Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton qualified on the second row in third and fourth places for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix today.
Nico´s tyre strategy: Q1, new prime/new option; Q2, used option; Q3, new option/new option. Lewis´ tyre strategy: Q1, new prime/new option; Q2, used option/new option in/out; Q3, used option/new option. Lewis spun exiting T13 on his final timed lap for a reason that is currently unclear while he was completing a faster lap. His car will be examined on its return to the garage to ascertain the precise cause of the spin
It´s great to have another positive Saturday for our team. Again we are the best of the rest which is our aim for the weekend and starting from P3 and P4 are great positions for us to score lots of points in the Constructors´ Championship. My last lap in Q3 wasn´t great today but there was only a small chance to improve my time anyway. Mark and Seb were just too quick today for me to get on the front row but I´m confident that we can have a good race from here tomorrow.
Fourth place feels pretty good this evening considering the time was set on my first Q3 lap. Unfortunately on my second lap it looks like something gave way at the back of the car as I got on the power at the chicane and it just snapped out, which forced me into a spin. It was a great lap and might just have been enough to get us onto the front row as I was fourth-tenths up on my first effort but these things happen. The car felt really strong today so we´ll hope for a good start and then challenge to make up some positions in the race tomorrow. The good thing is that we are ahead of Ferrari and that´s where we need to stay. I´m looking forward to tomorrow and hope we can get a good result.
That was a rather more exciting qualifying session than we have seen at recent races! Nico put together a very strong session, topping the times in Q2 and securing a strong third place in the final part. As for Lewis, he was well up on his best time to that point – enough for us to start getting a little excited on the pit wall – when the car spun. It now appears there was a technical problem which we will investigate fully when the car returns. We will never know how that lap could have panned out but we were certainly closer on ultimate performance than we have been in a while. Looking to the race, we were not particularly happy with the car on our long runs yesterday, but the drivers and their engineers did a great job overnight to make some changes and improve the situation. The track has also changed significantly, so we will have to see how things turn out. Strategy will clearly be a major consideration for the race and I am sure we will see a mix of one and two stop strategies. It certainly promises to be an intriguing race.
We can be satisfied with third and fourth places this afternoon. Ifs, buts and maybes don´t count in motorsport so it doesn´t really matter whether or not our positions could have been even better. Nico did a strong job today while Lewis was four-tenths faster than his best time until the spin. We will of course have a good look into the cause of the technical problem on the car. We have secured two good starting positions and now we need to have a clean first lap and take our opportunities in the race. It will be a tough race against Lotus in terms of strategy and perhaps even Ferrari. We will be doing all we can to race hard tomorrow and score another good haul of points.
Source: Mercedes AMG Petronas