Nico Hulkenberg delivered a 'perfect lap' to get the maximum out of his Sauber and take sixth on the grid on Saturday during qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hulkenberg, who easily progressed through Q1 and Q2, managed to split the two Lotus' in the top-ten shootout and he will now line up on the third row, alongside 2007 F1 world champion, Kimi Raikkonen.

"It was a perfect lap and I could really get the maximum out of the car," said the German, who will be after his ninth points' finish of the season on Sunday and his fifth top-ten from the last six races.

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"Overtaking won't be easy on this track. There are the two DRS zones, and in the past there have been a few overtaking manoeuvres, but I think we have a good top-speed," he added.

"We were able to be in the top ten all weekend and I am confident this will continue to be the case tomorrow as well."

Team-mate Esteban Gutierrez meanwhile was eliminated in Q1, edged out by just 0.115 seconds, and will consequently start in P17, much to his frustration.

"It's very disappointing to start P17," said the Mexican, "because our pace is really good. We were on a push, pull, push strategy and ran out of time for the second push. The call was tricky, as on the first lap I ran into traffic and for the second push we ran out of time, so I didn't get the chance to set a lap. It was clearly a mistake, and we were only missing a few seconds."

"Once again qualifying showed how competitive our car is. Unfortunately, this is not reflected in the results of both cars," summarised Sauber team principal, Monisha Kaltenborn.

"As always, Nico showed an excellent performance today and used the car's potential to its maximum. Unfortunately Q1 didn't go to plan for Esteban. It was a combination of mistakes that didn't get him through to Q2.

"A big thank you to the team here at the racetrack. Everyone worked very hard to make the car this competitive.

"Now we have to concentrate on the race."