Fernando Alonso qualified a disappointing P7 in Abu Dhabi, slotting in ahead of Nico Rosberg and Felipe Massa...
Fernando Alonso: "In all three free practice sessions, we were always around this position, so it would have been too optimistic to hope for more in Q3: a place between fifth and eighth was within our expectations going into the session and that's where we are. I did almost the same time on three occasions between Q2 and Q3, which means there was nothing more to come. I am pleased with the work we have done today, because we squeezed every last drop of performance out of the car. The updates we brought here have improved our performance but the others have not been relaxing on the sofa watching television while twiddling their thumbs...Usually, Saturday is the day we suffer the most, while on Sunday things always go better: let's hope that will also be the case this time. It's also true that with so little tyre degradation, the strategic choices are much more limited and so too the opportunities to make up places. We know that in the three remaining races, we must score fourteen points more than Vettel and that is our one and only objective."
Felipe Massa: "This is definitely a rather difficult and complicated weekend, at least up until tonight. We were hoping to be able to start a bit further up, at least on the front three rows of the grid. In Q3, I opted to run a different programme to my team-mate, partly because I only had one set of new Options available. Looking back, one could say that was not the best choice, but it's always easy to be wise with hindsight. I did not have all the updates we brought here: that was definitely not great, but looking at Fernando's result, it didn't make a difference. On the last lap I had a bit of oversteer in one corner which cost me a few hundredths: maybe I could have been eighth but it would not have changed much. Honestly, today it would have been hard to do more than this. Let's hope that tomorrow, thanks to a race pace that is traditionally our strong point, we can make up some places. This circuit seems to suit some cars particularly well: the McLaren was not this quick in the last three races, but here Hamilton took pole really smoothly."
Nico Rosberg: "Qualifying worked out well for us today as P8 was our target and we were able to achieve that position. I'm ahead of a Ferrari and a Lotus so that's a good step, and we have made some improvements with our set-up work this weekend. Thanks to my mechanics today who did a great job to fix an issue with the brakes just before qualifying and make sure that the car was ready in time. It won't be an easy task for us to move up the field tomorrow but I'm looking forward to the race and to seeing what we can achieve."
Michael Schumacher: "My qualifying did not exactly go according to plan today. We changed our approach a little for the last run in Q2, and then I did not properly make use of it in the first sector and particular in turn one. So we are not quite where we would want to have qualified but I will certainly try to make the best out of my starting position tomorrow."
Nico Hulkenberg: "I expected a bit more from today, but it seemed that our car was no so competitive in the cooler temperatures because I felt much happier during final practice in the sunny conditions. So maybe the lower temperatures caught us out. I will start from eleventh, just one position away from the points, and I have a free choice of tyres so hopefully we can use that to our advantage to come away with some points."
Paul di Resta: "I've been struggling with the balance and the car has been quite difficult to drive this weekend, so it was always likely to be quite a tough qualifying session. Our long run pace hasn't looked too bad but I'm just struggling to get the ultimate performance from the car. We're still in a reasonable position to try and score points and I'm feeling comfortable in the new chassis. We will play the long game tomorrow because I think it's likely to be one of those races where tyres will probably last longer than expected."
Sergio Perez: "My last lap was a good one and I think this is just about the maximum possible for us here. Q3 today wasn't within reach, although yesterday I hoped it would be. I have confidence in our race pace and believe we will be able to score points tomorrow."
Kamui Kobayashi: "I have been struggling with the balance of the car since we got here. We did a lot of changes and managed to improve it to a certain extent, but I still had problems with the front brakes locking. This was also the reason for the mistake on my final flying lap in Q2. I hit the brakes, the front wheels locked and that was it. I think in race conditions we should be better, but it won't be easy to improve. The circuit allows for overtaking, but you also need to have the speed for it."
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