NOTEBOOK – Abu Dhabi Qualifying

Features Notebook

Lewis Hamilton has beat Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg to take pole position for the title deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The world champion looked to have the slight edge over his team-mate throughout the session.

Pole Lap – L. Hamilton

Hamilton comes to the line heads to the inside takes a bit of kerb before running across to the outside on exit. Head back to the inside for turn two where he opens it up through three and four then breaks at the 100m for the chicane. Nicely into five continues to break for 90 kph turn six says at low speed before the hairpin. He then put his foot down on exit heads to the outside along the strait.

Before breaking between the 150 and 100 metre boards for turn eight going down to 7kpm. As he runs out of nine goes to the inside gets a good exit then builds speed along through the straight before breaking to 99kpm into turn eleven. Good through twelve and thirteen build speed before breaking for fourteen.

Runs to the outside as he builds speed around the harbour, through fifteen rolls nicely to sixteen, seventeen and eighteen. Rolls to the wall, before crossing the track. He then build speed as he rounds back and great exit from twenty one runs along the kerb and crosses line 01:38.755

Hamilton is looking at maybe taking a gamble in strategy in the race tomorrow knowing it is a slim possibility of the title. He told Sky Sports “I’ve got everything to gain. I’m not in the lead of the championship, Nico has it super easy in life and can finish second or third tomorrow and is champion.”

Red Bull

Daniel Ricciardo out qualified both the Ferrari’s of Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel which underlines there pace over a single lap. But getting through to that session he used a ultrasoft tyre to set his to fastest lap in Q2 which is the tyre he starts the race on.

However, we know that the ultrasoft only managed twenty laps on the Haas of Esteban Gutierrez, the longest run. It is not only him on the back foot has all the top ten appear to be on that compound as well. But it do Red Bull undercut to get ahead or not as we know Hamilton is more aggressive on tyres.

“I’m definitely pleased I got the third place I was after. It feels really good. This morning was hard, I did a run quite early and I was nearly a second off Max so it didn’t look good on paper but the track warmed up so much that we didn’t really know what to expect coming into quali.”

“perhaps we can bring the race back to us towards the end when our tyres might be a bit different. For tomorrow of course I wish I was in their position, obviously they’ve both got a little bit more pressure than us this weekend, which I’m kind of envious about.” Ricciardo said

We know Red Bull appeared to be quite even in terms of race pace with Mercedes but both Ricciardo and Verstappen had a messy session. They will need to hope that doesn’t carry into the race

Force India v Williams

While everyone is focused rightly on the battle between Rosberg and Hamilton this weekend there’s another potential battle between Force India and Williams over fourth place in the constructors. It’s unlikely that I feel that will change unless something dramatic happens at the front.

Force India have the upper hand starting ahead and we know they may have the better car overall as both Williams have had a bad day. They should be better at their pace they have a bigger budget and after two great seasons have been on the back foot.

Felipe Massa said  “It definitely was not a very easy qualifying today, but I was happy with the result. To be honest, I wasn’t happy with the tyres but I just tried my hardest to set a good lap.”

“I had a very good time in Q2, which was important. I definitely expected a bit more from my lap in Q3, but maybe I didn’t have as much grip in the tyres as Q2.”

Button disappointment

Jenson Button heads into his last race starting just outside the top ten which is bound to be a slight disappointment given the fact that he only missed out on Q3 by a few tenths. But he can come back but I think getting decent points may prove to be too difficult for him. But don’t count him off as he could pull something together in the race.

But seemed to be in good spirits saying “It was good fun out there this evening – I enjoyed it. As the track cooled down, we needed to balance the car up with more front-end grip, but didn’t have anything left in the car, so the resulting understeer cost me a little bit of time.”

Starting Grid


Title maths





Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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