Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Max Verstappen takes pole from Lewis Hamilton for season finale

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Max Verstappen will start Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from pole position, with title rival Lewis Hamilton set to start in second place.

The two championship contenders are level on points ahead of Sunday’s showpiece and will once again share the front row and head into turn one alongside one another at lights out.

Some had expected the power dominant Yas Marina circuit to favour the Mercedes cars but some clever teamwork from the Bulls in the final session of qualifying meant that the Dutchman would take P1 with his first run.

Sergio Perez gave Verstappen a slipstream down the long straights to help the Dutchman’s top speed and he did the rest, bringing home pole position ahead of Hamilton who opted against having a tow from Valtteri Bottas.

In an extra boost for Red Bull, meanwhile, Perez will start fourth whilst Bottas could only post the sixth-fastest qualifying time, with Lando Norris in third in the McLaren and poised to be a potential rogue dynamic in the title fight.

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We have, though, the front row we all wanted for Sunday’s race and with Verstappen starting on soft tyres and Hamilton on mediums, the strategy battle is set to play its part too on deciding both the race victory and, of course, the destination of the championship title.

Lights out is at 1pm on Sunday.

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