It will not be a Mercedes this time! For the first time since 2013 a non-Mercedes will start first at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, since Max Verstappen (NED, Red Bull) put a last minute pole lap to secure the first place on the grid for tomorrow. Both Red Bull cars had topped the third practice earlier today.
The Mercedes followed indeed, with Valtteri Bottas (FIN) slightly better than Lewis Hamilton (ENG), who is making his comeback after being positive with covid-19. Alex Albon (THA, Red Bull) was a bit over three tenths behind his teammate and was about ti take fourth until Lando Norris (ENG, McLaren) took that spot from him on the last lap. His teammate Carlos Sainz (ESP) was sixth.
Last weekend’s winner, Sergio Pérez (MEX, Racing Point) will have to start from the rear of the field because of an engine change, so he opted not to make a lap on Q2, probably opting to rely on an optimal tyre and pitstop strategy for tomorrow. Teammate Lance Stroll (CAN) made it to P8.
The Renaults had had a good Practice 3 with their cars placing 3rd and 4th but they are probably disappointing with the 11th by Esteban Ocon (FRA) and 12th by Daniel Ricciardo (AUS). A team that did better was AlphaTauri, with Daniil Kvyat a solid 7th (RUS) in what might have been his last F1 qualifying effort, and Pierre Gasly 10th (FRA).
The other driver in Q3 was Charle Leclerc (MCO, Ferrari, 9th. Sebastian Vettel (DEU) was 13th in his last qualifying effort for Ferrari. Right behind him Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA, Alfa Romero), who slightly edged out teammate Kimi Räikkönen, 16th.
Out from Q1 were both Haas and Williams drivers, with Kevin Magnussen (DEN, Haas) and George RUssel (ENG, Williams) edging out their teammates.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:35.993||1:35.641||1:35.246||19|
|4||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:36.016||1:35.849||1:35.497||17|
|5||23||Alexander Albon||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:36.106||1:35.654||1:35.571||15|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:36.517||1:36.192||1:35.815||14|
|7||26||Daniil Kvyat||ALPHATAURI HONDA||1:36.459||1:36.214||1:35.963||20|
|8||18||Lance Stroll||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:36.502||1:36.143||1:36.046||15|
|10||10||Pierre Gasly||ALPHATAURI HONDA||1:36.545||1:36.282||1:36.242||20|
|14||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:37.075||1:38.248||12|
|15||11||Sergio Perez||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:36.034||DNS||4|
|16||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:37.555||6|
|17||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||1:37.863||9|
|18||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:38.045||8|
|19||51||Pietro Fittipaldi||HAAS FERRARI||1:38.173||9|
|20||6||Nicholas Latifi||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:38.443||7|