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Live: F1 Abu Dhabi GP commentary and updates – Qualifying

Follow minute-by-minute updates on Saturday practice and qualifying at Formula 1's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Live: F1 Abu Dhabi GP commentary and updates – Qualifying

F1’s season finale is here, as the paddock descends on the Yas Marina circuit for the Abu Dhabi GP.

Fresh from a dramatic Brazilian GP, where George Russell led a Mercedes 1-2 in the team’s first win of the season and his maiden F1 victory, all eyes will again be on Red Bull following the team orders row that erupted at Interlagos.

Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes 1-2 in FP1, while Max Verstappen topped FP2 from Russell.

By: Megan White, James Newbold, Tom Howard

Summary

Summary
- Verstappen claims pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final round of the 2022 F1 season
- Perez takes second, securing a 25th F1 front row lockout for Red Bull
- Ferrari and Mercedes complete the second and third rows
- Vettel secures ninth for Aston Martin in the final qualifying session of his F1 career
- Out in Q2: Alonso (Alpine), Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Schumacher (Haas), Stroll (Aston Martin) and Zhou (Alfa Romeo)
- Out in Q1: Magnussen (Haas), Gasly, (AlphaTauri), Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Albon (Williams) and Latifi (Williams)

Leaderboard

1. Verstappen, Red Bull 
2. Perez, Red Bull
3. Leclerc, Ferrari 
4. Sainz, Ferrari
5. Hamilton, Mercedes
6. Russell, Mercedes
7. Norris, McLaren
8. Ocon, Alpine
9. Vettel, Aston Martin
10. Ricciardo, McLaren

Status: Stopped
Well, the race for second in the world championship is finely poised as Perez and Leclerc start line astern in second and third, while Vettel is well up the grid in ninth for a strong sign off to his F1 career. Thank you for joining us on Autosport Live today, we'll be back tomorrow to bring you all the updates from the finale as they unfold. Until then, goodbye!
In case you missed any of the action from Abu Dhabi F1 qualifying, here's the final report of the year from Matt Kew: https://autosport.com/all/news/f1-abu-dhabi-gp-verstappen-trumps-perez-for-pole-leclerc-third/10402354/
 
Verstappen ends the year on seven pole positions, while Red Bull has eight for the year with Perez's Jeddah contribution. Ferrari on the other hand took away 12, thanks to nine from Leclerc and a further three for Sainz. Add Magnussen's pole in Brazil and that's 13/22 for Ferrari power units.
As my colleague Pablo Elizalde points out, that brings down the curtain on Hamilton's first F1 season without a pole position. Nobody could have predicted that come the end of the season.
If that is to be Ricciardo's final qualifying session as an F1 racer, a Q3 appearance is by no means a bad way to go out. Of course, he won't want it to end this way and is committed to trying to get back onto the grid for 2024.
 
Norris took the best-of-the-rest slot in seventh ahead of Ocon, while Vettel and Ricciardo complete the top 10.
It's Noah's Ark behind, with the two Ferraris and two Mercedes line astern completing the top six. A repeat of Brazil would appear unlikely for Mercedes as they line up fifth and sixth.
The final pole margin then for Verstappen was 0.228s. For all Perez's promising form this weekend, when it really counted it was Verstappen who had the edge, as is so often the case.
Replays show Hamilton had a big snap of oversteer at Turn 24 as he was coming up to the line. A pity for the seven-time world champion who set a purple first sector.
The checkered flag is out, and that's the final qualifying session of 2022 complete. Just the small matter of a grand prix distance tomorrow.
Hamilton and Russell improve too, but not enough to challenge the Red Bulls. So it's Verstappen then who ends the year on top with pole position, ahead of Perez, Leclerc and Sainz.
Verstappen lowers his benchmark time to a 1m23.824s, as Perez nabs second back from Leclerc.
Leclerc improves - but only to second.
The leading runners have re-emerged for their final runs. Can anybody wrest the top spot away from Verstappen?
Ricciardo is just under a tenth down on Vettel, but slots ahead of Ocon too into eighth.
It's a 1m24.961s for Vettel, which slots him ahead of Norris into seventh.
Here comes Vettel then, the track to himself. What can he do on his qualifying swansong?
So it's Verstappen-Sainz-Perez-Leclerc-Hamilton-Russell of the big three to run so far, with Ocon in seventh the only other driver to set a time.
Perez can't match Sainz and is 0.035s slower, but Verstappen delivers with a 1m23.988s to pull 0.293s clear of the Ferrari.
It's a 1m24.678s which just shades Russell's 1m24.694s. But neither can match the Ferraris as Sainz posts a 1m24.281s and Leclerc a 1m24.343s.
Both Vettel and Ricciardo stay in the pits for the start of the session having used up plenty of tyres to get to this point. Hamilton will be the first man to set a time in Q3 as he bids to end his year with a win that would continue his streak of at least one GP victory in every year of his F1 career to date.
Can Vettel deliver a fairytale final qualifying of his F1 career? It will surely be a tough ask to move beyond his current 57 pole positions, but he could certainly disturb the big three teams if he for once manages to avoid traffic in the final sector.
Let's go then, for one last time in 2022 it's time for Q3.
As the clock ticks down towards Q3, who will take the bragging rights of the last 2022 pole position? Could Perez deliver on his strong form so far in Qualifying and bag the top spot?
 
The top 10 therefore in Q2 were as follows: Perez, Leclerc, Sainz, Verstappen, Hamilton, Norris, Russell, Vettel, Ocon and Ricciardo - the Aussie just sneaking into Q3 on his last appearance for McLaren.
Replays show Tsunoda is another member of the locking up at Turn 6 club. How costly did that prove as he misses out in P12 by 0.151s?
Those joining Alonso on the sidelines are Tsunoda, Schumacher, Stroll and Zhou. Not the fairlytale ending Schumacher would have wanted either to life at Haas.
"How is that possible, three times in a row I get these people?" Vettel is fuming as he loses out again in the final corner by encountering traffic, but he's safely through in eighth.
Alonso is out! By 0.028s, the double world champion misses out on Q3 to Ricciardo as Norris sneaks in at the death. Not the way he would have wanted to end his Alpine chapter.
Ocon is also on the move, up to sixth to push Sainz down a spot. Ricciardo and Alonso are currently the men on the bubble...
Stroll goes into P9 as Vettel improves ahead of him to go fifth, despite catching Perez in the final corner.
Vettel is pulling out all the stops to move himself up from his current P9 and secure a spot in Q3, he goes purple in sector one.
"Three tenths?" Hamilton sounds befuddled as he's told the gap to Perez by Pete Bonnington. Russell is P4, having moved up behind Verstappen with an improvement on his last flyer.
Those currently in danger of the drop are Tsunoda, Ricciardo, Stroll, Schumacher and Zhou. Can any of them lift themselves out of danger and punish those ahead? On the bubble are Alonso (P10), Vettel (P9) and Ocon (P8).
Hamilton duly delivers the required response and flings his Mercedes into second, splitting the Red Bull pair.
"I don't know what happened, I had zero rear grip," reports Verstappen. "So weird." Still, he's second ahead of Sainz, Norris and Leclerc.
They hold the top two spots, as replays show Leclerc locking up at Turn 6 - the same place as Hamilton earlier on. The seven-time world champion is currently only ninth and looking to improve after a visit to the pits.