Red Bull driver Max Verstappen produced a gorgeous final lap and beat each Mercedes automobiles to take pole place for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday. He was .025 seconds forward of Valtteri Bottas and .086 away from world champion Lewis Hamilton for his first pole of the season and third of his profession.
Mega, mega lap! Red Bulls workforce principal Christian Horner yelled over the radio when Verstappen crossed the road beneath floodlights on the Yas Marina circuit.
“It’s a lengthy season for everybody and this was a nice last qualifying for the entire workforce,” Verstappen stated. “We are all very happy and its great to finally get there after being close many times in 2020.”
Bottas led Verstappen and Hamilton after their first attempts in Q3, the final section of qualifying, and Hamilton then appeared on course for a record-extending 99th career pole as he led the split times on their second and final attempts.
But Verstappen showed why he is touted as a future world champion, and Bottas found some extra speed to score a rare victory over his illustrious teammate.
Hamilton went well wide in Q1 and went over the curb, while Verstappen complained over the radio that his hand had got stuck inside the cockpit.
Hamilton fared better in Q2, topping the charts. But Sebastian Vettel’s final qualifying session for Ferrari saw him among the five drivers eliminated from it, along with Renault drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon.
“We don’t really know why we struggled, it was a surprise for sure,” stated Ricciardo, who has two podium finishes this season. “There is frustration that we couldn’t do any higher.”
Racing Point driver Sergio Perez begins his final race from a lowly 15th.
The fashionable Mexican driver gained final Sunday’s dramatic Sakhir GP in Bahrain for the primary win of his profession and 10th podium end. But he doesn’t have a seat for subsequent yr after being changed by Vettel, when Racing Point is renamed Aston Martin following a takeover.
Earlier, Verstappen was quickest forward of teammate Alexander Albon in the third and last apply. He led Albon and Ricciardo, who’s competing in his final race for Renault earlier than becoming a member of McLaren subsequent yr.
Hamilton has gained 11 races this yr however missed final Sunday’s Sakhir GP in Bahrain as he recovered from the coronavirus. This denied the seven-time F1 champion the chance to equal Vettel’s single-season report of 13 wins, set with Red Bull in 2013.