• Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Qualifying

Hamilton issues Vettel with turn one ultimatum

ESPNF1 Staff
November 12, 2011 « Rosberg struggles with tyre temperature | Massa had 'hoped for more' »
Lewis Hamilton has told Sebastian Vettel that he won't concede the first corner to him on Sunday © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton has told Sebastian Vettel he will not back off if the pair find themselves side-by-side going into the first corner of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Sunday.

For the second year in a row, Hamilton and Vettel will line up on the front row of the grid, with the Red Bull starting from pole. Last year, with the world title at stake, Hamilton got alongside Vettel but then backed off as they came to the apex of the first corner. He said he would not be so generous this year.

"Last year I started second but braked early into turn one and let Sebastian have the corner," Hamilton said. "I've just told him that's not going to happen tomorrow, though…"

However, if he fails to get past in the first corner, Hamilton has a plan for the rest of the race.

"I hope I have a good start - I really want to get into turn one first," he added. "But, if I can't, I'll follow Sebastian as closely as I can, I'll try my hardest not to let him get more than a second ahead, and I'll try to get ahead through the DRS zones.

Hamilton has looked quick all weekend and, despite missing out on pole, he is confident he will have a decent race pace on Sunday.

"It would be nice to have had pole position, but that Red Bull, as always, is very quick in Q3," he said. "Still, we've got our car to a point where it works particularly well on certain tracks, and we always seem to go well here.

"To be as competitive as we've been this weekend is very encouraging - we're on the front row so we can have a good race from there. And, for the first time in quite a while, my long-run pace was pretty good too, and I think we had more fuel on board than some of the other teams. I feel really good about tomorrow, in fact."