Lewis Hamilton has beaten his Mercedes team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg to pole position for today’s 55 lap title-deciding finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo completed the top three qualifiers.
Lewis Hamilton has beaten Mercedes team-mate and championship leader Nico Rosberg to clinch his twelfth pole position of the season for today’s title-deciding finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with the two Ferrari’s and Red Bull’s occupying the next four positions on the grid.
Hamilton dominated proceedings from the get-go, topping both Q1 and Q2 before grabbing provisional pole on his first flying lap with a 1:39.013.
On his final hot lap, the Briton improved his best effort and secured pole with a blistering 1:38.755 and was 0.303 seconds quicker than team-mate Rosberg, who has a 12 point advantage in the Drivers Championship.
Rosberg who will wrap up his maiden title if he finishes on the podium, made an error at turn 14 in his initial hot lap in the final qualifying stage before running wide at the penultimate corner.
Hamilton’s flying laps were fast enough to claim his twelfth position of the season.
In the battle for the best of the rest, it was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo who snatched third from Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and will lineup alongside the Finn on the second row.
Sebastian Vettel in the other Ferrari qualified fifth alongside Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who took sixth with the latter bringing out the yellow flags after running wide at turn 11 which brought out the yellow flags.
The Red Bull drivers will be the only two in the top 10 starting on the more harder red-branded Super Soft tyres whereas the majority will start on the more faster Ultra-Softs.
The Force India duo of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez occupied the fourth row of the grid in seventh and eighth places respectively.
McLaren’s Fernando Alonso qualified in ninth place and lines up on the fifth row of the grid alongside his former Ferrari team-mate and retiring Williams Martini Racing driver Felipe Massa who takes 10th
The other Williams of Valtteri Bottas just missed out on a Q3 appearance after being knocked out by Alonso and qualified outside the top ten in 11th place alongside the retiring Jenson Button in the other McLaren-Honda.
The two Ferrari-powered Haas VF-16’s of Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean who have endured a tough weekend due to poor handling will start alongside each other on the seventh row of the grid in 13th and 14th places respectively.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein were the slowest of the Q2 runners and will start alongside each other in 15th and 16th respectively.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Renault’s Kevin Magnussen failed to improve on their times to make a Q2 appearance and qualified in 17th and 18th on the grid.
Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and Manor’s Esteban Ocon will lineup on the tenth row of the grid in 19th and 20th respectively.
Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson were the slowest of the 22 runners in the field and will start on the back row of the grid.
The Full 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying Results Classification provided at the link: http://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2016/races/957/abu-dhabi/qualifying.html.
Written by Michael Terminello.