2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying report and highlights: Verstappen storms to pole as Red Bull scores 1-2 in final qualifying session of the season at Yas Marina

Max Verstappen charged to pole place for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, getting the higher of Red Bull crew mate Sergio Perez and Ferrari rival Charles Leclerc as the solar set and the observe motion ramped up throughout qualifying at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Verstappen led the approach with a time of 1m 23.988s after the first Q3 runs and improved to a 1m 23.824s on his final lap, ending two-tenths clear of Perez, with Leclerc half a tenth additional again in third.

Carlos Sainz adopted crew mate Leclerc in fourth, whereas Lewis Hamilton and George Russell put their Mercedes automobiles P5 and P6 respectively to be certain that the prime three groups from 2022 will begin the final race of the season in formation.

Lando Norris was one of the stars of qualifying as he grabbed seventh in his McLaren, forward of Alpine rival Esteban Ocon – the two groups set for a showdown over P4 in the constructors’ standings.

Another man to spark cheers in the grandstands was Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel, as he stormed to ninth throughout his final F1 qualifying session, whereas Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) rounded out the prime 10, albeit with a three-place grid penalty for inflicting a collision with Kevin Magnussen in Brazil.


Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing




Fernando Alonso couldn’t comply with crew mate Ocon into Q3 as he fell a number of thousandths quick throughout Q2, winding up in P11 and simply in entrance of Yuki Tsunoda, who led AlphaTauri’s cost with a strong session to see out the season.

Mick Schumacher ended his final F1 qualifying run with Haas in thirteenth, as the wait goes on to discover out the place he’ll head subsequent, whereas Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu joined him as Q2 eliminees.

Q1 and the opening knockout part noticed Magnussen come again down to earth with a bump after his spectacular pole place amid changeable situations in Brazil – the Dane the first driver to miss the Q2 reduce in P16.

He was joined on the sidelines by Pierre Gasly and Valtteri Bottas in the different AlphaTauri and Alfa Romeo machines, with Williams drivers Alex Albon and Nicholas Latifi – the latter additionally bidding farewell to the sport – citing the rear.

Qualifying Highlights: 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix


Q1 – Magnussen goes from pole to Q1 exit

There was lots of intrigue over the front-running order at Yas Marina after Verstappen and Red Bull topped Friday night’s second apply session, forward of Russell’s Mercedes and Leclerc’s Ferrari – albeit with the Dutchman utilizing softer tires than his rivals.

When the automobiles rolled out of the pit lane for the begin of Q1, amid comparable situations to these skilled in FP2, it was Verstappen who set the early tempo with a 1m 24.754s, placing him simply over half a tenth clear of crew mate Perez and three-tenths up on the Ferrari of Sainz.

With Mercedes pair Russell and Hamilton the better part of a second adrift, break up by Norris in his McLaren, Verstappen’s solely concern at this level surrounded his headrest, as he radioed the Red Bull pit wall to report that “I feel it is damaged” and to request checks.

When drivers re-emerged for the final runs, there have been no adjustments at the sharp finish of the timesheets, with Verstappen – who headed again to the pits somewhat than full his second try – holding on for P1 forward of Perez, Ferrari pair Sainz and Leclerc, and Norris.

Verstappen instantly lit up the timing screens – and observe – as qualifying acquired below approach

Further again, Vettel was in the drop zone and at threat of dropping out in his final F1 qualifying look, however he delivered an impressed final lap to bounce up to sixth, edging out the Mercedes automobiles of Russell and Hamilton, as Zhou and Tsunoda accomplished the prime 10.

Outgoing Haas driver Schumacher made it into Q2 in eleventh place, adopted by Ocon, Stroll and Ricciardo, whereas Alonso squeezed by way of after recovering from a scruffy first try, which noticed him catch a wild slide at Turn 9.

After the heights of his pole final trip at Interlagos, Magnussen was eradicated in Q1, together with Gasly, Bottas – the Alfa Romeo man swearing on his approach again to the pits as he lamented that his tires “did not work” – and Williams pair Albon and Latifi.

Knocked out: Magnussen, Gasly, Bottas, Albon, Latifi


Magnussen’s Brazil pole appeared a very long time in the past as he exited in Q1

Q2 – Perez on prime as Vettel seals a Q3 spot

Red Bull once more led the approach in the Q2, however this time it was Perez sitting fairly at the prime of the timing screens, as he shaved some three-tenths off Verstappen’s pace-setting Q1 effort en route to a 1m 24.419s.

After a low-key begin, Ferrari upped their tempo as Q2 drew to an in depth second and third place with Leclerc and Sainz respectively – the duo separated by simply 0.004s, as Verstappen settled for P4, a tenth additional again.

Hamilton was left confused by Mercedes’ 0.355s hole to the entrance of the pack as he took fifth, with Norris as soon as once more splitting the Silver Arrows as he pipped Russell to spherical out the prime six positions.

Vettel produced one other stunner at the finish of Q2 to seize P8 and make it by way of to the pole place shootout, regardless of frustrations over site visitors, with Ocon and Ricciardo – his grid penalty apart – additionally progressing.

Alonso was unable to be part of crew mate Ocon in Q3 in the different Alpine, as he narrowly missed out in P11, with Tsunoda, Schumacher, Stroll and Zhou the different drivers to fall at the second hurdle.

Knocked out: Alonso, Tsunoda, Schumacher, Stroll, Zhou


Vettel produced some gorgeous laps to make it into the pole place shootout on his farewell weekend

Q3 – Verstappen and Red Bull make their mark

Red Bull had been as soon as once more fast out of the blocks in Q3 as Verstappen pumped in a 1m 23.988s on his first run to lead the approach from Sainz, Perez and Leclerc, with Hamilton and Russell watching on in P5 and P6 respectively.

And when the drivers got here again out for his or her final efforts, Verstappen solely strengthened his benefit by clocking a 1m 23.824s, as Perez acquired the bounce on the Ferraris to give Red Bull a front-row lock out.

While two-tenths separated Verstappen and Perez, there was simply half a tenth between the Mexican in P2 and Leclerc in P3, with Sainz, Hamilton and Russell reduce adrift of the pole battle throughout the decisive laps.

As the prime three groups occupied the prime six positions, it left Norris and McLaren to seize the ‘greatest of the relaxation’ spot in P7, adopted by the Alpine of Ocon, the equally spectacular Aston Martin of Vettel and the second McLaren of Ricciardo.

Ricciardo’s third-place grid penalty for Sunday night’s race means he’ll drop to thirteenth for his final begin with the Woking crew, selling Alonso, Tsunoda and Schumacher in the course of.


After flashes of tempo from Ferrari and Mercedes, qualifying belonged to Verstappen and Red Bull

Key quote

“It was a bit of an up and down qualifying. It began off fairly nicely. Q2 was a bit of bit extra messy. I do not know why, however with that tire set I could not get that grip collectively – then in Q3 all of it felt a bit of bit extra regular. Then we had a bit of bit of scare, the automobile turned off earlier than the first run, so we had to reboot all the pieces,” mentioned pole-sitter Verstappen.

“We went out and each of the laps had been good. I’m more than happy for that, but additionally very joyful that each automobiles are on the entrance row, as a result of… of course, we wish to win the race however we additionally need to end second with Checo in the championship, in order that’s undoubtedly a terrific begin for tomorrow.”

What’s subsequent?

The 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which can carry an finish to a fascinating season below all-new technical rules, is ready to start at 1700 native time on Sunday. Head to the RACE HUB for extra info.

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