Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position in Abu Dhabi while Mark Webber pushed team-mate Sebastian Vettel off the front row…
Lewis Hamilton: “Those extra three-tenths came from my family!
“Our car works incredibly well around here. Our aero package really suits this track; the set-up was perfect, and everything came together perfectly for qualifying. My lap felt really great – I enjoyed it so much. I love this track!
“Still, I’m realistic: the race tomorrow is going to be tough. At the start, it’s down to the team to make sure the clutch performs perfectly because the getaway will be incredibly important. Our race pace is very strong, but so is Red Bull’s – and staying ahead will be tough, particularly with the double DRS zones.
“I really want to finish on a high for Vodafone McLaren Mercedes. I’ll give it everything I’ve got tomorrow.”
Jenson Button: “I shouldn’t really be starting this far back. All weekend, I’ve been pretty happy with the car, but, for some reason, we just couldn’t find the pace in qualifying – and we don’t know why.
“Obviously, our car is very quick around here – Lewis put it on pole by quite a margin – so there’s some more time to find.
“While starting sixth will make the race more difficult, there are two good DRS overtaking zones, so hopefully there’ll be plenty of overtaking. Also, our race pace has looked good all weekend, so I’m still feeling optimistic.”
Mark Webber: “I’m pleased with that, it was a good qualifying and I felt happy with the car. The track temperatures moved around from the afternoon to this evening, so you have to be careful how the car performs, but I felt comfortable in all three sessions and got a good momentum. McLaren were strong, but we’re in a good position and can have a good race from there.”
Sebastian Vettel: “Third in Q3 was a good effort, but I should have done a bit better on the final lap. I had a little mistake in the final sector of my last flying lap, but it was still good to be third. I’m not sure what the issue was at the end, I was just told to switch off the car.”
“One of the best ski jumpers of all times once said ‘Every chance is an opportunity and as far as we are concerned there are still plenty of chances tomorrow’.”
Pastor Maldonado: “It was a difficult session, especially in Q2 as we were on the limit in P10, but I saw the potential in the car. We then found a great balance in Q3 and I’m happy that we are back to looking strong again. I think we showed throughout all the weekend that we are competitive and I did my best in qualifying. I’m really happy for the team, for myself and looking forward to the race tomorrow. Points are very important for us so I will be pushing to the maximum.”
Bruno Senna: “I never want to be out of the top ten in qualifying but this weekend we have had a few problems, so that is how it is. Hopefully tomorrow the car will be quick in the race as we have a competitive car. We’ll work hard tomorrow and will still be trying to get into the points. For sure it is a track with some overtaking opportunities with the DRS so hopefully we can make some use of that and use it to our advantage.”
Kimi Raikkonen: “Qualifying was good. The car hasn’t felt fantastic all weekend but we decided we weren’t going to change the car’s set-up from where it was for the last race. It was the right choice because in the end the circuit came to us in qualifying where the car was the best it has been so far here. We’ll give tomorrow our best shot; Let’s see if we can make a good start to get right behind the Red Bulls, and then we’ll see what happens after that.”
Romain Grosjean: “It wasn’t a great qualifying lap for me today, and P10 is not where we want to be on the grid. In the last run in Q3 I had no grip so wasn’t able to find more pace. The car had felt fine before that and we looked good through the other qualifying sessions. It just means I have some more work to do in the race and I think there’s more to come from me and the car.”