Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi – Qualifying

The championship titles were decided a few races ago, so what’s left to race for this weekend?

  • 2nd place in the Drivers’ championship is VET’s unless he fails to finish P9 or better and BOT wins the race
  • Toro Rosso, Renault and Haas are fighting over 6th place, with just six points separating them
  • Hamilton can become one of a small number of drivers who have won points in every race of a season

Free Practice:

  1. FP1: VET (1:39.006), HAM, VER, RAI, BOT, PER, ALO, VAN, MAS, RIC
  2. FP2: HAM (1:37.877), VET, RIC, RAI, BOT, VER, PER, OCO, HUL, ALO
  3. FP3: HAM (1:37.627), BOT, RAI, VET, RIC, VER, ALO, VAN, SAI, PER

Only pre-Quali penalty:
HAR gets a 10 grid spot penalty as Toro Rosso have again exceeded the maximum allocation of power unit parts as the team has fitted its ninth Renault MGU-H of the season so far.

Air temperature 24°C; track 31°C
The sun is setting so temps will drop slightly

Qualifying session 1 (Q1)
ERI 1:40.692
GAS 1:40.563
WEH 1:40.412
MAG 1:39.592
BOT 1:37.704
HAM 1:37.473
VET P3
RAI P3
VER P5
BOT 1:37.356
HAM P2
RIC P4 – that’s a big improvement over Free Practice
VET P3
RAI P3
8mins left of Q1 – no time yet from HUL
5mins left; bottom 5 are STR, WEH, ERI, GAS, HAR
Radio for MAG – “come on, put a lap together and we’ll be fine”
Chequered flag
HAR P19
GAS P16
WEH P17
ERI P19
STR P15, relegates GRO
Back of the grid: GRO, GAS, WEH, ERI, HAR*
*HAR also has a penalty to be applied

Qualifying session 2
Radio from HAM – “lot of fumes in the garage; it’s affecting me”
BOT 1:36.977
HAM 1:36.742
RAI P3
VET P3
VER P6
RIC P5
Radio from RAI complaining he was slowed by a Force India
5mins left of Q2; bottom 5 are VAN, MAS, MAG, SAI, STR
The McLaren pair (ALO, VAN) are first to head out for the final Q2 run
Chequered flag
ALO stays P10
VAN P11
MAG P13
SAI P11
STR P15
MAS P10, relegates ALO
Middle of the grid: ALO, SAI, VAN, MAG, STR
Replay of HUL about to start his quick lap as PER thinks about pitting – the pit lane entrance is on the inside of the final turn, so PER almost turned into the side of HUL
Radio from SAI suggests he may have an engine problem; told to return to the pits without using too much power

Qualifying session 3
Top 10 shootout is between HAM, BOT, VET, RAI, RIC, VER, HUL, PER, OCO & MAS
RAI heads to line of cars leaving the pit lane
VET is quickest in Sector 1
RAI 1:36.985
BOT 1:36.231
HUL P3
HAM P2
OCO P5
PER P6
VER P4
VET P3
MAS P9
RIC P6
Order after one run: BOT, HAM, VET, RAI, VER, RIC, HUL, OCO, PER, MAS
Radio for OCO telling him “make sure you stay ahead of that Merc” on his out lap, but BOT dives inside the Force India for a better lead into his final quick run
Chequered flag
BOT pits
HAM P2
RAI P4
PER P8
VER P5
VET P3
RIC P4
Front of the grid: BOT, HAM, VET, RIC, RAI, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, MAS

Because BOT abandoned his final lap, he parked in parc ferme but HAM and VET park on the main straight for the interviews

Provisional grid: BOT, HAM, VET, RIC, RAI, VER, HUL, PER, OCO, MAS, ALO, SAI, VAN, MAG, STR, GRO, GAS, WEH, ERI, HAR*
*HAR also has a penalty to be applied

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