions. We knew that it would not be an easy qualifying. On my last lap in Q1 it was a shame that I pushed a bit over the limit and locked up the tyres into Turn 17. I lost all my lap time there. When it comes to tomorrow, the long-run pace was looking encouraging compared to the short-runs, so I am still optimistic that we can be stronger in the race.”
Felipe Nasr: “I felt that I extracted the maximum out of the car today. Although it was not enough to make it into Q2. I had a clean lap on my second set of ultrasoft tyres, so putting in a decent lap time. It was positive that we were able to make the tyres work better than on my first set. Besides that, I again had a misfire on my quick lap. Thinking about tomorrow, we need to make sure that we maintain our tenth position in the championship. This is our clear objective.”