In an intriguing qualifying session, it was Lewis Hamilton who reigned supreme and took his first pole since Germany. He led an all Mercedes top 2 although Valtteri Bottas will have to start from the back due to his penalty.
This means Max Verstappen will line up alongside the reigning champion ahead of the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, who would’ve had an interesting debrief as the backing up at the final corner resulted in Leclerc being unable to set a final flying lap.
Alex Albon will start in fifth ahead of Lando Norris, who wins the McLaren head to head. Daniel Ricciardo will start in seventh ahead of Carlos Sainz, Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Perez, who is in a favourable position being the first with a free choice of tyres.
It was a better session all round for Racing Point, as Lance Stroll will start twelfth, the pink cars sandwiching Pierre Gasly’s Toro Rosso. Whilst it was a bad session for Alfa Romeo as both failed to get past Q1.
Here is the starting grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with all penalties applied.
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1.34.779
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 1.35.139
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 1.35.219
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 1.35.339
- Alexander Albon (Red Bull) 1.35.682
- Lando Norris (McLaren) 1.36.436
- Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) 1.36.456
- Carlos Sainz (McLaren) 1.36.459
- Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) 1.36.710
- Sergio Perez (Racing Point) 1.37.055
- Pierre Gasly (Toro Rosso) 1.37.089
- Lance Stroll (Racing Point) 1.37.103
- Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso) 1.37.141
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas) 1.37.254
- Romain Grosjean (Haas) 1.38.051
- Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) 1.38.114
- Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) 1.38.383
- George Russell (Williams) 1.38.717
- Robert Kubica (Williams) 1.39.236
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1.34.973*
KEY: Green = Q3, Orange = Q2, Red = Q1
*= Back of grid penalty