Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn described his team’s qualifying session today in Abu Dhabi as ‘reasonably straightforward’. Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher qualified seventh and eighth respectively.
“It was a reasonably straightforward qualifying session for us today with both drivers and the team doing a very good job,” he said. “There was a little difference in straightline speed on Michael’s car which hampered his pace in relation to Nico so we need to have a look at that and understand why. Otherwise we are in good shape for the race and looking forward to tomorrow.”
Rosberg thought he could have got a bit more out of the car today, but is happy with his grid position. “We didn’t quite get the maximum from our qualifying session today which was a shame,” he said. “The track temperatures dropped during the session and it became more difficult to get the tyres working.
“On my second run in Q3, I had too much traffic in front of me to warm the tyres up sufficiently and that hurt me on the quick lap, otherwise I think we could have been further ahead. However I’m on the good side of the grid and it should be a fun race tomorrow.”
Schumacher expects that the race tomorrow will probably be quite straightforward as well, and thinks that his qualifying position reflects the pace of the car.
“It was quite a tight qualifying today,” said the seven-time world champion. “I aborted my last lap in Q1 to save tyres, and having some fresh tyres left is the good news from Q3 as well. Overall it was a normal qualifying where we would probably not have much more in the pocket.
“I also expect a straightforward race and we will try to make the most out of opportunities that arise. The tyres should not be a big issue here, and we tested their behaviour in P2 yesterday which took place at the same time as the race. The fact that the track temperatures will drop during the race might be good for us as we struggle a bit with the tyre temperatures here.”