“Everyone wants to win”

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 24: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer on track during practice for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 24, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Quotes and impressions from the final qualifiers of the season in Abu Dhabi.

Red Bull Racing

DANIEL RICCIARDO
Position: 4th, 1:36.959 (Practice 3 – Position 5th, 1:38.340)

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 24: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer on track during practice for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 24, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

“I’m happy with the end of Quali. I’m so happy to have jumped Ferrari and the second row is good. We thought we could get close to Ferrari but as Qualifying went on, it looked like they were too quick. During the first run in Q3 we were slow but I knew we could get a lot more out of the car, we just had to figure it out. We understood the tyre temperature a little better and then it was a much quicker lap. It hasn’t been the perfect year of Saturdays for me, so it’s nice to finish 2017 with a good one. We were pretty solid all weekend, just not quite on the pace of the top three but tomorrow I think we can have a chance for the podium. I don’t think the start will be straightforward, it’s the last race of the year and everyone wants to win so there could be some action and hopefully I’m there to be a part of it.”

MAX VERSTAPPEN
Position: 6th, 1:37.328 (Practice 3 – Position: 6th, 1:38.587)

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 24: Max Verstappen of Netherlands and Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during practice for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 24, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

“It wasn’t a great Qualifying session for me today, we have struggled to find a good set-up all weekend and today was no exception. The changes we have tried did not impact the car how I would have liked and then by the time you get to Qualifying it is too late to change anything else. Like I said yesterday, I haven’t been able to find a good level of grip here which means I am always fighting with the car and it makes it difficult to drive. The conditions for the race should be similar to tonight so I think it will be a hard race from our side but let’s wait and see what we can do. Daniel is in front of Kimi so hopefully that could mean a bit of a fight for us tomorrow and we can avoid a lonely race. I did the best I could with the car, sometimes you have to accept that you are not fast enough, learn from it, come back and try harder next time. I’ll do my best so let’s see what we can achieve from P6.”

CHRISTIAN HORNER, Team Principal
“Today we saw one of Daniel’s best Qualifying laps of the season to make it on to the second row for the start of tomorrow’s race. He managed to put it all together right at the end of Q3 with an excellent effort. Max is starting in P6 on the grid and has not been happy with his car balance all weekend, and whilst that improved during Qualifying, he still wasn’t totally at ease with the car. As we go into the last race of the year, we will certainly give it all we’ve got. It will be great to finish the season on a high note and hopefully we can sign off on 2017 with that tomorrow.”



Scuderia Toro Rosso

Pierre Gasly (STR12-01, Car 10)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:40.737, pos. 18th, 21 laps
Qualifying: Best lap: (Q1) 1:39.724, pos. 17th

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 24: Pierre Gasly of Scuderia Toro Rosso and France during practice for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 24, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

“My qualifying lap was good and I feel happy about it because I managed to put everything together, it was a decent lap… The only thing I’m not super happy about is the performance, of course – to qualify only 17th is not what we want to see and it’s a bit frustrating not to be fighting for higher positions. Having said that, I think we made the most out of the potential we had today and that’s important. What I really wish for now is that we hold on to sixth position in the Championship tomorrow – it’s going to be a difficult task, but nothing’s impossible! We’ll keep pushing and see where we end up!”

Brendon Hartley (STR12-04, Car 28)
Third Practice Session – Best lap: 1:40.883, pos. 20th, 23 laps
Qualifying – Best lap: (Q1) 1:40.471, pos. 20th

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – NOVEMBER 24: Brendon Hartley of Scuderia Toro Rosso and New Zealand during practice for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit on November 24, 2017 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images)

“I’m not happy, that wasn’t a good session for me… We’ve been lacking a bit of pace all weekend on both cars, but in particular mine. We’ve obviously been making a lot of changes – we had nothing to lose in this session as we were going to start from the very back anyway because of the grid penalty… But it was a pretty scrappy session from my side, I didn’t get it together at all…It’s a little bit frustrating, but it doesn’t really change the result. Obviously, I would’ve loved to have banged in a banzai lap, but it just didn’t work out. On the positive side, all of this is good preparation for next year! All we have to do now is push as much as possible tomorrow – points are going to be pretty difficult and it will be quite a tough ask to defend our sixth position in the Championship, but we’ll do our best and stay optimistic until the very end!”

Jonathan Eddolls (Chief Race Engineer)
“Because of the struggles we suffered yesterday, the engineers spent an awful lot of time analyzing all of the data in terms of tyres, aerodynamic behavior and mechanical set-up to try and understand the issues that we had yesterday. We understood a good number of problems, even though there were still some questions unanswered. Therefore, we developed the FP3 run plan to try to understand this further and to cover all of the work the plans were slightly different across the two cars. We obtained some interesting information in this session, but clearly we were still off of the pace. Going into qualifying, we made some pretty big changes, especially on Pierre’s car. This made a step in performance on his car even though, obviously, it’s not where we want to be. On Brendon’s car we tried some compromises in Qualifying because he had slightly different handling characteristics compared to Pierre in FP3. We feel that we’ve underperformed today but, even if our main focus has been on next years’ car for some time now, this doesn’t mean that we will give up until seeing the chequered flag of tomorrow’s race – we need to defend our sixth position in the championship and during the race anything can happen, so we believe it’s of course still possible.”

 

 

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