Verstappen takes Abu Dhabi pole as Red Bull locks out the front row

Verstappen takes Abu Dhabi pole as Red Bull locks out the front row

Max Verstappen edged out Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and teammate Sergio Perez to win the pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix season finale.

Red Bull duo Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tomorrow on the front row thanks to their outstanding performance in the season’s last qualifying session today.

Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz secured the second row of the grid for Ferrari as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, driving for Mercedes, had to settle with fifth and sixth place.

Esteban Ocon of Alpine finished in P7, followed by McLaren’s Lando Norris, Sebastian Vettel, and Daniel Ricciardo, who completed the top 10. Fernando Alonso in the sister Alpine will start from 11th place after narrowly missing out on the top ten slots.

AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda was the fastest in Q1 with a timing of 1m26.135s, a tenth faster than Schumacher. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc then immediately surpassed the Japanese’s lap time with a 1m25.211s, but only a short while later did Red Bull’s Sergio Perez go nearly 0.4s faster.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen later outran his Mexican teammate by 0.066 seconds on the first hot lap. Meanwhile, Carlos Sainz moved his Ferrari SF-75 into third place after making a mistake on his initial attempt.

Most drivers chose a new set of C5 compound for their second run, with the exception of the Ferrari duo, while the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers continued to use the red-walled tyres they had used for their previous flying laps.

Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel was the biggest shock, turning in a strong lap to finish sixth at the end of the first phase of qualifying. Kevin Magnussen was unable to advance from Q1 despite his shock pole position the last time out at Sao Paulo just one week ago, with the Danish driver blaming traffic. 

Alexander Albon narrowly edged out teammate Nicholas Latifi by a few thousandths of a second in Free Practice 3, despite turning some impressive laps he was not able to advance to Q2. At the conclusion of Q1, Kevin Magnussen, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Alexander Albon, and Nicholas Latifi were eliminated.

Quite early in the second qualifying session, Mercedes sent its drivers out onto the Yas Marina circuit. Hamilton posted a time of 1m25.722s on their used soft tires from Q1, but Russell outperformed him by 0.4s.

Perez stunned the competitors with a massive lap time of 1m24.419s, which put him 0.4s ahead of teammate Verstappen. Vettel turned in another excellent lap to finish only 0.5 seconds slower than Perez earlier in the session despite being repeatedly hampered by traffic.

Only a tenth slower than Perez, Ferrari drivers Leclerc and Sainz put on a stunning display of speed in the closing moments of Q2 on the new C5 tyres.

With Norris and Ricciardo being promoted to the final qualifying round, McLaren was able to maintain their strong performance from Q1. Ocon was able to advance to Q3 for Alpine, McLaren’s main rivals in the Constructors’ Championship, but Fernando Alonso was unable to outperform P11. Alpine’s performance was significantly worse.

At the conclusion of Q2, Lance Stroll, Zhou Guanyu, Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsunoda, and Fernando Alonso were eliminated.

2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying Results

11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:24.7541:24.6221:23.82417
211Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:24.8201:24.4191:24.05218
316Charles LeclercFerrari1:25.2111:24.5171:24.09217
455Carlos SainzFerrari1:25.0901:24.5211:24.24216
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:25.5941:24.7741:24.50821
663George RussellMercedes1:25.5451:24.9401:24.51120
74Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:25.3871:24.9031:24.76917
831Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:25.7351:25.0071:24.83017
95Sebastian VettelAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:25.5231:24.9741:24.96118
103Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:25.7661:25.0681:25.04515
1114Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:25.7821:25.09612
1222Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:25.6301:25.21915
1347Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:25.7111:25.22515
1418Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:25.7411:25.35915
1524Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:25.5941:25.40812
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:25.8349
1710Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Rbpt1:25.8599
1877Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:25.8926
1923Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:26.0289
206Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:26.0549

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