A disappointing day for Williams at the Yas Marina Circuit while Carlos Sainz wins the quali battle at Toro Rosso.
Daniel Ricciardo: “I’m happy with the session; I think we’ve done really well. We were able to improve in every session and the weekend so far has been pretty smooth. Our lap time kept on getting better and better and that’s when you know the session’s gone well. You find a few tenths each run. Last year, one of my best qualifying performances was here and today sort of backed that up. Our target for tomorrow is definitely to keep the Williams behind us and find a way around Perez. He was really quick today. I hope they fade a bit in the race. It should be interesting tomorrow. We won’t have an easy time passing them on track but at least it’s a track where you can overtake. The DRS zones are good and you can definitely have a go.”
Daniil Kvyat: “Not running in FP3 unfortunately comprised our day and the car didn’t feel right. We were hoping it wouldn’t affect us too much this evening, but it did and I just didn’t feel comfortable out there. Not running in P3, after the small issues which we had yesterday, meant we had to go into qualifying a bit blind. Luckily we did a few long runs in P2 yesterday which was quite useful and will be helping us tomorrow. We will try to make up some places then, so hopefully we will be able to take something out of it.”
Valtteri Bottas: “We expected slightly more from qualifying, but I think we have a competitive car for tomorrow to fight with Force India, Red Bull and hopefully Ferrari. The balance felt good today but we were just missing some speed, as we have been all weekend. It should be an exciting race and we will fight to the end for every position to finish the season on a high.”
Felipe Massa: “The lap wasn’t too bad, but the times were very tight at the top. The Force India was very strong and the two positions in front of me were split by just a tenth. Our long run pace is good, but the teams in front are strong so the race could be tough, a hard battle. But we have the opportunity to improve as there will be a few teams with similar pace to us in the fight.”
Carlos Sainz: “I’m very pleased and happy with today, especially after such a difficult day yesterday! I definitely needed a clean Saturday. I managed to build up my confidence and set-up my car as I wanted during what was a very smooth FP3. Today’s qualifying was tough, as I had to get used to the twilight conditions and get the braking references right – something I wasn’t able to do yesterday in FP2 because of the lack of running. It was important for me to have a good qualifying here and I have to say I’m very satisfied with P10. I was able to stay calm and did a very good lap when it mattered. It wasn’t an easy day to get into Q3 but we managed it and it feels good!”
Max Verstappen: “It wasn’t the easiest of days, but we tried to make the most out of it and we can be happy with our result. In today’s qualifying session I think we maximised the potential of the car. I think all the runs were very good, except for the last one in Q2 – we have a certain way to prepare for a lap and I got caught in traffic so I had to back off, losing tyre temperature, and then you don’t have the confidence to brake hard into the first corner and lose one and a half tenths… But at the end of the day a P11 is a good position to fight from in tomorrow’s race – I’m the first one with new tyres so it looks promising, as this track is quite hard on the tyres. I think we have good race pace, so it will be interesting tomorrow and I’m really looking forward to it!”