Formula One: Hamilton on pole in season-ending Abu Dhabi GP
The Briton, who wrapped up his sixth Formula One title two races ago at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, lit up the Arabian dusk with a one minute, 34.779 seconds, beating Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.194 seconds.
Abu Dhabi: Lewis Hamilton stormed to the final pole position of the Formula One season with a dazzling display under the floodlights in Saturday's qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Briton, who wrapped up his sixth Formula One title two races ago at the US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas, lit up the Arabian dusk with a one minute, 34.779 seconds, beating Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.194 seconds.
The Finn, though, is carrying an engine-related penalty and is set to start at the back of the grid, elevating Red Bull's Max Verstappen, winner two weeks ago in Brazil, onto the front row alongside Hamilton. Saturday's pole was the 88th of Hamilton's career and fifth this season. It was also his fifth in Abu Dhabi but marks first time that he will start a race from the front since the German Grand Prix in July.
With five of the ten races in Abu Dhabi having been won from pole, it bodes well for his chances of signing off on a dominant 2019 campaign with an unprecedented fifth win at the Yas Marina track. "Yes, guys, that's what I've been looking for," Hamilton said on the team radio on the cool down lap. "It's been such a long road to try and get this pole position," the 34-year-old added after stepping out of his car. Behind the top three Ferrari pair Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel, who collided two weeks ago in Brazil, were a distant fourth and fifth.
The Monegasque, who ends the season with seven has taken the most poles this season and will start third thanks to Bottas' penalty, wasn't able to cross the line to start his final lap before the clock ran out. He suggested Vettel, who will start fourth, had backed him up. British-born Thai rookie Alexander Albon was sixth for Red Bull ahead of McLaren's Lando Norris and Renault's Daniel Ricciardo. Carlos Sainz was ninth for McLaren while Nico Hulkenberg, without a drive next season after losing his seat to Frenchman Esteban Ocon, rounded out the top ten in his final race for Renault.
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