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McLaren finished second and third quickest to Sebastian Vettel in Friday evening practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Both Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were left feeling optimistic, not least after they locked out the first 90 minutes earlier in the day.
“Our car looked good in FP1, but FP2 was a little bit more of a challenge for me,” Hamilton admitted. “It was quite tricky to get a good time from the Option (Soft compound tyre), so tonight we’ll need to do some work around figuring out how to switch our Options on.
“We anticipated that Sebastian would be quick and, in FP2 in particular, the Red Bulls picked up pace. But, as I say, our car was quick in FP1 and very near the top of the timesheets all day, so we’ve got plenty to build on. If we can get ahead of the Red Bulls in qualifying tomorrow, it’ll be a huge bonus for us.”
Button is particularly assured that McLaren will fare better than it did in India last weekend, where the duo finished in fourth and fifth places.
“Our car has been working pretty well today – we’re certainly in better shape here than we were in India,” the 2009 World Champion explained. “Everything seems to be working well and the car is fun to drive. There are some small areas where we need to improve, but we know what we need to do. It’s going to be crucial to get the Options working well for qualifying tomorrow.
“I wanted to do plenty of laps during my long run today, since I missed out on quite a lot of long-run running on Friday in Delhi and that set me back for the rest of the Indian Grand Prix weekend. I’m pleased to report that our car feels reasonably good over a long run here, so now we’re going to be focusing on understanding just how hard we can push the tyre during a long run.”
Sunday could bring an official end to McLaren’s 2012 title attack in the Constructors’ Championship, as Red Bull is now on the verge of sealing a third straight world title.
|1.||S. Vettel||Red Bull||01:41.751||33|
|4.||M. Webber||Red Bull||01:42.466||21|
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