Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen will be looking to wrap up his historic 2023 campaign in style on Sunday, with the current World Champion securing pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session at Yas Marina Circuit for the fourth consecutive season.
In a thrilling opening session, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz unexpectedly dropped out early after a last-gasp flying lap from Red Bull’s Sergio Perez knocked the Spaniard out of qualifying.
Sainz bowed out along with Kevin Magnussen of Haas, Valtteri Bottas and Guaynu Zhou of Alfa Romeo, and Logan Sargeant of Williams.
The tide turned dramatically as George Russell knocked his Mercedes teammate, Lewis Hamilton out of qualifying in the final moments. Hamilton’s exit means the Mercedes duo end the season with even qualifying honours – tying on 11 each.
Hamilton finished in 11th, followed by Esteban Ocon of Alpine, Lance Stroll of Aston Martin, Alex Albon of Williams and Daniel Ricciardo of Alpha Tauri.
In the final qualifying minutes of the 2023 season, Max Verstappen showed why he has been the man to beat, taking his 12th pole position this year. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc will start on the front row on Sunday, with McLaren’s rookie starlet Oscar Piastri starting in P3 for the last race of his maiden F1 season.
Mercedes’ George Russell qualified in fourth, followed by McLaren’s Lando Norris in fifth and Yuki Tsunoda of Alpha Tauri in sixth. Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly round out the top 10 for Sunday’s starting grid.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend will conclude on Sunday with the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023, with the race due to start at 5.00pm UAE time.
1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT
2 Charles Leclerc FERRARI
3 Oscar Piastri MCLAREN MERCEDES
4 George Russell MERCEDES
5 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES
6 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT
7 Fernando Alonso ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES
8 Nico Hulkenberg HAAS FERRARI
9 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT
10 Pierre Gasly ALPINE RENAULT
11 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES
12 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT
13 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES
14 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES
15 Daniel Ricciardo ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT
16 Carlos Sainz FERRARI
17 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI
18 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI
19 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI
NC Logan Sargeant WILLIAMS MERCEDES