F1 Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen takes Abu Dhabi pole

Max Verstappen took pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina, the final round of the 2021 F1 World Championship, ahead of title rival Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen will start ahead of Hamilton and McLaren's Lando Norris after the one-hour qualifying session, which is split into three segments with five cars each being knocked out in Q1 and Q2 before the top-10 shootout of Q3.

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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying results: Verstappen on pole from Hamilton

Cla Driver Time Gap km/h
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen
1'22.109 243.510
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
1'22.480 0.371 242.415
3 United Kingdom Lando Norris
1'22.931 0.822 241.096
4 Mexico Sergio Perez
1'22.947 0.838 241.050
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
1'22.992 0.883 240.919
6 Finland Valtteri Bottas
1'23.036 0.927 240.791
7 Monaco Charles Leclerc
1'23.122 1.013 240.542
8 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
1'23.220 1.111 240.259
9 France Esteban Ocon
1'23.389 1.280 239.772
10 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
1'23.409 1.300 239.715
11 Spain Fernando Alonso
1'23.460 1.351 239.568
12 France Pierre Gasly
1'24.043 1.934 237.906
13 Canada Lance Stroll
1'24.066 1.957 237.841
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
1'24.251 2.142 237.319
15 Germany Sebastian Vettel
1'24.305 2.196 237.167
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi
1'24.338 2.229 237.074
17 United Kingdom George Russell
1'24.423 2.314 236.835
18 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
1'24.779 2.670 235.841
19 Germany Mick Schumacher
1'24.906 2.797 235.488
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
1'25.685 3.576 233.347

What happened in Q1?

Verstappen set the early bar in Q1, lapping in 1m23.680s to which Hamilton responded with 1m23.266s, which was four tenths faster. Bottas got between the title rivals in second, just a tenth off his Mercedes teammate.

While the Mercedes duo pitted, Verstappen pushed again on the same set of tyres, going second quickest on 1m23.322s, 0.056s down on Hamilton.

After a brief red flag to retrieve a dislodged bollard, Hamilton ran again at the end of the session, unleashing a 1m22.845s, 0.272s faster than Bottas’s final run, while Verstappen stayed in the garage having the floor of his car checked over and slipped to third again.

Falling at the first hurdle were Nicholas Latifi and George Russell of Williams, Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo), and the Haases of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Q1 results: Hamilton fastest from Bottas

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 6 1'22.845 241.347
2 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 6 1'23.117 0.272 0.272 240.557
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 6 1'23.322 0.477 0.205 239.965
4 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 9 1'23.350 0.505 0.028 239.884
5 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 9 1'23.428 0.583 0.078 239.660
6 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 11 1'23.467 0.622 0.039 239.548
7 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 9 1'23.489 0.644 0.022 239.485
8 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 5 1'23.553 0.708 0.064 239.301
9 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 10 1'23.624 0.779 0.071 239.098
10 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 8 1'23.764 0.919 0.140 238.699
11 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 7 1'23.829 0.984 0.065 238.514
12 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 6 1'23.846 1.001 0.017 238.465
13 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 10 1'24.061 1.216 0.215 237.855
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 9 1'24.118 1.273 0.057 237.694
15 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 10 1'24.225 1.380 0.107 237.392
16 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 8 1'24.338 1.493 0.113 237.074
17 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 7 1'24.423 1.578 0.085 236.835
18 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 8 1'24.779 1.934 0.356 235.841
19 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 9 1'24.906 2.061 0.127 235.488
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 9 1'25.685 2.840 0.779 233.347

What happened in Q2?

The pole position hunters started this session using the medium tyre, with Hamilton setting the early pace at 1m23.185s ahead of Verstappen’s 1m23.189s, just 0.004s between them. Bottas was third, 0.061s off the pace.

Verstappen pushed again, but flatspotted his left-front tyre – a major error as these were his only fresh mediums that he’d planned to start the race on.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz then went fastest with a lap of 1m23.174s set on soft tyres, 0.011s faster than Hamilton.

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On the final runs, Hamilton opted for fresh mediums and Verstappen was forced into running new softs. Hamilton retook P1 with 1m23.145s, before Perez beat him on softs with 1m23.135s.

Verstappen topped that with 1m22.800s to head this session, ahead of Perez and Hamilton, who was 0.345s off his pace but – crucially – will start on the medium tyre, with Verstappen on the soft.

Knocked out at this point were Fernando Alonso (Alpine, who felt his lap was hampered at the end by a McLaren), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and the second Aston of Sebastian Vettel.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Grand Prix Q2 results: Verstappen fastest from Perez

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 7 1'22.800 241.478
2 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 8 1'23.135 0.335 0.335 240.505
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 6 1'23.145 0.345 0.010 240.476
4 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 6 1'23.174 0.374 0.029 240.392
5 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 6 1'23.202 0.402 0.028 240.311
6 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 8 1'23.246 0.446 0.044 240.184
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 8 1'23.256 0.456 0.010 240.155
8 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 7 1'23.404 0.604 0.148 239.729
9 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 6 1'23.420 0.620 0.016 239.683
10 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 6 1'23.448 0.648 0.028 239.603
11 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 6 1'23.460 0.660 0.012 239.568
12 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 7 1'24.043 1.243 0.583 237.906
13 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 7 1'24.066 1.266 0.023 237.841
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 8 1'24.251 1.451 0.185 237.319
15 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 8 1'24.305 1.505 0.054 237.167

What happened in Q3?

On the first runs, Verstappen – with the benefit of a tow from Perez – lapped in 1m22.109s compared to Hamilton’s 1m22.660s, which was 0.551s slower after he locked up at the new hairpin.

A lap later, Perez jumped up to third, getting a tow of Verstappen in return, and even though he was 0.8s off the pace, Perez was ahead of Bottas at this point.

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On the final runs, Hamilton improved to 1m22.480, but that was still 0.371s off Verstappen. Norris jumped up to third on his last lap, beating Perez, Sainz, Bottas, Chares Leclerc (Ferrari), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren).

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Q3 results: Verstappen takes pole

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval km/h
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 7 1'22.109 243.510
2 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 7 1'22.480 0.371 0.371 242.415
3 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 7 1'22.931 0.822 0.451 241.096
4 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 7 1'22.947 0.838 0.016 241.050
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 6 1'22.992 0.883 0.045 240.919
6 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 6 1'23.036 0.927 0.044 240.791
7 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 6 1'23.122 1.013 0.086 240.542
8 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 6 1'23.220 1.111 0.098 240.259
9 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 6 1'23.389 1.280 0.169 239.772
10 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 6 1'23.409 1.300 0.020 239.715
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