After qualifying third for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel was left wondering where Mercedes found the pace which resulted in Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton annexing the front row for the race at Yas Marina Circuit.
Speaking to reporters after the evening session, Vettel said, “Yesterday and this morning I was quite confident that Lewis, in particular, was very quick, like in FP3, and [we] should get more in the direction after yesterday but it was more the other way around.”
“Mercedes, in general, were very quick, Valtteri put in a mega lap so the gap was bigger than I expected. For tomorrow though I think the gap will shrink, I hope so anyway, then we will see what we can do. But for tonight we’d love to be closer.”
With Mercedes power turned up to the max, Bottas blitzed around in a time of 1:36.231 which was a half a second up on Vettel’s best.
He reflected, “I think it was a good session but a bit of a shame to be that far back in qualifying so tomorrow we will see with race pace I think we can be a bit closer but they have been very, very strong.”
“Winning is always possible, even though here it’s difficult to overtake if your speed is not different to the other cars. So, let’s see what this race can bring and hopefully we can put pressure on our rivals,” added Vettel who needs to finish eighth or higher in the season finale to cement his second place in the 2017 championship standings.