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Hamilton storms to Abu Dhabi pole position

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Sunday 27th November, 2016 - 1:35am

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Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton will start the title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from pole position following an impressive showing in qualifying.

The Mercedes driver was comfortably faster than his title rival Nico Rosberg after dominating the session at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Hamilton put down a marker with his first run before going on to shave another 0.3s from his benchmark with his final effort.

The Brit’s 12th pole lap of the season proved 0.303s faster than Rosberg, who was unable to match his team-mate throughout qualifying.

“I can’t believe I have 61 pole positions, only four more to catch Ayrton (Senna),” said Hamilton.

“It has been a good weekend so far. It has been strange coming here knowing that this is going to be the last race in a car which has been so incredible.

“It has been such a privilege to drive this car and I’m in a perfect position for the race.”

Rosberg, however, is in a strong position regarding the title race with a 12 point lead over Hamilton.

“Lewis did a good job and was a couple of tenths quicker,’  said Rosberg.

“I wasn’t able to do that time today even though I gave it everything.

“There are opportunities on Sunday so I will try and go for the win.”

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo snatched third in the dying minutes to emerge as the best of the rest.

The Australian will start the race on the super-soft tyre after electing to run a different strategy compared to his rivals.

“We have got to try something (with the tyres). If we are in a position to qualify on a different tyre then we have tried to do so,” said Ricciardo.

“We will see what it does in the race and hopefully it puts us in the fight.”

Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen out-qualified his team-mate Sebastian Vettel to claim fourth, while Max Verstappen was sixth after making a mistake on his last lap.

The Force India’s of Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez continued their strong qualifying form in seventh and eighth.

The top 10 was completed by McLaren’s Fernando Alonso and the retiring Felipe Massa, who bettered Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Jenson Button will start his final F1 race from 12th position ahead of the two Haas F1 cars of Esteban Gutierrez and Romain Grosjean.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer and Manor’s Pascal Wehrlein will occupy the eighth row.

Toro Rosso’s difficult weekend continued with both cars failing to progress from Q1.

The Red Bull sister team suffered a wheel rim issue with Kvyat’s car that restricted running in Friday practice.

The squad struggled for pace in qualifying with Kvyat 17th while Sainz will start from the back row of the grid in 21st position.

Kevin Magnussen (Renault), Felipe Nasr (Sauber), Esteban Ocon (Manor) and Marcus Ericsson (Sauber) were all causalities from Q1.

Result: Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying

Position Driver Team Time Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:38.75s
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:39.05 0.303s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1:39.58 0.834s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:39.60 0.849s
5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:39.66 0.906s
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1:39.81 1.063s
7 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1:40.50 1.746s
8 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1:40.51 1.764s
9 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1:41.10 2.351s
10 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1:41.21 2.458s
11 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 1:41.08 2.329s
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1:41.27 2.517s
13 Esteban Gutierrez Haas/Ferrari 1:41.48 2.725s
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:41.56 2.809s
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:41.82 3.065s
16 Pascal Wehrlein Manor/Mercedes 1:41.99 3.240s
17 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:42.00 3.248s
18 Kevin Magnussen Renault 1:42.14 3.387s
19 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 1:42.24 3.492s
20 Esteban Ocon Manor/Mercedes 1:42.28 3.531s
21 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Ferrari 1:42.39 3.638s
22 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1:42.63 3.882s

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