Lewis Hamilton qualified in P2 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying. The Briton gives his comments on the session.
“Max did a great lap today, we just couldn’t compete with that time at the end there,” said the Briton.
“We just couldn’t answer to that lap, that was a fantastic lap from him, but we’re in a good position with our tyres.
“Generally through practice, FP3 at least, the car was feeling solid, through the qualifying session it felt like it got a bit harder to try and gain speed and then the last two laps weren’t easy to really pull out the time.
“I don’t know if it’s track temp or what, the last lap was OK, definitely can’t complain, but of course we wish we were a bit quicker today.”
Max Verstappen managed to snatch pole in part thanks to Sergio Perez compromising his own lap in order to provide the Dutchman with a tow. Lewis was asked if Mercedes discussed a similar strategy.
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“No, it wasn’t discussed. We’ve never, ever really done that.
“I like Valtteri to focus on… We work as a team and Valtteri needed to get the best job done for himself to have both of us as high up as possible.
“It’s never something we discuss or we work on and I don’t believe it should have been done.”
On paper Mercedes seems to have an advantage over Red Bull because they will start the race on hard tyres, while the Austrian team will start of softs. However, Hamilton is careful with his predictions.
“It’s interesting. I’m always kind of skeptical with everything so it’ll be interesting when we go back and look at the information and onboard laps.
“It’s very rare that people lock up in Turn 1 but if he truly did lock up in Turn 1 then maybe…
“Whether or not we’re in a better position in terms of that tire or maybe they know something we don’t and that soft tire was their plan all the time…
“We struggled a bit more on the soft tire for the long runs, so I think we’ve got the right tire, but we’ll see tomorrow.”
In the end Lewis says he enjoyed the close title fight throughout the season.
“It’s been an incredible year, an amazing battle. I’m grateful I’ve had such a great battle with Max and his team.
“I think they’ve done an exceptional job and shown true strength and so it’s pushed us to the limit in ways that we needed.
“And we have grown stronger as a team in ways we didn’t know we could grow. It’s been amazing.
“I hope that we have many more seasons like this,” concluded the seven-time champion.