Sebastian Vettel was “happy” with how qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix went but is ready for “a long race” on Sunday.
The Scuderia Ferrari driver will line-up third with team-mate Kimi Räikkönen behind him in fourth.
The top five will all start on the more durable ultrasoft tyre and Vettel says that was the team’s plan before the session at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“I think that today we correctly worked out the direction to take in terms of tyre strategy and we were able to follow the trend.
“Yesterday we had tried everything, but the Hypersoft tyres didn’t last for long, so we were quite confident they weren’t the tyres we wanted to start the race on.
“Today I knew in my second run I had some lap time to gain and I wanted to start on the Ultrasofts, so that’s why I was happy to take the risk and do my second run in Q2 on the same compound.”
The two Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport cars locked out the front row and Vettel feels they saved some performance for their final runs in Q3.
“In general, I’ve been happy with our session.
“For tomorrow I would have liked to start from the front row, but our main rivals probably had saved some performance cushion for the last run in Q3.”
The Ferrari has been quick on the straight this weekend and the German is hoping they can take advantage of that but is expecting “a long race.”
“As I told the guys in the garage, in the race we will fight as much as we can; then anything might happen.
“Today we had good speed on the straights, but I guess we were lacking a little bit of downforce in the last sector, so let’s see what we can do.
“For sure, it is going to be a long race”.