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
What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors Plus

What needs to “change” for Red Bull is ending Verstappen’s errors

OPINION: Going up against the dominant force of Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton was always going to demand the best from Red Bull and Max Verstappen. But after making a couple more errors during the Portuguese Grand Prix, the Dutch driver showed there's a small gap he still needs to close in the 2021 Formula 1 title fight

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix Plus

The "subtle" Red Bull upgrades that kept it in the Portugal F1 mix

Red Bull's Portuguese Grand Prix fortunes were decidedly second best to Mercedes', but the result skews the potential that the team had at Portimao. With a new set of updates, the team looks good going forward into the rest of 2021's spicy F1 competition

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Portuguese Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Portuguese GP will for several drivers go down as a weekend of missed opportunities amid imperfect track conditions that caused struggles with tyre warmup. But the performances of a select few stood out from the crowd

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory Plus

How Hamilton took a “completely different journey” to Portugal victory

Just as he did in 2020, Lewis Hamilton had to come from behind to win the 2021 Portuguese Grand Prix. Only this time there were two rivals he had to pass, among the several challenges he had to overcome, on his way to securing a 97th grand prix victory

Formula 1
May 3, 2021
The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning Plus

The ‘big fish’ mentality that kept an Australian legend winning

Frank Gardner was the veteran of just eight grand prix starts. It could have been more, but why waste his talent if the cars weren't up to it? NIGEL ROEBUCK recalls the life of one of racing's great characters

Formula 1
May 2, 2021
Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth Plus

Why Todt’s FIA successor could be cut from the same cloth

Jean Todt has signalled that he will not stand for re-election as FIA president. MARK GALLAGHER analyses the strong credentials of one potential successor…

Formula 1
May 1, 2021
The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao Plus

The data that leaves both Red Bull and Mercedes uncertain of supremacy at Portimao

Lewis Hamilton topped the crucial FP2 session on Friday as F1 returned to Portugal, but his Mercedes team cannot be sure it has the edge on its Red Bull rivals. As cool temperatures and wind combine with the still-slippery surface to present drivers with quandaries over set-up and tyre warmup, there's still everything to play for come qualifying

Formula 1
Apr 30, 2021
How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion Plus

How in-form Norris is staking his claim as Britain's next F1 champion

As a highly-rated Mercedes junior, George Russell is naturally billed as Lewis Hamilton's heir apparent where Britain's next Formula 1 champion is concerned. But he may face competition for that accolade from Lando Norris, fresh from a confidence-boosting run to third at Imola, whose rise is being accelerated by his McLaren team’s revival

Formula 1
Apr 29, 2021