Lewis Hamilton: “Pole is the goal for tomorrow”

by Paul Hensby

Lewis Hamilton felt it was a smooth day in Abu Dhabi after ending fastest in both free practice sessions on Friday ahead of team-mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg.

The Briton was quick out of the box on Friday and took his Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team machine to the top of the timesheets in the opening session, with his 1:42.869 lap 0.374 seconds clear of the driver he trails by twelve points heading into this weekend’s finale.

Hamilton continued his strong day by setting the pace in the much faster second session, which will have more of a bearing for the rest of the weekend than the earlier session as it took place around the time both qualifying and the race will later in the weekend, with his time of 1:40.861 enough to pip Rosberg by 0.079s.

“It’s been a great day,” insisted Hamilton. “Generally very smooth with no real issues. The first run in FP2 wasn’t ideal as there was so much traffic and I didn’t get to do a flying lap. But after that I managed to get a decent time in.

“Not perfect, as I was still feeling where the car was, but good enough. We got a lot of work done both on the short and long runs. I’m really happy with the car and we’re in a good position for tomorrow.

“Pole is the goal for tomorrow. I haven’t managed it at this track for a long time but I know I’m quick here, the car feels great and there’s still some time in it, so that’s my absolute focus right now.”

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