Watch the final Grand Prix of the 2020 season on Sunday live on Sky Sports F1 only; Abu Dhabi G.P. Starts at 1.10pm and is configured from 11.30am
Written by James Galloway
Last Updated: 12/12/20 2:33 PM
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finally captured the first pole position of the 2020 season in a final attempt to topple Valteri Botas and returning Lewis Hamilton in a rare qualifying defeat for Mercedes at the Abu Dhabi GP.
In an unexpectedly close bout between Mercedes and Red Bull at the end of a season dominated by the former, Hamilton and then Botas each took a final pole in their final lap – but Verstappen won by a fraction of a second in an exceptional final attempt.
The Dutchman, who had previously claimed only two F1 poles in 118 races, was 1: 35.246 in the last lap with a similar close of 0.025 for tube potash and third-placed Hamilton 0.086.
“I think this will be a bit of a shock to Mercedes,” Martin Brandt of Sky F1, the only non-Mercedes pole to dry this year, said. “This is the first time they are not on the pole here [Yas Marina] In the hybrid era. “
One “very happy” Verstappen said: “The whole season, coming back and getting a little frustrating, but very happy today.”
Londo Norris, meanwhile, finished fourth on the big day stage for McLaren in the hopes of knocking out Racing Point and Renault in third place at the Constructors Championship on Sunday. Carlos Sine was sixth in the sister car, with Norris leading the overall qualifying corps (9-8) by 2020 and more than their two-year-old teammate by Ferrari.
“Two-tenths of the pole is a big achievement today,” Norris told Sky F1.
Last week’s shock race winners, Racing Point, finished third with 10 points from McLaren, starting eighth with Lance Stroll, and Sergio Perez from the back row due to mechanical changes.
But both of Renault’s cars suffered setbacks as they were knocked out in Q2, however, gaining free tire selection and Charles Leklerk’s three – stage honors on Sunday. Renault Trail Racing Point in fifth place with 22 points and McLaren with 10 points.
Red Bull’s Alex Alban struggled with the top three after Q3’s first runs, but advanced to fifth behind Norris. But in the sister team, the Albatross, Daniel Quiat would have surpassed Pierre Casley again later in his season and at least set his final bet on the stage.
Quiat Kesley will start in ninth place after Leklerk’s leading Ferrari gets a ninth-place grid penalty from Bahrain.
With a fairytale unfolding in his Ferrari career this weekend, Sebastian Vettel finished 13th next year at Racing Point / Aston Martin with a long wait to return to Q3 to expand his new career.
Abu Dhabi Qualification: Top 10
1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
2. Valteri Botas, Mercedes
3. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
4. Lando Norris, McLaren
5. Alexander Alban, Red Bull
6. Carlos Science, McLaren
7. Daniel Quiat, albatross
8. Lance Stroll, Racing Point
9. Charles Lecklerk, Ferrari *
10. Pierre Casley, Albatross
* Three space phase grid
Abu Dhabi G.P. Eligibility results
|1) Max Verstappen||Red bull||1: 35.246|
|2) Valteri Botas||Mercedes||+0.025|
|3) Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||+0.086|
|4) Lando Norris||McLaren||+0.251|
|5) Alexander Alban||Red bull||+0.325|
|6) Carlos Science||McLaren||+0.569|
|7) Daniel Quiat||Alpaca auri||+0.717|
|8) Lance Walk||Racing Point||+0.800|
|9) Charles Lecklerk *||Ferrari||+0.819|
|10) Pierre Casley||Alpaca auri||+0.996|
|Knock out in Q2|
|11) Stephen O’Connor||Renault||1: 36.359|
|12) Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||1: 36.406|
|13) Sebastian cut||Ferrari||1: 36.631|
|14) Antonio Geovinassi||Alfa Romeo||1: 38.248|
|16) Sergio Perez **||Racing Point||The time is not fixed|
|Knock out in Q1|
|16) Kimi R்கikknen||Alfa Romeo||1: 37.555|
|17) Kevin Magnussen **||Haas||1: 37.863|
|18) George Russell||Williams||1: 38.045|
|19) Pietro Fitness||Haas||1: 38.173|
|20) Nicholas Latifi||Williams||1: 38.443|
|* 3-place phase penalty|
|* Starts at the back of the grid|