Max Verstappen took pole place for the season-ending Abu Grand Prix on Saturday and can look to complete a crushingly dominant 12 months with a nineteenth win.
Victory on Sunday would take the Purple Bull driver onto 54 profession wins, previous Sebastian Vettel and into third place all time.
The three-time F1 champion’s twelfth pole of the season took him to 32 general. He begins the race forward of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in second place and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri in third.
“By no means wager towards me,” Verstappen stated afterward, jokingly referring to a remark made by his Purple Bull crew principal Christian Horner.
Horner knowledgeable Verstappen that he had received a wager for 500 euros ($547) made with Purple Bull boss Helmut Marko as to the place Verstappen would qualify.
“You have simply received me 500 euros,” Horner informed Verstappen over radio when he crossed the road.
With a couple of minutes left, Verstappen led from McLaren’s Lando Norris and Piastri underneath floodlights on the Yas Marina circuit.
Norris slid late whereas pushing too arduous on his final timed lap and Piastri moved forward of him, whereas Leclerc jumped up the leaderboard with a superb lap to put .14 seconds behind Verstappen.
“Every thing felt good, I am very pleased with that lap as a result of I did not count on to be on the entrance row,” Leclerc stated. “It is a good shock.”
Mercedes driver George Russell certified in fourth forward of Norris with AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda in sixth and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso seventh. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas), Sergio Perez (Purple Bull) and Pierre Gasly (Alpine) accomplished the highest 10.
It was a foul session for Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton (eleventh) and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. (sixteenth).
Sainz didn’t make it into the second a part of qualifying – often called Q2 – and complained of an excessive amount of site visitors close to the top of Q1 with a number of drivers popping out of their garages late.
Nonetheless, for a number one driver – Sainz is the one driver aside from Verstappen or Perez to win a race this season – it was a poor efficiency after he crashed early in Friday’s second observe session. Doubtlessly expensive, too, with second place within the constructors’ championship at stake.
Heading into Sunday’s race, Mercedes was in second and held a four-point lead over Ferrari. Groups get extra money on the finish of the season the upper they end.
However Mercedes is struggling for type, and Hamilton was knocked out of Q2. The seven-time F1 champion stated there was “one thing not proper with this automobile” and faces the sturdy chance of a second straight season and not using a win.
Williams driver Logan Sargeant goes from final on the grid together with his F1 future nonetheless unsure. The American has just one level this season with a finest results of tenth place at the US GP final month.
Earlier Saturday, Russell topped the third and ultimate observe session forward of Norris and Piastri with Verstappen in sixth.
“What a turnaround as a result of in observe it was not wanting good,” Verstappen stated.