Abu Dhabi GP: Hamilton grabs final pole of 2019

Lewis Hamilton claimed the final Formula 1 pole position of the 2019 season in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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The Mercedes driver was fastest on the first runs in Q3 with a time of 1m34.828s.

He then shaved a few hundredths off that time on the second run to post a 1m34.779s to consolidate his position at the top of the timesheets.

Teammate Valtteri Bottas was second fastest, 0.194s slower, but has to serve a back-of-the-grid penalty for power unit changes.

This means Max Verstappen will start second having set the third fastest time, 0.360s off the pace.

Charles Leclerc won the intra-Ferrari battle by beating Sebastian Vettel to fourth place despite not reaching the line in time to start his final lap.

He complained of Vettel slowing ahead, although Vettel himself was being backed up as drivers prepared for their final quick laps.

But Vettel did not improve on his final lap, ending up 0.560s off pole.

Alex Albon was sixth fastest in the second Red Bull, nine tenths off the pace.

All of the fastest six qualifiers will start on medium-compound Pirellis, except for Vettel, who used softs to post his fastest Q2 time.

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Lando Norris won the midfield battle with seventh-fastest time, beating Renault's Daniel Ricciardo by just two-hundredths.

Carlos Sainz was a further 0.003s down in ninth place, with the second Renault of Nico Hulkenberg a distant 10th.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez was eliminated at the last moment in Q2 by Nico Hulkenberg's late improvement after being pushed down to 11th – although Bottas's penalty means he will start 10th.

Pierre Gasly ended up 12th having briefly dipped into the top 10 on his final run before being relegated by Norris and Hulkenberg.

Lance Stroll took the second Racing Point to 13th, 0.038s faster than the second Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen was 15th, over a tenth slower than Kvyat – who is being investigated by stewards for a potential unsafe release during Q1.

Romain Grosjean was quickest of those eliminated in Q1 in 16th place after being put into the elimination zone by Stroll at the end of the session.

Grosjean was vulnerable thanks to a poor first sector on his final lap, although he was still 0.341s away from reaching Q2, apologising to the team over the radio for something going wrong on the lap.

Alfa Romeo duo Antonio Giovinazzi and Kimi Raikkonen were 17th and 18th, with both briefly lifting themselves out of the bottom five in the final flurry of laps before being shuffled back.

George Russell made sure of a clean sweep of Williams teammate Robert Kubica by taking 19th place, just over half-a-second ahead.

Cla Driver Chassis Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'34.779  
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 1'35.139 0.360
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1'35.219 0.440
4 Germany Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1'35.339 0.560
5 Thailand Alex Albon Red Bull 1'35.682 0.903
6 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 1'36.436 1.657
7 Australia Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1'36.456 1.677
8 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren 1'36.459 1.680
9 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1'36.710 1.931
10 Mexico Sergio Perez Racing Point 1'37.055 2.276
11 France Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1'37.089 2.310
12 Canada Lance Stroll Racing Point 1'37.103 2.324
13 Russian Federation Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1'37.141 2.362
14 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas 1'37.254 2.475
15 France Romain Grosjean Haas 1'38.051 3.272
16 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1'38.114 3.335
17 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 1'38.383 3.604
18 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 1'38.717 3.938
19 Poland Robert Kubica Williams 1'39.236 4.457
20 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1'34.973 0.194
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