The Sportspedia

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.

Qualifying Result:

133Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA1:35.9931:35.6411:35.24619
277Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:35.6991:35.5271:35.27118
344Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:35.5281:35.4661:35.33220
44Lando NorrisMCLAREN RENAULT1:36.0161:35.8491:35.49717
523Alexander AlbonRED BULL RACING HONDA1:36.1061:35.6541:35.57115
655Carlos SainzMCLAREN RENAULT1:36.5171:36.1921:35.81514
726Daniil KvyatALPHATAURI HONDA1:36.4591:36.2141:35.96320
818Lance StrollRACING POINT BWT MERCEDES1:36.5021:36.1431:36.04615
916Charles LeclercFERRARI1:35.8811:35.9321:36.06520
1010Pierre GaslyALPHATAURI HONDA1:36.5451:36.2821:36.24220
1131Esteban OconRENAULT1:36.7831:36.35912
123Daniel RicciardoRENAULT1:36.7041:36.4069
135Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:36.6551:36.63112
1499Antonio GiovinazziALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:37.0751:38.24812
167Kimi RäikkönenALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI1:37.5556
1720Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:37.8639
1863George RussellWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:38.0458
1951Pietro FittipaldiHAAS FERRARI1:38.1739
206Nicholas LatifiWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:38.4437