Lewis Hamilton will start from pole in the final Grand Prix of the season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Hamilton took pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session at Yas Marina, with a new track record of 1m 34.794s, ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
With no championships to play for in the final weekend of the season in Abu Dhabi, Sunday’s Grand Prix is set to be a straight up pride fight for victory.
In a momentous day for the Silver Arrows, Mercedes became the first team in F1 history to take five consecutive front-row lock-outs at any track, while it was Hamilton’s 11th pole position of 2018.
Behind the two Mercedes came the pair of Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, who continued the Scuderia’s run of having never appeared on the front row at Yas Marina since the race was introduced in 2009.
Then came the paired up Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen, the team having already predicted that they were likely to play third best in qualifying, but more hopeful for a strong performance in the race, with analysis of Friday’s long-run pace data suggesting that their car is the fastest in race trim.
Haas’ Romain Grosjean claimed the final ‘best of the rest’ placing of the season – denying Nico Hulkenberg the chance to claim his fourth consecutive appearance in seventh place on the grid in Abu Dhabi – while the similarly Ferrari-engined Sauber of Charles Leclerc was eighth. Esteban Ocon was ninth for Force India, while Hulkenberg ended up 10th.
Appearing in what could be his final ever qualifying session, Fernando Alonso was P15 for McLaren.