Sebastian Vettel too aggressive with Abu Dhabi F1 qualifying approach

Sebastian Vettel believes he paid the price for being too aggressive in terms of his approach to the final Formula 1 qualifying session of the year in Abu Dhabi

Sebastian Vettel too aggressive with Abu Dhabi F1 qualifying approach

With qualifying and the race at Yas Marina starting at sunset, the first and third practice sessions of the weekend are largely redundant as they take place in warmer daytime conditions.

Vettel, who qualified fifth on the grid, believes he and Ferrari "went too far" in trying to get things right when it counted.

"Qualifying was a bit hard, I was looking to find the rhythm but we were probably a bit too aggressive, trying to [work out] the conditions for tonight but we got caught out.

"It was difficult and it was coming for us towards the end.

"It's normal that there's quite a big shift between afternoon and evening.

"Everybody's trying to do the same thing but we went too far which made it difficult to get to the limit.

"The car was good, no major problems, but it was just about putting things together."

Max Verstappen went off the track ahead of Vettel on his final lap, but the German played down the impact of the Red Bull driver's mistake.

"He went off - I saw some smoke and I passed him," he said.

"I don't think he was in the way but I lost some rhythm and the last sector wasn't tidy.

"Not an ideal session, otherwise we would have been P3."

Vettel's team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, who lines up fourth, said he hasn't focused too much on set-up changes or getting distracted by the unrepresentative practice sessions.

"We know from every year here there's always a bit of a difference with the weather," said Raikkonen.

"It's hot during the daytime so it's a bit of a waste of time, those sessions.

"We know what will happen for the evening, to make the right choices and make it work when it actually matters.

"I hardly changed my car - I changed a little bit for FP3 just to get a better feeling.

"It was not ideal at that time of day but you know the pace is going to improve, so we pretty much kept the car the same."

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