Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher qualified in eighth and 14th places this evening at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Both drivers completed two runs in Q1 (prime/option tyres) and Q2 (option/option tyres). Nico completed just one run on option tyres in Q3 to finish in eighth place. A small mistake from Michael in Q2 prevented him from qualifying higher than 14th place today.
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.
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.
A good qualifying session for Nico today, considering the car that we have at the moment. He drove very well, and the team did a good job to get him out at the right time and maximise our potential. We squeezed as much performance out of the car as possible today, and eighth place is a small improvement on recent performances. It was a little frustrating for Michael as a small mistake on his quick lap in Q2 prevented him from finishing higher up the field. But overall, a more positive day for where we are with the car, and we will wait to see what happens in the race tomorrow.
A good lap from Nico in the final qualifying session this evening. He had only one opportunity and his lap time is about six-tenths closer to championship leader Vettel than at the last couple of races. 0.021 seconds separate Nico from seventh placed championship contender Alonso. Michael looked quite strong on used options but could not improve his lap time after a small mistake. Congratulations to Lewis on his 25th pole position in a McLaren Mercedes and compliments to our partner team – well done to them for getting the best possible job done on a Saturday.
Source: Mercedes AMG