Verstappen takes pole, Hamilton from P2 in decisive Abu Dhabi GP

Abu Dhabi, Dec 11 (EFE).- Max Verstappen will begin his battle for the world championship against Lewis Hamilton from pole position in Abu Dhabi after setting the pace in qualifying on Saturday.

The world championship will be decided at the Yas Marina circuit in what promises to be a blistering final battle on Sunday.

Red Bull’s Verstappen has to finish ahead of Hamilton in the points to win his first championship but failure to do so would see his Mercedes rival clinch a record-breaking eighth title.

In the case that neither finishes the race, the Dutchman would be crowned champion having won more individual races this year than Hamilton.

“I’m incredibly happy with this, this is what we wanted, but it’s never easy, especially with their form in the last few races,” Verstappen told F1 media after the qualifying session.

Hamilton, who will start alongside Verstappen at the top of the grid, said: “Max did a great lap and we couldn’t answer that today. He fully deserves the pole.

“But we think we’re in a good position with our tyres tomorrow and we’re hoping for a good race. I’m still on the front row and we’ll navigate from there.”

McLaren’s Lando Norris secured P3 in qualifying followed by Red Bull’s Sergio Perez and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas will kick off from P6, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, who completes the top 10. EFE


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