F1 – Abu Dhabi GP – Qualifying
Tomorrow sees the final race of the 2018 FIA F1 World Championship take place, with qualifying taking place today of course. It’s the last opportunity for drivers to impress in neutralised conditions, without the craziness that can happen during a race.
A busy first qualifying session saw the following drivers eliminated: Brendon Hartley (16th), Pierre Gasly (17th) – who stopped on track after finishing the session, Stoffel Vandoorne (18th), Sergey Sirotkin (19th) and Lance Stroll (20th). The ever impressive Charles Leclerc finished the session with the fastest time of anyone through the first two sectors, meanwhile Esteban Ocon finished up in 4th place overall! Those results suggested huge track improvement – which is somewhat curious given that track temperature is dropping as the atmosphere transitions from day to night.
There were only 1.159 seconds between all drivers who got through into Q2, so the next session was certain to be spectacular! Just to emphasise how close things were, Q2 saw five cars eliminated from five different teams. Not making the final session were; Carlos Sainz (11th), Marcus Ericsson (12th), Kevin Magnussen (13th), Sergio Perez (14th) and Fernando Alonso (15th). Charles Leclerc once again had the fastest middle sector of anyone, whereas Lewis Hamilton topped the session with a jaw-dropping lap; 0.451 seconds quicker the Max Verstappen (2nd).
The start of Q3 saw Lewis Hamilton topping the session ahead of Sebastian Vettel, Valtteri Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo with only 0.159 seconds separating all four drivers. Meanwhile, Romain Grosjean did a superb opening lap to be 0.350 seconds clear of 8th place.
At the end of the final Q3 runs; Lewis Hamilton improved his lap time to take pole position for the final race of the season. It’s two-by-two at the front of the grid. Here’s a full run down of the top ten: Lewis Hamilton (1st), Valtteri Bottas (2nd), Sebastian Vettel (3rd), Kimi Raikkonen (4th), Daniel Ricciardo (5th), Max Verstappen (6th), Romain Grosjean (7th), Charles Leclerc (8th), Esteban Ocon (9th) and Nico Hulkenberg (10th).
Although the front of the grid will be two-by-two tomorrow, you could safely bet that it won’t stay that way during the race! What do you think will happen tomorrow? Will Lewis Hamilton round out his championship-winning season with a win? Predictions in the comments below!