Max Verstappen beat Pink Bull team-mate Sergio Perez one-two in qualifying for the ultimate race of the season in Abu Dhabi.
Verstappen took pole by 0.228 seconds as Perez edged out Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by 0.04 seconds of their battle for second within the championship.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was fourth, as Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and George Russell crammed the third row.
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel will begin his closing Grand Prix in ninth.
The German drove a robust session as teammate Lance Stroll may solely handle 14th.
McLaren’s Lando Norris was seventh, forward of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon in eighth, with McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo rounding out the highest 10.
Ricciardo has a three-place grid penalty for inflicting a crash in Brazil final weekend and can begin thirteenth, behind Alpine’s Fernando Alonso, Alfa Tori’s Yuki Sonoda and Mick Schumacher in 2023. In his final race after being dropped by Le Haas in favor of Nico Hulkenberg. .
Verstappen impressed as Pink Bull bounced again.
Pink Bull had a uncommon weekend in Brazil, and the crew admitted they made errors with set-up that they may not recuperate from because it was a dash weekend, earlier than the automobile set-up was locked. There was just one observe session.
However they’re flying at Yas Marina and even Verstappen lacking first observe as a result of the crew gave younger driver Liam Lawson a run in his automobile didn’t have an effect on him. And ultimately, he did two laps effectively sufficient for the pole.
Perez appeared like he may beat Verstappen after the world champion struggled for grip within the second a part of qualifying, managing simply fourth quickest behind Perez, Sainz and Leclerc. may
However Verstappen discovered the automobile to his liking within the closing session, regardless of what he described as a “fright” when the automobile stalled as he tried to depart the storage for his first run and All programs needed to be reset.
Nonetheless, Verstappen threw down the gauntlet with an exceptional first lap as Perez exited the ultimate nook and was greater than 0.3 seconds behind.
Verstappen as soon as once more improved by simply 0.15 seconds on his closing lap and he gave Perez a serving to hand with a two on the principle road, sufficient to make the distinction between the entrance row or third place.
Verstappen mentioned: “Q3 was good, earlier than that it was all a bit up and down.
“I used to be alleged to drive in entrance of Chico however the engine stopped and we needed to restart the automobile. We managed to maintain all the pieces below management and did a very good lap.
“The second run was extra direct however it wasn’t simple to seek out extra lap occasions, a bit extra within the closing sector.
“The automobile was good all weekend – again to regular. We knew we had a quick automobile however we made a number of errors within the Brazilian sight.
“I may see Chico in P1 fairly completely satisfied and straight at it with Liam, and in P2 it was nearly fixing a number of issues.”
Perez is tied on factors with Leclerc however will begin the Grand Prix as sturdy favourite to complete second as Ferrari have struggled for tempo in current races.
Leclerc mentioned he expects it to be “shut” with Perez within the race.
The crew has struggled with tire degradation in current races however Leclerc mentioned the crew “has paid a number of consideration to it this weekend” so he hopes it will not be a difficulty.
The Mercedes slipped once more.
Mercedes got here into Abu Dhabi warning that they may face a more durable weekend after Russell’s victory in Brazil and a aggressive show in Mexico, and it proved to be the case.
The automobile was very fast by means of the slower corners within the closing sector, however struggled with its excessive drag on the straight and completed 0.684s off Hamilton’s tempo, with Russell simply 0.03s behind.
“By way of outcomes, it is most likely the place we anticipated it to be,” Russell mentioned. “The tempo is likely to be somewhat off for what we might like.
“We all know we do not have essentially the most environment friendly automobile, and on the lengthy tracks we have solely been overtaken by Pink Bull. However I believe we have a really quick race automobile and the lengthy race tempo is greater than that. I look actually sturdy. Ferrari.”