Sebastian Vettel: “I have been very motivated and it felt as if there was a bit extra in me today”

Sebastian Vettel has just one day left of his FIA Formula 1 World Championship career on Sunday after Qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday saw him end ninth on the grid.

The Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team driver says his motivation has not lessened despite his imminent retirement from Formula 1, and it showed on Saturday as he got through into the top ten in Qualifying.

Traffic played a part in the first two segments of Qualifying, but Vettel was able to get through both, and his best time of 1:24.961 was good enough for a place on the fifth row of the grid ahead of McLaren F1 Team’s Daniel Ricciardo.

“Overall, my final qualifying in Formula 1 was a good session,” said Vettel. “The car is doing what I want this weekend and this has contributed to this decent result.

“I have been very motivated and it felt as if there was a bit extra in me today. We did have some traffic in Q1 and Q2 with a Red Bull at the last corner, but the lap in Q3 was clean.”

Looking ahead to Sunday’s race, Vettel says he will give it all to deliver a good result on his farewell, and he hopes to remain in contention for the points.

“I am looking forward to the race – my last one in Formula 1 – and I hope we will be able to deliver a good result for the team as I end my journey with everyone at Aston Martin F1,” Vettel added.

“Anything can happen here and we will try to maximise our chances tomorrow.”

“We will look to move forward into the points” – Lance Stroll

Team-mate Lance Stroll was unable to advance into the top ten shootout, with the four-tenths deficit to Vettel in Q2 meaning he was only fourteenth fastest when it mattered.

The Canadian was happy that both Aston Martin’s outqualified both Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN drivers as the two teams battle over sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship.

However, he was not so unhappy with his speed in Qualifying as he was unable to match his team-mate and advance into Q3.

“I was happy with my final lap in Q2: it was good and clean, but we just lacked a little bit of speed to Sebastian, who has had a really good day in his final qualifying,” said Stroll.

“Crucially, we have qualified ahead of both Alfa Romeos and the car has been behaving really well this weekend.

“We will look to move forward into the points. It will be a long race and we have lots to fight for tomorrow.”

Lance Stroll was eliminated in Q2 on Saturday – Credit: Pirelli Motorsport