Nov 3, 2013, 7:15 AM EST
He may have just three races remaining in his Formula One career, but Mark Webber proved on Saturday in Abu Dhabi that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level. The Australian driver produced a stunning lap at the end of qualifying to deny teammate Sebastian Vettel pole position by just over one-tenth of a second as Red Bull locked out the front row for the second time in three races.
Mercedes posed the greatest challenge to the world champions, but both Ferrari and Lotus floundered. The Italian team could only qualify in eighth and eleventh, but both Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso will make up one place on the grid following the exclusion of Kimi Raikkonen from qualifying. The Finn’s car was found to have a technical irregularity that Lotus could not explain, meaning that he will start from the back of the grid.
Following qualifying, there have been two changes made to the grid due to penalties:
- As mentioned, Kimi Raikkonen was excluded from qualifying for a technical irregularity on his car. However, he will be permitted to start the race from the back of the grid.
- Jules Bianchi was handed a five-place grid penalty by the stewards on Saturday after a gearbox change. He will start from P21 following Raikkonen’s exclusion.
All of the top nine drivers qualified on the soft compound tire, whilst the rest of the field will have a free choice of starting rubber.
Starting grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
1 Mark Webber Red Bull
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
5 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber
6 Romain Grosjean Lotus
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari
8 Sergio Perez McLaren
9 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso
10 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
11 Paul di Resta Force India
12 Jenson Button McLaren
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
17 Adrian Sutil Force India
18 Giedo van der Garde Caterham
19 Charles Pic Caterham
20 Max Chilton Marussia
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia
22 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus
- Eddie Gossage: “Foolish move” by F1 to go head-to-head with NASCAR at Texas (12)
- GP of America organizers issue statement on race postponement (10)
- IndyCar TV sked for 2014 released; 13 races to be shown on NBCSN (9)
- NASCAR Sprint Cup silly season update for 2014 (8)
- Mark Miles talks about the road ahead for IndyCar (8)