Since before free start even, beat one of the Red Bull it had become the claim of Ferrari for qualifying of Abu Dhabi, and as that has been progressing over the weekend, the possibility of beating the two was gaining traction. Finally, only Max Verstappen will come out behind the cars of the Scuderia, which will come out in the assault of a podium to finish with a good taste in your mouth for a second half of the season disappointing.
After their good feelings in the free practice sessions, Kimi Räikkönen confirmed expectations being the better of the two Ferrari. The Finnish driver came to occupy the third place after his first lap in Q3, although its improvement end to stop the clock in 1:39.604 was not enough to repel the attempt by the end of Daniel Ricciardo, who beat him by 15 thousandths of a second.
The Finnish, with the concreteness that characterizes him, praised the performance of his car, and regretted that small errors in its turn good: “Has been a very good qualifying session, the car has behaved well all day. Today we have been much more rapid than in the free, and it has been almost enough for third place, but my last lap was not perfect in some places. It is difficult to say whether we will be able to fight with the Mercedes tomorrow, we are usually closer in race conditions. We will try to make a good start, and then you will see”.
For his part, Sebastian Vettel was not able to feel at ease at all with his car, and ended up behind Räikkönen in the three batches, so that will be out in fifth place. Over to 57 thousandths of Finnish with his final lap of 1:39.661, on the grounds that the smoke darted for the car of Verstappen, who went off track on his final lap prevented him from scratch more time.
“I am Not at all happy with the result. To begin with, I had some problems with the balance. In the end, it was ok, but on the last lap I had a mistake in the last sector. I Saw the smoke from the car of Verstappen, enough to lose a little concentration. We were expecting more after the morning, not to fight with the Mercedes but it does beat the Red Bull. I don’t think that we have been slower, but it has not gone out the back when it mattered”.
For the race, Vettel expected that the configuration of the car, that he describes as “aggressive”, to be of more help in the classification, and to leave with the tires ultrablandos should provide an advantage at the beginning with respect to the Red Bull: “Maybe we were a little aggressive trying to anticipate the track conditions, but tomorrow should be good. Anyway, the car is going well, and we improved today. Mercedes is a bit far away, but we hope to get ahead of the Red Bull tomorrow. We have the composite is more soft, which should give you an advantage when you leave and in the first round”.