Valtteri Bottas qualified sixth and Felipe Massa eighth for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Both drivers improved their lap times throughout the three segments of qualifying, but did not have the grip required to challenge the second row of the grid. The positions from fifth to ninth were closely contested with five drivers covered by just four tenths of a second.
Rob Smedley, Head of Performance Engineering: “We probably got as much as we could out of today, given the conditions and how we’ve set up the cars. Obviously that’s not where we want to be, but we’re inside the top 10 and we can look forwards tomorrow and finish higher up. We’ve set the cars up well for the race knowing it would be a compromise for qualifying, so we are still aiming to finish on a high on the podium.”
Valtteri Bottas: “We expected slightly more from qualifying, but I think we have a competitive car for tomorrow to fight with Force India, Red Bull and hopefully Ferrari. The balance felt good today but we were just missing some speed, as we have been all weekend. It should be an exciting race and we will fight to the end for every position to finish the season on a high.”
Felipe Massa: “The lap wasn’t too bad, but the times were very tight at the top. The Force India was very strong and the two positions in front of me were split by just a tenth. Our long run pace is good, but the teams in front are strong so the race could be tough, a hard battle. But we have the opportunity to improve as there will be a few teams with similar pace to us in the fight.”