Max Verstappen takes pole in Abu Dhabi. Accompanying him on the first row is title contender, Lewis Hamilton. The surprising appearance however came from Lando Norris who stuck his McLaren in P3.
Pierre Gasly had his time deleted due to surpassing the track limit.
At 6:25 min remaining, red flag was waved as Mick Schumacher knocked out a bollard which came under the McLaren of Lando Norris. The bollard was removed hence, resuming the session.
Sebastian Vettel had a frustrating time due to traffic. His lap times got compromised with Esteban Ocon and Carlos Sainz in front at different instances. The incident with Ocon will be looked upon after the qualifying ends.
The knocked out were Latifi, Russell, Raikkonen, Schumacher and Mazepin.
Aston Martin, Ferrari, Alpine and Daniel Ricciardo started the session on softs.
Pierre Gasly got back into the garage as his AlphaTauri faced some brake problems.
Verstappen while going for his flying lap locked up his last set of new medium tyres. This resulted into a massive flat spot. Also, this meant that if he continued on those tyres then he would’ve to start his race with them, creating a lot of problems. To get rid of that problem, the Red Bull went for the softs and set a timed lap. This however may create difficulties tomorrow as it’s not ideal to start on softs.
Carlos Sainz momentarily went the quickest with a lap time of 1min 23.174s. Near the end of the session, it was the usual traffic paradise. Not just that but we also saw every driver on softs except for Mercedes and AlphaTauri.
Verstappen aces the timesheets by going into the 22 secs.
Knocked out were Alonso, Gasly, Stroll, Giovinazzi and Vettel.
The crazy session started with Red Bull playing the smart game of tow. Sergio Perez made it easy for Verstappen to go for the quickest lap with a time of 1min 22.109s. In return, Max during his in-lap helped Perez to go faster.
Mercedes however, didn’t use that tactic. Still, Hamilton was able to drive his car to P2 with only 0.5secs behind Max.
Yuki Tsunoda, who out qualified Pierre Gasly for the first time, did a lap which put him into fourth but later it got deleted.
And the surprise was not just for us, Lando had the same reaction:
“I went pole, didn’t quite work out, I was a little bit off! It was a nice lap to be P3, it was a bit of a surprise.”
Well we already had the anxiety for the top 2 fighting but the added cherry of what will Lando do tomorrow…will he become the title deciding driver in an already title deciding race?
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