Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth and fifth respectively position in the last race of the 2016 season.
The 19-year-old Dutchman would have been disappointed to start the race in sixth in Abu Dhabi as he was P2 in Practice 3: “Qualifying up until Q3 went very well, we had no issues and didn’t touch the car. In my last run I was pushing hard and a few tenths up but I locked up into turn 11, if not for that I feel I would have been around P3.”
However, the young protégé showed the resilience and driving ability that he has demonstrated throughout 2016: “I am very pleased with my result and how that race went. After being last after turn 1, having to fight my way back and doing it all on a one-stop was the best we could do and I am happy we pulled it off.
“It is very nice to finish the season fifth in the championship and to have had some really good results along the way.”
Daniel Ricciardo started behind the Mercedes post qualifying and he was pleased with the pace of the car in Practice 3:
“I’m definitely pleased I got the third place I was after. It feels really good. This morning was hard, I did a run quite early and I was nearly a second off Max so it didn’t look good on paper but the track warmed up so much that we didn’t really know what to expect coming into quali. Q1 was a little bit slow but then I picked it up and Q3 was solid enough so I was happy.”
The Australian couldn’t hold onto a podium as Vettel performed well but he has had a great year and will be aiming to improve in 2017: “I’m just frustrated in how the strategy played out in the end. We had the supersofts at the start and it was still going pretty well and we tried to make a move on Kimi. For sure it was close but we didn’t pull it off and that really hurt me. I think we should have just gone long and one-stopped but in hindsight it’s always easy to say.
“Looking at the season overall I’m super happy and very pleased with the year. It’s definitely been more highs than lows this year with a lot of podiums, satisfying races and a good chunk of points.”