Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to Abu Dhabi GP F1 pole position

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for his Formula 1 world championship showdown with Nico Rosberg, with a commanding performance in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton beats Nico Rosberg to Abu Dhabi GP F1 pole position

Hamilton held provisional pole after the initial runs in Q3, just over three tenths quicker than Rosberg, and eventually completed two laps good enough for pole by breaking into the 1m38s on his final run.

Championship leader Rosberg also improved on his second Q3 run, but ended up more than three tenths behind Hamilton.

If Hamilton wins Sunday's race, Rosberg only needs to finish third to clinch his first F1 world title.

Daniel Ricciardo qualified his Red Bull third fastest, nicking ahead of Kimi Raikkonen's Ferrari by just 0.015 seconds on his final Q3 run.

Ricciardo and his Red Bull team-mate Max Verstappen, who qualified sixth fastest, will both start the race on the super-soft tyre, after progressing through Q2 without the ultra-soft favoured by Mercedes and Ferrari.

Sebastian Vettel was fifth fastest in the second Ferrari, less than a tenth slower than Raikkonen.

Vettel suggested he lost time in Turns 16, 17 and 18, and that he went the wrong way on set-up for qualifying.

The Force Indias of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez locked out row four, just 0.018s apart, while Fernando Alonso qualified his McLaren a tenth faster than Felipe Massa's Williams, which rounded out the top 10.

Massa's team-mate Valtteri Bottas just missed out on making Q3 in the second Williams, finding time on his final Q2 lap but narrowly losing out to Alonso, who was quicker than Bottas by just 0.040s.

Jenson Button qualified 12th in the sister McLaren, dropping two tenths to Alonso in the middle sector and suggesting his car picked up understeer in the cool conditions.

Esteban Gutierrez beat Haas team-mate Romain Grosjean to 13th on the grid by just under a tenth of a second, while Jolyon Palmer was 15th in the best of the Renaults, 0.175s clear of Pascal Wehrlein, who put his Manor into Q2 for the fifth time this season.

Both Toro Rosso drivers fell in Q1, after losing most of Friday's second practice to FIA safety checks to its cars, following punctures suffered on Daniil Kvyat's car.

Kvyat was only 17th quickest, a tenth slower than Wehrlein, while Kvyat's team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr qualified on the last row of the grid.

Renault apologised to Kevin Magnussen after he failed to go quicker on his final Q1 run and wound up 18th, ahead of Sauber's Felipe Nasr, who complained of an ERS problem exiting Turn 14.

Esteban Ocon was 20th in the second Manor, after a slow first sector, while the second Sauber of Marcus Ericsson qualified last, the Swede apologising to the team for locking up under braking for Turn 17 and ruining his final flying lap in Q1.

QUALIFYING RESULT

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m38.755s -
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m39.058s 0.303s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m39.589s 0.834s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m39.604s 0.849s
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m39.661s 0.906s
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m39.818s 1.063s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1m40.501s 1.746s
8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m40.519s 1.764s
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1m41.106s 2.351s
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m41.213s 2.458s
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1m41.084s 2.329s
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m41.272s 2.517s
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1m41.480s 2.725s
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m41.564s 2.809s
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m41.820s 3.065s
16 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1m41.995s 3.240s
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m42.003s 3.248s
18 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1m42.142s 3.387s
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1m42.247s 3.492s
20 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1m42.286s 3.531s
21 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1m42.393s 3.638s
22 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m42.637s 3.882s


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Abu Dhabi GP FP3: Sebastian Vettel tops F1 final practice

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