Friday Practice – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Driver Interviews)

Friday Practice – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Driver Interviews) 

The final race weekend has now started at the Yas Marina Circuit so let’s take a look at what the drivers had to say following Friday Practice which took place earlier today.

FERRARI – Friday Practice Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Driver Interviews)

Sebastian Vettel


Sebastian Vettel

FP1 – P1

FP2 – P2

“This was a good day.”

“The car and the balance were good and I think we were all very close. If we can do the usual step forward on Saturday and improve the car a little bit, then it should be a good day, but I don’t think we need to do too much.”

“We also tried something aimed at the next season today. I think we are ready for next year, but right now it is important to finish this season in the right way, because the better the result, the better the mood within the team.”

“Saturday is always particular and different, but we’ll see what happens. We need to get everything right.”

“This is not the worst track at which to overtake, but usually it depends on where you are and who you want to overtake.”

Kimi Raikkonen


Kimi Raikkonen

FP1 – P4

FP2 – P4

“On Friday, we always try to make progress in the set-up of the car. For sure there are things we have to improve; there is some work to be done, but that’s the normal story.”

“Today, it was not easy to put a good lap together; the car felt very good in some places, while in some others it could have been better.”

“It’s too early to have a clear idea; later this evening we’ll analyze all the data that we gathered in both sessions and we’ll try to do our best over the weekend.”

MERCEDES – Friday Practice Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Driver Interviews)

Lewis Hamilton


Lewis Hamilton 

FP1 – P2

FP2 – P1

“It’s been a good Friday, but I’m happy that it’s the last one of the season. We got lots of laps in today and made good progress with the balance of the car.”

“We have a bit of work to do, but I feel like we’re quite competitive here. It’s relatively close still, but I like that.”

“Especially for this weekend, I’ve got a helmet with gold leaf for the World Championship, which I’m really grateful for.”

Valtteri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas

FP1 – P5

FP2 – P5

“We dedicated the first practice session to testing for next year. We ran different kinds of mechanical and especially aero tests. So we didn’t learn that much for this weekend in FP1, but definitely a lot for next year.”

“The second session was more straightforward. I was missing a bit of time in the last sector, so as a team we need to work on that.”

“The temperatures here are ok; it’s definitely warm in the cockpit, but we’ve been to worse places. Overall, it’s been a pretty good day, we just need to find some more pace from my side for tomorrow.”

RED BULL RACING – Friday Practice Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Driver Interviews)

Daniel Ricciardo

Daniel Ricciardo

FP1 – P10

FP2 – P3

“A pretty good Friday. This morning we couldn’t really look at the lap times as we tried a little bit of testing for next week. However this afternoon we put everything in the car that we needed and it was solid.”

“On low fuel we looked quite strong but I thought we would be a bit quicker with high fuel, so we still need to find a bit there. Nothing in particular, just the general grip wasn’t quite there and I was sliding around so we’ll try and find a way to keep the tyres working a bit better in the night conditions.”

“I think it’s still Friday numbers unfortunately, as we were ahead of one Ferrari and one Mercedes today. We expect them to be quick tomorrow, so if we have the same pace tomorrow as we had today I expect them to jump us. We still need to find a bit more speed.”

Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen

FP1 – P3

FP2 – P6

“We tried a few different things today to see what suited the conditions. I was pretty happy in the first practice but not so much in the second one. We know what was changed which resulted in me not being able to turn as well as I would have liked so we should be able to fix that for tomorrow.”

“This track especially has a lot of corner sequences so we need to be able to get the turning of the car spot on to be able to compete.”

“We need to improve the set-up but we still don’t look too far away so this is a positive to take from the day’s work. The track is pretty slippery, if you run off-line, clip some kerb or find a sandy patch it is easy to lose grip, I think that is why we have seen a few mistakes.”

“The engine we had today was an old one, it is definitely not 100% so we will change that tomorrow to improve the power. With a new engine and an improvement in the setup I am confident we will be in a good position.”

“Mercedes are still looking like the team to beat, as they have been all year so we will try to get as close as we can.”

MCLAREN – Friday Practice Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (Driver Interviews) 

Fernando Alonso

Fernando Alonso

FP1 – P7

FP2 – P10

“We had a productive day today. No matter how many points we might take on Sunday, the Constructors’ Championship positions seem to already be decided, so for the last couple of races our main priority on Fridays has been testing new items.”

“We had a lot on our plate today, but everything went smoothly and the team did an amazing job to fit everything into the programme.”

‘For tomorrow, making it into Q3 and scoring points on Sunday remain the target, but it’s going to be challenging.”

“We saw today that we’re in a very tight group in the middle of the pack with two Williams, two Renaults and two Force Indias.”

Stoffel Vandoorne


Stoffel Vandoorne

FP1 – P8

FP2 – P12

“A pretty good day for us. Obviously FP1 is not the most important session here as it takes place in very hot conditions, so the focus is always more on FP2 because we see the same conditions and temperatures that we will face in qualifying and the race.”

“It’s been quite a productive day. We felt quite comfortable in the car and as usual it looks very close in the midfield – we’re in a very tight battle with Force India, Renault and Williams.”

“We tried a lot of stuff today and if we can put everything together tomorrow and pull out some good, clean laps, hopefully we should be in a reasonably strong position.”

Lots more coming soon!

The Formula 1 Girl 🙂



Images – Kym Illman


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