Lewis Hamilton was unable to improve Max Verstappen’s lap in Q3 and will start from second place at the Abu Dhabi race. The Mercedes driver knows that he simply could not improve Verstappen’s lap and is satisfied that he is still on the front row of the grid. The Briton said he had a good final lap. “The last lap was just fine, but Max was faster.”
The Red Bull Racing driver was three tenths faster than his title competitor in the final qualifying session. Hamilton was unable to take the form from the free practice sessions into qualifying. “First of all, I have to say that Max drove a great lap,” Hamilton begins immediately after qualifying. “We weren’t competitive enough. During the training, everything looked perfect, but it was not to be. Max was fantastic.’
David Coulthard suggested the Briton made some mistakes during his laps. The Mercedes driver agrees that his first run was not strong. “On my first lap I lost a lot of time in Turn 5.” Still, he found his second round in Q3 clear. “The last lap was just fine, but I just couldn’t go any faster. Maybe I could have warmed the tires a little better.’
Hamilton happy with front row start
Despite Hamilton having to leave the important pole position to his competitor, the Briton is satisfied with second place on the grid. The seven-time world champion is especially relieved that he has a view of the Dutchman. “We’re still on the front row of the grid, so that’s good. The difference in the tires will be interesting at the start. I’m just happy to see him up close tomorrow,” said Hamilton.