RED Bull’s Max Verstappen, who has been among the fastest on the circuit throughout the season, was made to wait until the last race of the season for his first pole.
The Dutch driver became the fourth different pole sitter in four weeks in the final weekend of the 2020 F1 season.
Verstappen celebrated with his team for their performances throughout the season, “I think for the mechanics and everyone in the team this was a great boost, I didn’t really expect to fight for pole today but it was very satisfying”.
The Mercedes duo found themselves in unfamiliar territory in second and third place with 7-time world champion Lewis Hamilton losing out to his teammate Valterri Bottas by a whisker to end 3rd, after dominating proceedings on a weekly basis.
“It’s definitely been a difficult weekend, getting back into the rhythm and finding the momentum again but I’m super grateful to be back with the team and trying to close out the strong season that we’ve had, in style.” said Hamilton.
Mclaren’s rising star Lando Norris starts from fourth, equalling his best-ever Q3 result, ahead of Verstappen’s teammate Alex Albon. Albon, who is fighting for his F1 career with Red Bull, split the Mclaren cars finishing ahead of Carlos Sainz.
AlphaTauri driver Daniil Kyvat qualified in 7th ahead of Racing Point’s Lance Stroll. Kyvat’s teammate Pierre Gasly qualified in 10th benefitting from a grid penalty to Ferrari’s Charles Leclerq to move into 9th. Renault duo Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo will start from 10th and 11th respectively.
Leclerc, after crashing out of the Sakhir GP in the first lap, will start from 12th after being slapped with a three-place grid penalty. Leclerc will start ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel, for whom the Abu Dhabi GP will mark his last for the famous red Ferrari after an unsuccessful six-year tenure.
Last week’s race winner Sergio Perez, and Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, will start from 19th and 20th respectively after replacing their engines.