Lewis Hamilton admits he struggled with the balance of his Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team car as he qualified second behind team-mate Valtteri Bottas at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Hamilton had looked favourite to secure a twelfth pole position of the season after ending final practice earlier in the day at the top of the timing screens, but the World Champion ended Q3 0.172 seconds slower than his team-mate and had to settle for second place, three-tenths of second quicker than Sebastian Vettel.
“For me, practice was great. Then I made some changes in anticipation of the track cooling which I think were not the right ones in hindsight,” said Hamilton.
“But it was good to experiment a little which I hadn’t really done all year long. However, that’s why I struggled a little bit with the balance in qualifying.”
The Brit has yet to win a race after securing the championship earlier in that season and will have to do some overtaking if he is to end that statistic.
“Now we can get on with the race tomorrow,” said the British driver. “It’s a very hard track to overtake, but I will give it everything for sure.”