Fernando Alonso will aim to "take care" of Sebastian Vettel in the four-time World Champion's final Formula 1 race in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Alonso – who is sporting a Vettel tribute helmet this weekend – qualified 11th at the Yas Marina Circuit, with old rival Vettel ninth for his 299th and final Grand Prix start before retirement. However, as Daniel Ricciardo is set for a three-place grid drop for colliding with Kevin Magnussen in Brazil, it promotes Alonso to 10th, meaning that he will share the fifth row of the grid with Vettel. The two-time World Champion says he hopes to be able to protect Vettel during the race.
Alonso on Vettel
"I was very happy," Alonso explained to media, including RacingNews365.com , after qualifying. "It's not that we tried to help him, but we are trying to have an eye on him, when we see him in the mirror or when he's coming on a fast lap whatever, because we want a smooth weekend for him. "Even tomorrow, he is starting ninth and I am starting 10th, so I'll take care of him at the start and on the first lap – and let's hope we both see the chequered flag."
Alonso on own qualifying
As for his own session, Alonso felt that the Alpine "didn't have the pace," as he was eliminated in Q2. "P13 in FP3, P15 in Q1 at the limit and then P11 in Q2 – I felt okay with the lap, and we will be P10 with Daniel's penalty from Brazil," the Spaniard said. "It's okay, we start in the points, so let's hope to make some places up and finish P7 or P8 which is our normal goal."