2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying report and highlights: Verstappen storms to pole as Red Bull scores 1-2 in final qualifying session of season at Yas Marina
Max Verstappen charged into pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, getting the better of Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez and Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc as the sun set and track action intensified during qualifying at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Verstappen led the way after the first Q3 run with a time of 1m 23.988s and improved to 1m 23.824s on his final lap, finishing two-tenths clear of Perez, with Leclerc half-a-tenth behind in third.
Carlos Sainz followed team-mate Leclerc in fourth place, while Lewis Hamilton and George Russell placed their Mercedes cars P5 and P6 respectively to start the final race of the season forming the top three teams from 2022.
Lando Norris was one of the stars of qualifying as he finished seventh in his McLaren, ahead of Alpine rival Esteban Ocon – with the two teams set to battle it out for P4. Location of the builder.
Another man cheering in the grandstand was Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel, as he finished ninth in his final F1 qualifying session, while Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) finished outside the top 10, though A three-place grid penalty For a clash with Kevin Magnussen in Brazil.
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
Fernando Alonso was unable to follow team-mate Ocon in Q3 as he fell a few thousandths behind in Q2, finishing in P11 and ahead of Yuki Tsunoda, who led the charge at the AlphaTauri with a tough session to see out the season.
Mick Schumacher completed his final F1 qualifying run with Haas in ’13, as he waited to find out where he would go next, while Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu joined him as Q2 eliminators.
Q1 and the opening knockout phase saw Magnussen come back down to earth with a bump after his spectacular pole position in Brazil’s changing conditions – the Dane the first driver to miss the Q2 cut in P16.
He was joined by Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas in other Alfa Tauri and Alfa Romeo machines, with Williams drivers Alex Albon and Nicolas Latifi – the latter also bidding farewell to the sport – bringing up the rear.
Qualifying highlights: 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
as it happened
Q1 – Magnussen takes the Q1 exit from pole
There was much intrigue over the front running order at Yas Marina after Verstappen and Red Bull were on top. Second practice session on Friday eveningAhead of Russell’s Mercedes and Leclerc’s Ferrari – although the Dutchman uses softer tires than his rivals.
As the cars exited the pit lane for the start of Q1 in similar conditions to those experienced in FP2, it was Verstappen who set the early pace with a 1m 24.754s, over half-a-tenth ahead of team-mate Perez. and three-tenths in Sainz’s Ferrari.
The best part of the second drift with the Mercedes duo Russell and Hamilton, Norris split in his McLaren, at this point Verstappen’s only concern was around his headrest, as he radioed the Red Bull pit wall that “I think it’s broken” and requested check.
When the drivers re-emerged for the final run, there was no change at the sharp end of the timesheet, with Verstappen – who returned to the pits rather than complete his second attempt – holding P1 ahead of Perez, the Ferrari pair of Sanz and the Ferrari pair. Leclerc and Norris.
Further back, Vettel was in the drop zone and in danger of being dropped in his final F1 qualifying appearance, but he delivered an inspired final lap to finish sixth, holding off the Mercedes cars of Russell and Hamilton, as did Zhou and Tsunoda. Top 10.
Departing Haas driver Schumacher made it into Q2 in 11th position, followed by Ocon, Stroll and Ricciardo, while Alonso held on after recovering from a first attempt, which saw him catch a wild slide at Turn 9.
After his pole height last time out at Interlagos, Magnussen was dropped in Q1, along with Gasly, Bottas – the Alfa Romeo man vowing to return to the pits as he lamented that his tires “didn’t work” – and Williams pair Albon and Latifi.
Dropped: Magnussen, Gasly, Bottas, Alban, Latifi
Q2 – Perez on top as Vettel seals a Q3 spot
Red Bull again led the way in Q2, but this time Perez sat pretty at the top of the timing screen, as he shaved three-tenths off Verstappen’s pace-setting Q1 effort on his way to 1m 24.419s.
After a low-key start, Ferrari upped their pace as Q2 drew to a close with Leclerc and Sainz in second and third respectively – the pair separated by just 0.004s, as Verstappen settled for P4, a tenth back.
Hamilton was distracted by Mercedes’ 0.355s gap at the front of the pack as he finished fifth, with Norris again splitting the Silver Arrows as he pipped Russell to move into the top six positions.
Vettel produced another stunning finish at the end of Q2 to grab P8 and reach the pole position shootout, despite frustrations in traffic, with Ocon and Ricciardo – his grid penalty aside – also making progress.
Alonso was unable to join team mate Ocon in Q3 at the other Alpine, as he narrowly missed out on P11, with Tsunoda, Schumacher, Stroll and Zhou at the second barrier along with other drivers.
Dropped: Alonso, Tsunoda, Schumacher, Stroll, Zhou
Q3 – Verstappen and Red Bull make their mark
Red Bull were once again quick out of the blocks in Q3 as Verstappen led the way from Sainz, Perez and Leclerc in his first run at 1m 23.988s, with Hamilton and Russell looking on in P5 and P6 respectively.
And when the drivers returned for their final effort, Verstappen only strengthened his advantage by clocking 1m 23.824s, as Perez leapfrogged the Ferraris to lock out the Red Bull front row.
While two-tenths separated Verstappen and Perez, just half a tenth between the Mexican in P2 and Leclerc in P3, Sainz, Hamilton and Russell dropped out of the pole battle during the decisive lap.
With the top three teams occupying the top six spots, this leaves Norris and McLaren to occupy the ‘best of the rest’ spot in P7, followed by Ocon’s Alpine, Vettel’s equally impressive Aston Martin and Ricciardo’s second McLaren.
Ricciardo’s three-place grid penalty for Sunday evening’s race means he will drop to 13th for his final start with the walking team, promoting Alonso, Tsunoda and Schumacher in the process.
“It was a bit of an up and down qualification. It started out pretty well. Q2 was a bit more messy. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t get that grip together with that set of tires – then in Q3 it felt a bit natural. Then we had a bit of a scare, the car stopped before the first run, so we had to reboot everything,” said pole-sitter Verstappen.
“We went out and both laps were good. I’m very happy for that, but also very happy that both cars are on the front row, because… of course, we want to win the race but we also want to finish second in the championship with Checo, so it’s definitely a great start for tomorrow.”
The 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which will conclude a fascinating season under all new technical rules, is set to start at 1700 local time on Sunday. the head Race hub For more information.
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