Formula 1

Verstappen storms to pole as Red Bull score 1-2 in final qualifying session of the season at Yas Marina

Max Verstappen charged to pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, getting the better of Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez and Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc as the sun set and the track action ramped up during qualifying at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Verstappen led the way with a time of 1m 23.988s after the first Q3 runs and improved to a 1m 23.824s on his final lap, finishing two-tenths clear of Perez, with Leclerc half a tenth further back in third.

Carlos Sainz followed team mate Leclerc in fourth, while Lewis Hamilton and George Russell put their Mercedes cars P5 and P6 respectively to ensure that the top three teams from 2022 will start the final race of the season in formation.

Lando Norris was one of the stars of qualifying as he grabbed seventh in his McLaren, ahead of Alpine rival Esteban Ocon – the two teams set for a showdown over P4 in the constructors’ standings.


Qualifying results

1  Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing 1:23.824
2  Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing 1:24.052
3  Charles LECLERC Ferrari 1:24.092
4  Carlos SAINZ Ferrari 1:24.242
5  Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes 1:24.508


Fernando Alonso could not follow team mate Ocon into Q3 as he fell a few thousandths short during Q2, winding up in P11 and just in front of Yuki Tsunoda, who led AlphaTauri’s charge with a solid session to see out the season.

Mick Schumacher ended his final F1 qualifying run with Haas in 13th, as the wait goes on to find out where he will head next, while Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu joined him as Q2 eliminees.

Q1 and the opening knockout phase saw Magnussen come back down to earth with a bump after his spectacular pole position amid changeable conditions in Sao Paulo – the Dane the first driver to miss the Q2 cut in P16.

He was joined on the sidelines by Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas in the other AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo machines, with Williams drivers Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi – the latter also bidding farewell to the sport – bringing up the rear.

Categories: Formula 1, Starting Line-Up

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