Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has taken pole position ahead of his team-mate and championship rival Nico Rosberg in the Formula One (F1) Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The duo will fight it out in the “Duel in the Desert” for the 2016 F1 world championship.
Hamilton has been faster than Mercedes team-mate Rosberg over the course of every session in Abu Dhabi this weekend. The Brit clocked 1:38.755 to top the qualifying in the top-ten shootout, according to Sky Sports.
“I didn’t over-cook it into turn one and after that I was in total control. I’ve got the car in a real sweet spot. I’m in a perfect position for tomorrow.” Hamilton said after the qualifying, as reported by CNN.
— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 26, 2016
The pole in Abu Dhabi was Hamiton’s 12th this season. It’s also a record-breaking 20th for Mercedes.
Despite the strong qualifying performance, title odds are stacked firmly against the Englishman. Rosberg will only require a podium finish for his first world title. The German is currently 12 points ahead of Hamilton in the driver standings.
Hamilton’s wheel-perfect lap in qualifying was the second-fastest pole recorded at the Yas Marina Circuit. Rosberg conceded the brilliant performance of his team-mate and championship rival.
“I came here to try and be on pole and to try and win the race tomorrow. I am not ecstatic about today… Lewis did a great job and he was a couple of tenths quicker and it was impossible for me to do that time today.” Rosberg said.
Despite having an advantage over Hamilton in the final race of the season, Rosberg will have something to think about. Red Bull have decided to start the race on a slower but longer–lasting supersoft tyres.
Video courtesy: YouTube.com/F1 interviews 2
How will the rest of the Abu Dhabi GP grid line up?
Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull will start the race at third place, just ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. Max Verstappen of Red Bull will begin the race at sixth after an error in the final flying lap.
Sebastien Vettel will start fifth on the grid. Raikkonen starting ahead of the German in Abu Dhabi means that the Finn will end the year 11-10 on his team-mate in the intra-Ferrari battle.
Jenson Button, in what was his final qualifying session of his illustrious F1 career, will start the race at 12th, two places behind his McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso.
Felipe Massa, who will also be making his farewell to the sport after the race rounded of the top ten spot, finishing ahead of his Williams team-mate Valtteri Bottas.
Photo courtesy: Mark McArdle/Wikimedia