Brilliant Lap Gives Webber Abu Dhabi Pole
YAS ISLAND, Abu Dhabi – Mark Webber produced a brilliant lap during qualifying in Abu Dhabi on Saturday evening to snatch pole position away from Red Bull team mate Sebastian Vettel.
The Australian put together three near-perfect sectors on his final Q3 run to record a lap that was just over a tenth of a second quicker than Vettel’s best effort.
Webber’s impressive 1:39.957 gave him the pole as he closes in on the end of his Formula One career. Vettel, the now four-time World Champion, came up short at 1:40.075.
“This weekend so far has gone pretty smoothly for us,” Webber said. “It’s not the easiest venue, because of the changing temperatures. We run in the afternoon and then at night, so you have to be on top of the changing conditions as a driver and also from an engineering perspective. It wasn’t the most electric start to Q1 or Q2, but we made changes to the car as the session went on and I got more comfortable.
“I knew I had to work on certain sections of the track which Sebastian had already been doing a good job on, so I had to try and match him as well as continuing to keep the areas where I was doing a good job too, so overall I’m happy with the pole. We’re really looking forward to the race tomorrow.”
Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg was third, with teammate Lewis Hamilton spinning as he tried to improve on fourth. Kimi Raikkonen originally qualified fifth, but was disqualified later by stewards when his car failed to pass post-qualifying inspection. Nico Hulkenberg inherited fifth place on the grid.