Abu Dhabi GP Qualifying: Webber turns tables on Vettel as Red Bull dominates

Mark Webber will start his last Abu Dhabi GP from pole

Mark Webber will start his last Abu Dhabi GP from pole

Mark Webber got a rousing cheer when he arrived in parc ferme after claiming pole position with the fastest lap in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the sparkling Yas Marina Circuit, while his Red Bull teammate second best in the twilight session.

Webber was the only driver to dip below the 100 second mark with his best time of 1:39.957, which was 0.118 of a second better than Vettel’s effort, the World Champion telling his crew that “we lost it in Turn 1, sorry guys.”

Nevertheless the pair did enough to ensure that the front row of the grid will be all blue on race day.

Webber summed up his evening’s work,  “This weekend has gone pretty smoothly. Not the smoothest path to the start of Q2 or Q1, we were not electric. We changed the car quite a bit and I got more and more comfortable as the session went on. It made me more comfortable in the final sector, where Seb has been quick, so I was able to match him there and stay [quick] where I had been quick already.”

Mark Webber celebrates his 13th F1 career pole

Mark Webber celebrates his 13th F1 career pole

Vettel, who is not used to being beaten by his teammate, reflected, “I think it’s a great result for the team. At the start of qualifying, Mercedes looked very strong, especially in Q2. We seem to be able to find a bit of extra time in Q3. Mark did a very good lap so congratulations to him. I should have done a bit better, but I don’t know if it would have been enough. He did a great job, no mistakes. It’s a great result for the team and we should have a strong race tomorrow.”

Up next were best of the rest, the Mercedes pair of Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton who were third and fourth respectively,  thus ensuring an all silver second row. Hamilton spun on his final Q3 run, claiming, “Something broke at the rear of the car.”

Rosberg said of his session, “In general, I’m pleased with the result. Best of the rest is the target for this weekend. It’s good to annoy Red Bull a bit in qualifying but they were quick again. Our target is to get second in the Constructors’ Championship and our main competitors Ferrari are well back which is great for us.”

Nico Rosberg was best of the rest in Abu Dhabi qualifying

Nico Rosberg was best of the rest in Abu Dhabi qualifying

Kimi Raikkonen did his own table turning in the Lotus camp by powering to fifth on the grid, beating Lotus his teammate Romain Grosjean who hadappeared to have the edge throughout the practice sessions leading up to qualifying.  Grosjean was seventh.

Splitting the black and gold cars, sixth fastest, was the man the team are seeking to replace their departing Finn, namely Nico Hulkenberg in the Sauber who was also the fastest of the Ferrari powered posse.

Best of the true Reds was Felipe Massa in eighth, while Fernando Alonso struggled with lack of rear grip and thus failed to progress beyond Q2.

Once again McLaren flattered in practice, only to deceive, as they were out of the top ten. Although Sergio Perez ended the evening ninth, Jenson Button failed to make it into Q3 and will start from 13th.

Kimi Raikkonen will start from fifth on the grid

Kimi Raikkonen will start from fifth on the grid

Famously, Raikkonen and Lotus won the Abu Dhabi race last year which gave birth to the legend of “leave me alone I know what I am doing” and it is not impossible that one of the two chaps in black and gold end up on the top step of the podium.

But first there is the no easy matter of dispensing with the two Silver Arrows and the Red Bulls – a victory for Webber in the final races of his career would be sweet – whether you support him or not. Whatever the outcome we have a race on our hands. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying Results – Saturday, 2 November 2013

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:41.568 1:40.575 1:39.957 17
2 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:41.683 1:40.781 1:40.075 12
3 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:41.420 1:40.473 1:40.419 18
4 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:40.693 1:40.477 1:40.501 19
5 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:41.276 1:40.971 1:40.542 20
6 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:41.631 1:40.931 1:40.576 21
7 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:41.447 1:40.948 1:40.997 21
8 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:41.254 1:40.989 1:41.015 18
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.687 1:40.812 1:41.068 20
10 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:41.884 1:40.852 1:41.111 21
11 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:41.397 1:41.093 15
12 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:41.676 1:41.133 19
13 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:41.817 1:41.200 15
14 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:41.692 1:41.279 15
15 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:41.365 1:41.395 16
16 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:41.862 1:41.447 14
17 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:41.999 8
18 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:42.051 10
19 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:43.252 10
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:43.398 7
21 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:43.528 10
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:44.198 8
Q1 107% Time 1:47.741

Note – Bianchi qualified 20th, but penalised 5 grid places for an unscheduled gearbox change.

  • F1Zombie

    12 laps for Vettel in Q…so he is going to win the race.

  • What

    Webber went over the lines with 4 wheels on his fastest lap, so did Hamilton and Rosberg. Yet no investigations.

    Why did the FIA keep hammering on about how it will be penalized if cars went over the white lines if you are not gonna do anything?

    They are so weak.

  • Alonso_is_slow

    Finally the first mistake from Vettel that allows Webber to take pole.

    Look how bad Alonso is in qualifying – he’d better improve fast, or Raikkonen will punish him soon.

    Alonso will need to cheat away resurces from his new teammate to survive next year.

  • spoofer

    what. Makes you wonder how much faster the others could hae gone, had they flouted the “rules” and gone over the lines.

    I am surprised that times were allowed to stand.

  • Boycotthehaters

    “Makes you wonder how much faster the others could hae gone, had they flouted the “rules” and gone over the lines.”

    Was there anyone who did NOT go over the lines?

  • Bm

    Vettel did not go over the lines in the last corners, if he had he would have had pole even with that dumb first corner mistake.

  • Snowman


    I think you’ll find every single driver went over the lines on their fastest laps, included Mr Vettel, who have no doubt intentionally left off your list.

    Every single driver went all 4 wheels off the road once, in the final sector where they nearly brush the wall. Some drivers went off the track up to 4 times in the final sector.

    Don’t be selective in your criticism, as it undermines you.

  • spoofer

    The only place where there was to be a penalty for crossing the white line, was the final corner. Both Webber and Rosberg transgressed, Vettel didn”t.

  • Boycotthehaters

    “The only place where there was to be a penalty for crossing the white line, was the final corner”

    Was that announced somewhere?

  • spoofer

    Yes. Repeatedly mentioned on Sky broadcast.

  • Red Bull Cheats

    Vettel wins the WDC and suddenly Webber out qualifies him. Classic Red Bull BS.

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    I just watched the replay. Vettel was over the lines in several plaves. Tried to hard make up for his mistake.

    Well done to Webber. Despite the Centre of gravity and weight distribution disadvantages (3 tenths per sixty seconds), he pulled off one hell of a lap.

    Go Massa!

  • Alonso_is_Slow

    Rosberg is a lot faster than I thought he was. Schumacher finallynbeat rosberg in qualifying consistently, last year. I have to concede that was a good effort. Not just for an old man, but for anyone.

    I shall now flagellate myself for criticizing him, last year.

  • Jack

    Imagine how things would have been if that happened in 2010!

  • Pfft

    Yeah. When both cars held together, schumacher usually has better race pace, too. I guess, I also underestimated rosberg. Schumacher wasn’t doing too bad, but his judgement was failing a bit. Age waits for no man.

    I guess, even in his 40’s, he was better than half the field.

  • the fan

    alonso_is_slow… you talk like a little girl who’s pulling her sister’s hair every after qualifying, pathetic!

  • Adrianna

    don’t worry Vettel fans , after Webber’s normal 3 seconds of wheel spin at the start , things will be back to normal with Webber in 6 place after de first lap , have you guys seen that picture very often this year ?

  • Hawk