ABU DHABI — World champion Lewis Hamilton stormed to the ultimate pole place of the Formulation One season with a stunning show below the floodlights in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday.
The Briton, who wrapped up his sixth Formulation One title two races in the past on the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, lapped the Yas Marina circuit in a single minute 34.779 seconds, beating Mercedes workforce mate Valtteri Bottas by Zero.194.
“Sure, guys, that’s what I’ve been on the lookout for,” Hamilton stated on the workforce radio on the calm down lap.
Bottas will line up on the again attributable to a raft of engine-related penalties, that means that Purple Bull’s Max Verstappen will begin Sunday’s race on the entrance row.
“I’m going to start out final with my 40-place grid penalty or no matter,” stated Bottas. “We’ll discover the preventing spirit for tomorrow.”
Verstappen stated his lap was the perfect he might do in opposition to a Mercedes workforce who regarded dominant within the desert.
“I feel there are nonetheless a whole lot of probabilities for tomorrow,” added the 22-year-old.
The pole was a record-extending 88th of Hamilton’s profession and fifth of the season. It was additionally his fifth in Abu Dhabi however first for the reason that German Grand Prix in July — a run of 9 races out of the highest slot.
“It’s been such an extended slog making an attempt to get this pole place,” defined the 34-year-old, who was quickest after the primary flying lap after which improved on his time within the second.
“Yesterday was fairly wobbly so I actually needed to re-compose myself final evening and are available again in the present day targeted. I managed to essentially dial within the automobile with nice work from the engineers, mechanics,” he added.
“It’s been a particular automobile and that is the final time I get to qualify with it so I’m glad I did it proud in the present day.”
Hamilton has gained 4 occasions beforehand on the Yas Marina circuit and is chasing his 11th victory of the season on Sunday to finish the marketing campaign simply seven off Michael Schumacher’s all-time file of 91.
With 5 of the 10 races up to now in Abu Dhabi having been gained from pole, and Mercedes winners of the final 5, the omens look good.
“We’ve had a clear file right here in Abu Dhabi, it’s a observe that fits us and fits him,” stated Mercedes workforce boss Toto Wolff.
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who ends the season with essentially the most poles (seven), will begin in third place with workforce mate Sebastian Vettel fourth.
The pair collided in Brazil two weeks in the past, ending their races and resulting in a gathering on the Maranello manufacturing unit to clear the air.
There was extra frustration on Saturday, nevertheless, when Leclerc missed out on a ultimate flying lap with Vettel slowing in entrance of him.
“We’re not going to make it, Seb is slowing down,” Leclerc stated over the radio.
“It’s life typically it occurs, I don’t know if the scenario was unfortunate or we might’ve executed one thing higher,” the Monegasque, who’s preventing Verstappen for third within the championship, stated.
British-born Thai rookie Alexander Albon was sixth for Purple Bull forward of McLaren’s Lando Norris and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Carlos Sainz was ninth for McLaren whereas Nico Hulkenberg, with out a drive subsequent season after shedding his seat to Frenchman Esteban Ocon, rounded out the highest 10 for Renault.
British rookies Norris and George Russell, with Williams, each finish the season having out-qualified their workforce mates over the course of the marketing campaign.
Norris has certified forward of Sainz in 11 of the 21 races whereas Russell has a 21-Zero file in opposition to Poland’s Robert Kubica.
Montreal’s Lance Stroll was thirteenth.