Max Verstappen is quite pleased with today’s qualifying session and believes that he and the team extracted the maximum potential from their car on this track while Alexander Albon says that his qualifying was pretty average and he isn’t pleased with the result.
Red Bull couldn’t compete with Mercedes in Abu Dhabi, but Verstappen was able to beat Ferrari drivers Leclerc and Vettel while Albon was half a second behind Verstappen and finished sixth fastest.
Because of Bottas’ grid penalty, Verstappen will start in the front row behind world champion Hamilton while Albon will start fifth behind two Ferraris.
“I’m pretty pleased with qualifying and we got the most out of the car,” said Verstappen.
“Of course you always want to be ahead or a little closer to pole but I think this was the best we could do and there wasn’t much more in it. There are always tracks on the calendar where certain cars work better than others and it’s easier to find a good set-up.”
“This is a Mercedes track and for us it was a bit more tricky to get everything out of the last sector. With Valtteri’s penalty I will start from the front row which will help in the race.”
“The start will be important as overtaking is difficult around here but it’s a long race and we will of course be going for the win as always. Mercedes will be quick and it won’t be easy but as a Team we will make it as hard as possible, put them under pressure, and fight them until the end.”
“Qualifying was pretty average for me and I’m not all that satisfied with my result,” said Albon.
“I struggled from the beginning of Q1 and just didn’t get the most out of it which is frustrating. It was tricky out there and quite slippery but the race pace looks ok for tomorrow. Mercedes look quite fast so they’ll be strong and I expect Valtteri to make his way through the field, so we’ll need to get a good start.”
“I think the degradation is quite high which is why most of us are starting on the medium tyre but it will be interesting with Seb who starts on the soft. We’ll give it everything tomorrow and try to make something happen.”
“I think it was a really solid qualifying with P3 for Max and P6 for Alex, which with Valtteri’s penalty, will be P2 and P5,” said Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.
“I think both drivers did a very good job today with good grid positions to hopefully attack tomorrow. We elected to start the race on the harder compound whilst Ferrari went down a different route with the soft so that will make for an interesting and tactical race tomorrow.”
“We’ve equalled our best qualifying result here at Abu Dhabi in the hybrid era so that’s really encouraging and we tend to have good race pace so hopefully we can challenge the Mercedes tomorrow.”