Nico Rosberg continued his impressive qualifying form by claiming a sixth consecutive pole position for the final round at Abu Dhabi.
The session provided an intriguing battle between the Mercedes team-mates with Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton enjoying spells at the top of the timesheets in Q3.
However, it was Rosberg who took the spoils with the German’s final lap eclipsing Hamilton’s best by 0.3 seconds.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen emerged in third spot in a mixed session for the Maranello team as Sebastian Vettel was knocked out in Q1 after an uncharacteristic error.
The four-time world champion admitted it was his mistake rather than a mechanical issue that saw him end the session in a lowly 16th position.
Force India backed up their strong practice pace with Sergio Perez completing the second row in fourth.
Daniel Ricciardo produced one of his best qualifying performances of the season to claim fifth for Red Bull ahead of the Williams of Valtteri Bottas.
Nico Hulkenberg reiterated Force India’s form in seventh while Felipe Massa, Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz rounded out the top 10.
Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen will start from 11th after being pipped to the final spot in Q3 by team-mate Sainz.
McLaren’s Jenson Button was 12th fastest while team-mate Fernando Alonso suffered a left rear puncture in Q1 which restricted him to 17th spot.
Pastor Maldonado will start from 13th on the grid alongside Sauber’s Felipe Nasr with Romain Grosjean in 15th. The latter came to a halt on circuit in Q2 with a suspected hydraulic failure.
Result: Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying
|4||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1:41.184s||+0.947s|
|5||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1:41.444s||+1.207s|
|7||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1:41.686s||+1.449s|
|9||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1:41.933s||+1.696s|
|10||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:42.708s||+2.471s|
|11||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1:42.521s||+2.284s Q2|
|12||Jenson Button||McLaren/Honda||1:42.668s||+2.431s Q2|
|13||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus/Mercedes||1:42.807s||+2.570s Q2|
|14||Felipe Nasr||Sauber/Ferrari||1:43.614s||+3.377s Q2|
|16||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||1:42.941s||+2.704s Q1|
|17||Fernando Alonso||McLaren/Honda||1:43.187s||+2.950s Q1|
|18||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber/Ferrari||1:43.838s||+3.601s Q1|
|19||Will Stevens||Marussia/Ferrari||1:46.297s||+6.060s Q1|
|20||Roberto Merhi||Marussia/Ferrari||1:47.434s||+7.197s Q1|