25 NOVEMBER 2017
ABU DHABI GP – QUALIFYING
DANIEL RICCIARDO, Position: 4th, 1:36.959 (Practice 3 – Position 5th, 1:38.340)
“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)
“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.”
Luck of the Final Draw
And so, 246 days after the RB13 first rolled out of the garage on a grand prix weekend we’ve reached the penultimate day of the 2017 campaign. And that means it’s time to mothball our lucky/unlucky slogan and also our famous luck of the draw quiz. So, for our last random Q&A we thought we’d go all the way to the top and feature the team boss, so without further ado, we present today’s lucky dipper, Christian Horner.
1. What’s the thing you most hate about Formula One?
Doing interviews! No, I think the thing that’s hardest is the travel. The amount of travel and the time away from family is pretty difficult.
2. What’s your favourite smell?
Success. It’s a combination of champagne and Red Bull.
3. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Adrian Newey’s… which I’m about to read!
4. Do you collect anything?
I have collected a few cars over time. I have a few interesting ones, Aston Martins and other bits and pieces. The most recent one was probably my wife’s MGB, it’s a mid-‘60s one. It was the first car she bought when she got a pay cheque and then she gave it away in a charity auction but always regretted it. I managed to find it last year and repatriated it for her birthday. The buyer had taken really good care of it and it was exactly as she had left it, right down to the tape in the machine.
5. Have you ever stolen anything?
I don’t think I have. Technically it was borrowing rather than stealing, but I used to drive my brother’s car. He had a very nice XR3i with Cosworth wheels on it. I used to think that was pretty flash and he wouldn’t realise that I’d borrowed it. And… I drove it like I stole it.
6. What trait in other people annoys you?
When people are hypocritical. It happens with certain elements of the paddock.
7. If you could go back in time when and where would you go?
I’d quite like to go back to London in the 1700s. I’ve always enjoyed history and the Georgian period is one I find interesting.
8. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever eaten?
Sushi, I can’t stand it. Wet fish; it’s my idea of hell. I always lose weight when I go to Japan.
9. What’s the one thing you know now that you wish you’d known when you were younger?
Patience. I was terribly impatient about everything when I was young, always wanting instantaneous results. Have I learned to be patient? Let’s just say I think I’ve got a little better.
10. Are you a good or a bad loser?
I hate losing but to be a good winner you have to be able to handle defeat. But nobody likes to lose.