Formula One

Verstappen Takes First 2020 Pole in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 12: Max Verstappen. Image from Red Bull content pool.

Max Verstappen with Red Bull won the pole position for the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the Yas Marina Circuit. This became Max’ first pole since the 2019 Brazilian GP, as well as, the first in 2020 that did not come from a Mercedes-powered car (Honda). The Mercedes team has also been on front row here for the past six seasons, but not today. Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton placed 2nd and 3rd, respectively. Hamilton is back on the track after he missed a race weekend due to a positive Covid-19 test. Verstappen took this pole by just 0.025 seconds, which is pretty incredible considering the length of the track.

Lando Norris with McLaren qualified 4th, ahead of Alex Albon with a P5 for Red Bull. Carlos Sainz completed his final qualifying for McLaren with a P6, before transferring to Ferrari next season. A great result for both McLaren guys today. AlphaTauri’s Daniil Kvyat placed 7th. Lance Stroll put his Racing Point in P8, ahead of Charles Leclerc in P9 for Ferrari. Pierre Gasly completed the session with the 10th place for AlphaTauri.

Esteban Ocon with Renault became the first man eliminated in Q2, followed by his teammate Daniel Ricciardo in P12. Sebastian Vettel completed his final qualifying with the Ferrari team, and placed 13th. Vettel, who joined the Scuderia back in 2015, will be transferring to Aston Martin (currently Racing Point) next season. Not a very satisfying result for him but plenty of opportunities for tomorrow. Antonio Giovinazzi with Alfa Romeo placed 14th, while last week’s winer Sergio Perez remained in P15. The Mexican is doing his final race weekend with Racing Point, and potentially his final before a retirement or a sabbatical. Perez did not complete a quick lap during Q2 because he is going to start from the back of the grid due to penalties.

The first qualifying session went as it usually goes. Of those who did not make it to Q2, Kimi Raikkonen with Alfa Romeo remained 16th, ahead of Haas’ Kevin Magnussen. George Russell with Williams qualified 18th today. Russell is back to his team after the amazing job he did replacing Hamilton at Mercedes last weekend. This, however, comes with a cost of major decrease in speed of the car that he is driving. Nevertheless, tomorrow’s race could always bring a nice surprise for the young Briton. Moving on, Pietro Fittipaldi with Haas finished in P19. The Brazilian driver is substituting for Romain Grosjean once again, having in mind that Grosjean has not yet recovered from his burns after the horrific crash in Bahrain. Nicholas Latifi with Williams made a crucial mistake upon starting his final fast lap attempt. His spun cost him dear, and the Canadian came in last in P20.

Pole position lap: Max Verstappen – 1:35.246

You can access the official complete results HERE.


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