Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton secured an eighth consecutive Silver Arrows front row lockout during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Nico took his 11th pole position of the season, Lewis his 15th front row start. The result means that the Silver Arrows have taken 18 poles from 19 races in 2014, with 12 front row lockouts. Mercedes-Benz today became the first engine supplier to claim every pole position of a Formula One season since Ford in 1969.
Thanks to the engineers, the setup of my car was very much to my liking at the end. We did an amazing job together. I had two great laps in Q3 – but qualifying is only one step to having a good weekend. I hope that I can continue my form from the last race and win but, as we all know, I need some help to take the title. It will be tough but these things happen a lot in sport. I will push flat out and keep the pressure high on Lewis to try to force him into a mistake like in Brazil and also hope that the Williams have a chance to be in between us. I already offered to pay for Valtteri to have a great wellness programme tonight so that he is fully relaxed and will put on a great performance tomorrow… let’s see what happens! I’m highly motivated and very happy about how today went for me. Finally I want to say thank you for all the support I’ve received out there. That’s new to me and a great feeling as I’ve never been in the situation of a Championship fight before.
I didn’t have the best of laps today. Q1 and Q2 were very good and I didn’t make any mistakes in Q3, it just wasn’t a good lap. I really enjoyed it though and the car was fantastic. Tomorrow is when it counts; my approach will be the same as always. I had very good pace throughout practice, particularly on the long runs which gives me confidence for tomorrow. It’s not my style to settle for second place but we’ll need to decide how to play it.
This evening, we achieved the first part of our mission this weekend with another front row lockout for the team. Nico did a fantastic job, like we have come to expect from him in qualifying this season. It has been a great run for him to get 11 poles this year and become the ‘pole champion’. Lewis didn’t put the perfect lap together but second place is still very much okay as a starting position for him. He’s totally professional and knows that tomorrow is what counts. A lot of people have been asking what we will be saying to the drivers before tomorrow’s race and the answer is: nothing, it’s too late. They are in the zone now and we will leave them in peace to prepare for tomorrow evening. I know they will put on a great race for us and all the Formula One fans around the world.
What a great final qualifying session of 2014! Congratulations to the team and the drivers on the overall performance this year: it is an incredible achievement to deliver a car that can score 12 front rows and 18 out of 19 pole positions. Looking specifically at this evening, we were very happy to secure the front row after an exciting session. It generally ran trouble-free: Lewis didn’t get the best out of the car on each of his Q3 runs but that shouldn’t take anything away from the amazing laps Nico put together – effectively taking pole twice in the final session. Overall, the stage is perfectly set for a fantastic Championship showdown tomorrow.
Source: Mercedes AMG Petronas