Lewis Hamilton takes Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 pole position

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the Formula 1 season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton takes Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 pole position

The Mercedes driver was fastest on both runs in the Q3 top 10 shootout to take pole by 0.162s from team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Although Bottas had a slight advantage in the middle sector, Hamilton was quicker in the first and third sectors to take his 11th pole of the year.

Sebastian Vettel couldn't improve by enough on his last run thanks to losing time in the final sector and admitted there was maybe half-a-tenth missing, which would not have been enough to get onto the front row.

Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen - who picked up a reprimand in FP3 for returning to the track after committing to the pit entry - jumped Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo for fourth place on the final runs despite the Australian setting a stunning pace in the final sector - fastest of anyone.

Max Verstappen was sixth fastest after abandoning his final run having complained about the tyres being too hot when he left the pits.

Five of the top six will start on ultrasofts having used that compound to set their times in Q2, the exception being Verstappen.

The Red Bull driver wasn't quick enough on his ultrasoft run in Q2 and reported struggling for grip on turn-in, meaning he had to use hypersofts for his second run to ensure he reached Q3.

Romain Grosjean was best of the rest in seventh place, 0.045s faster than the Sauber of Charles Leclerc.

Racing Point Force India driver Esteban Ocon beat the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg to 10th, with the German failing to improve on his second run and slipping down from eighth place.

Carlos Sainz Jr failed to make Q3 after being relegated to 11th by Verstappen's late improvement on hypersofts in Q2.

He was a tenth-and-a-half faster than Marcus Ericsson, who beat Haas driver Kevin Magnussen to 12th place.

Force India driver Sergio Perez was 14th fastest, two-tenths ahead of McLaren driver Fernando Alonso - who is making, for now, his swansong F1 appearance.

Toro Rosso pairing Brendon Hartley and Pierre Gasly were fastest of those eliminated in Q1 in 16th and 17th place.

They were shuffled back by improvements by Magnussen, Ericsson and Perez despite both improving on their final laps.

Hartley complained of a lack of entry stability compared, while Gasly suffered an engine problem at the end of his fastest qualifying lap and was ordered to stop on track after reporting smoke from the rear of the car.

Stoffel Vandoorne ended his final F1 qualifying session before heading to Formula E in 18th place, just ahead of Williams pairing Sergey Sirotkin and Lance Stroll - the duo separated by less than half-a-tenth.

Starting grid

Pos Driver Car Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m34.794s -
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m34.956s 0.162s
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m35.125s 0.331s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m35.365s 0.571s
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m35.401s 0.607s
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m35.589s 0.795s
7 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m36.192s 1.398s
8 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m36.237s 1.443s
9 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m36.540s 1.746s
10 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m36.542s 1.748s
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1m36.982s -
12 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m37.132s -
13 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m37.309s -
14 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m37.541s -
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m37.743s -
16 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m37.994s -
17 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m38.166s -
18 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m38.577s -
19 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m38.635s -
20 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m38.682s -


shares
comments
Grosjean, Gasly escape penalties for bizarre Abu Dhabi F1 FP3 clash

Previous article

Grosjean, Gasly escape penalties for bizarre Abu Dhabi F1 FP3 clash

Next article

Hamilton says 'killer' last sector was key to Abu Dhabi GP pole

Hamilton says 'killer' last sector was key to Abu Dhabi GP pole
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Author Edd Straw
The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition Plus

The diva that stole a march on F1’s wide-bodied opposition

In 2017 new F1 technical regulations were supposed to add drama - and peg Mercedes back. STUART CODLING looks at the car which, while troubled, set the stage for the wide-bodied Formula 1 era

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return Plus

The themes to watch in F1’s Imola return

Three weeks is a long time in Formula 1, but in the reshaped start to the 2021 season the teams head to Imola to pick things up after the frenetic Bahrain opener. Here's what to look out for and the developments to follow at the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola Plus

The 'new' F1 drivers who need to improve at Imola

After a pandemic-hit winter of seat-swapping, F1 kicked off its season with several new faces in town, other drivers adapting to new environments, and one making a much-anticipated comeback. BEN ANDERSON looks at who made the most of their opportunity and who needs to try harder…

Formula 1
Apr 12, 2021
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Formula 1
Apr 10, 2021
Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021