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Qualifying analysis - Webber proves he's not done yet 02 Nov 2013

Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB9.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Mark Webber (AUS) Red Bull Racing.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 The car of Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W04 is returned to the pits on a lorry after spinning out of qualifying.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E21.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sauber C32.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F138.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-28.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR8.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM06.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams FW35.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Giedo van der Garde (NDL) Caterham CT03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013 Jules Bianchi (FRA) Marussia F1 Team MR02.
Formula One World Championship, Rd17, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Qualifying, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, UAE, Saturday, 2 November 2013

Once again the lap times proved astonishingly close throughout all three phases of qualifying in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, but the main talking points were Mark Webber’s stunning pole for Red Bull and Kimi Raikkonen’s surprise exclusion from fifth place for Lotus. We take a team-by-team look at the pre-race formbook at Yas Marina…

Red Bull
Mark Webber, 1m 39.957s, P1
Sebastian Vettel, 1m 40.075s, P2

Webber said he spent qualifying honing his car and thinking about the sectors where Vettel was quicker. The result was a superb lap that took everyone by surprise, the 13th pole of his career and his second in three races. He could be set for the victory that has thus far been missing in 2013. Vettel had floored everyone on the first runs when he went four-tenths faster than the Mercedes, but by the first sector it was clear his second run wouldn’t match Webber’s. The front row of the grid was hardly a disaster, however.

Mercedes
Nico Rosberg, 1m 40.419s, P3
Lewis Hamilton, 1m 40.501, P4

Rosberg said he didn’t think he could have gone much quicker even had he been able to improve his second lap in Q3, but Hamilton was four-tenths up by the chicane on his second run when his Mercedes snapped into a spin. It transpired the lower right-rear wishbone had broken, probably as a result of all the running over the kerbs. With the second row wrapped up, however, Mercedes have a great chance of increasing their advantage over Ferrari in the battle for second place in the constructors’ championship.

Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen, 1m 40.542s, P5, will start P22 after floor infringement
Romain Grosjean, 1m 40.997s, P7, will start P6

Lotus nearly matched Mercedes for pace in Q3, courtesy of Raikkonen who preferred the short-wheelbase version of the Lotus E21. He took fifth on the grid as Grosjean struggled to seventh in the long-wheelbase car, but the bombshell came afterwards when scrutineering showed that the left-hand front section of the floor was flexing more than the regulation 5 mm. The Finn was thrown to the back of grid, moving all those behind him up a place and possibly jeopardising Lotus’s chances of catching Mercedes and Ferrari in the constructors’ hunt. Lotus blamed kerb damage, but the stewards wouldn’t accept that after letting Grosjean off a similar offence in Hungary.

Sauber
Nico Hulkenberg, 1m 40.576s, P6, will start P5
Esteban Gutierrez, 1m 41.999s, P17, will start P16

Hulkenberg was really happy with his Sauber’s performance in Q2 and Q3, and delighted the team with sixth place. That became fifth with Raikkonen’s exclusion. Gutierrez had been right with the German in FP3, but ran out of time at the end of Q1 to get in his second run and failed to get through.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, 1m 41.015s, P8, will start P7
Fernando Alonso, 1m 41.093s, P11, will start P10

Ferrari just weren’t fast enough here, even though at times Alonso had the fastest first sector time and Massa was fastest until the closing seconds of Q1. Alonso only made the top 10 after Raikkonen’s exclusion.

McLaren
Sergio Perez, 1m 41.068s, P9, will start P8
Jenson Button, 1m 41.200s, P13, will start P12

McLaren had good and bad news. Perez was relieved to show strongly after a disappointing FP3, and even thought P7 might have been possible. Button, however, was perplexed by Q2. He struggled to get the tyres working in the cooler temperatures and had to take off some front and rear wing to compensate. That was particularly frustrating, as he’d been a competitive P6 in final practice.

Toro Rosso
Daniel Ricciardo, 1m 41.111s, P10, will start P9
Jean-Eric Vergne, 1m 41.279s, P14, will start P13

Ricciardo was relieved to get his Toro Rosso handling right for qualifying and said his Q2 lap was really good as it propelled him into Q3. However, his sole run there was hampered by a decision to raise the front tyre pressures, which proved costly in terms of grip. Vergne was also much happier with his car, until he locked up the front wheels massively in Turn 8 in Q2 and ruined his chances of making Q3.

Force India
Paul di Resta, 1m 41.133s, P12, will start P11
Adrian Sutil, 1m 42.051s, P18, will start P17

Di Resta said he was pleased with his car throughout qualifying and believes he can fight for points, but Sutil admitted that he had been unhappy with his VJM06’s behaviour all through practice and qualifying and failed to get out of Q1.

Williams
Pastor Maldonado, 1m 41.395s, P15, will start P14
Valtteri Bottas, 1m 41.447s, P16, will start P15

After flashes of promise at times in practice, and P4 for Maldonado in Q1, Williams were bitterly disappointed when both drivers were hampered by traffic in Q2.

Caterham
Giedo van der Garde, 1m 43.252s, P19, will start P18
Charles Pic, 1m 43.528s, P21, will start P19

Van der Garde said his car was understeering initially, but his real problem was getting blocked by a slow-moving Force India on his second Q1 run. Pic complained of excessive understeer on the soft tyre.

Marussia
Jules Bianchi, 1m 43.398s, P20, will start P21 after gearbox penalty
Max Chilton, 1m 44.198s, P22, will start P20

Following his spin in Turn 2 in FP3, Bianchi’s MR02 required a gearbox change which dropped him from P20 to P22 until Raikkonen’s penalty moved him back up a place. Chilton continued to struggle with his car’s handling.

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