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Lewis Hamilton powers to pole position for the 2016 F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi, Nico Rosberg starts second

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Lewis Hamilton powers to pole position for the 2016 F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi, Nico Rosberg starts second
Nov 26, 2016, 2:16 PM

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the 2016 Formula 1 season ahead of his Mercedes teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton claimed pole position for the 2016 Formula 1 season ahead of his Mercedes teammate and championship rival Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton had topped the first two parts of qualifying at the Yas Marina circuit and he also was fastest after the first efforts in Q3. Rosberg had been quicker in sector one but faded as the lap went on and Hamilton established a 0.346s advantage with provisional pole.

On the final runs in Q3, Rosberg again shaded Hamilton in the first sector but the British driver went faster as the lap went on and extended his advantage with a best lap of 1m38.755s.

Nico Rosberg

Rosberg, who leads the standings by 12 points going into the final race of the season, improved his best time but still ended up 0.303s adrift of his teammate. The German driver only needs to finish on the podium in tomorrow’s race to secure his first ever F1 world title.

Speaking after claiming his third career pole position in Abu Dhabi, his 12th of the 2016 season and the 61st of his F1 career, Hamilton said: “I can’t believe I have 61, that’s four more to go to try and catch Ayrton.

“It’s been a great weekend so far [but] it’s been strange coming here this weekend realising that this is going to be the last practice sessions [and] the last qualifying sessions with this car, which has been so incredible and you never know when you’re going to have a car like this again.

Lewis Hamilton

“I hope we have another one in the future and next year. It’s been such a privilege driving this car, and so far this weekend I’ve got the car in a real sweet spot. Perfect position for tomorrow.”

Behind the Mercedes drivers, Daniel Ricciardo improved on his final lap to deny Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen third place. The Australian driver and his teammate Max Verstappen will start the race on the supersoft tyres after Red Bull opted to put its driver through Q2 on the harder red-walled rubber.

Sebastian Vettel finished fifth, which means he loses the inter-team qualifying battle at Ferrari 11-10 to Raikkonen, as Verstappen qualified sixth after abandoning his final lap following an off-track moment at Turn 11.

Felipe Massa

Nico Hulkenberg beat his Force India teammate Sergio Perez to seventh place with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, who is making his final F1 appearance and his 250th start this weekend, in ninth and tenth for McLaren and Williams.

In Q2, Valtteri Bottas was eliminated by Alonso’s late improvement during the dying moments of the second segment of the session and the Finn will start 11th in the second Williams as a result.

Jenson Button will begin what he expects to be his final F1 race from 12th place on the grid for McLaren, ahead of the Haas pair of Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean.

Jenson Button

Jolyon Palmer was 15th for Renault, which means the French manufacturer has not seen one of its drivers get into Q3 on a single occasion during its first season back in F1 with a full works squad, while Pascal Wehrlein ended up 16th – the fourth time this season that the German driver has made it into Q2 for Manor.

In Q1, Daniil Kvyat qualified 17th after the Toro Rosso team missed much of FP2 and only completed limited running in FP3 as it investigated and fixed what caused the Russian driver to suffer two left-rear punctures during yesterday’s practice running.

Kevin Magnussen will start his final race for Renault in 18th place ahead of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr and Esteban Ocon in the second Manor.

Marcus Ericsson

Carlos Sainz ended up down in 21st place, which is the Spaniard’s worst qualifying of the season, and Marcus Ericsson brought up the rear of the field for Sauber.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying results:

1 Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes 1m38.755s

2 Nico Rosberg, Mercedes 1m39.058s +0.303s

3 Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull 1m39.589s +0.834s

4 Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari 1m39.604s +0.849s

5 Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari 1m39.661s +0.906s

6 Max Verstappen, Red Bull 1m39.818s +1.063s

7 Nico Hulkenberg, Force India 1m40.501s +1.746s

8 Sergio Perez, Force India 1m40.519s +1.764s

9 Fernando Alonso, McLaren 1m41.106s +2.351s

10 Felipe Massa, Williams 1m41.213s +2.458s

Q2

11 Valtteri Bottas, Williams 1m41.084s

12 Jenson Button, McLaren 1m41.272s

13 Esteban Gutierrez, Haas F1 1m41.480s

14 Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 1m41.564s

15 Jolyon Palmer, Renault 1m41.820s

16 Pascal Wehrlein, Manor 1m41.995s

Q1

17 Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso 1m42.003s

18 Kevin Magnussen, Renault 1m42.142s

19 Felipe Nasr, Sauber 1m42.247s

20 Esteban Ocon, Manor 1m42.286s

21 Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso 1m42.393s

22 Marcus Ericsson, Sauber 1m42.637s

What did you make of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or head over to the JAonF1 Facebook page for more discussion.
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