Verstappen takes seventh pole of 2022 for an all-Red Bull front row for F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Max Verstappen just cannot be stopped, or slowed it seems. The 2022 F1 world champion scored his seventh pole of the year Saturday and will be joined by his teammate Sergio Pérez for a front-row lock-out for Red Bull Racing in the final F1 Grand Prix of the season.

“It was a bit of an up and down qualifying,” said Verstappen. “It started off quite well. Q2 was a little bit more messy. I don’t know why, but with that tire set I couldn’t get that grip together – then in Q3 it all felt a little bit more normal. Then we had a little bit of scare, the car turned off before the first run, so we had to reboot everything.”

Pérez had the top spot after his first lap in Q3, but Verstappen knocked out a sizzling run shortly after and took provisional pole with a lap of 1:23.988, almost three tenths clear of Pérez and the rest of the field.

In the final runs as time wound down, Pérez started his final flyer, but went over track limits in Turn 1, and had his final time deleted. On the strength of his opening lap however, he was able to hang on to second. On his final run Verstappen went faster than his first and onto pole position.

“We went out and both of the laps were good,” said Verstappen. “I’m very pleased for that, but also very happy that both cars are on the front row, because… of course, we want to win the race but we also want to finish second with Checo in the championship, so that’s definitely a great start for tomorrow.”

On his second lap Pérez crossed the line just 0.040 of a second ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Behind Leclerc, Carlos Sainz qualified fourth ahead of the Mercedes’s duo of Lewis Hamilton and last week’s first-time winner George Russell.

“It is a great Team result for everyone back home and here in Abu Dhabi, we are in the best position to finish off the job and get that result tomorrow,” Perez said. “It certainly was good teamwork with Max today, it was important to get both cars as high up as possible for the race. My Q1 and Q2 were looking strong, and I was hoping for more, but then Q3 wasn’t ideal, especially our first run. That put us on the back foot a little and in the end, it wasn’t good enough for P1.”

Landon Norris finished P7 ahead of Esteban Ocon and Sebastian Vettel. Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top 10. Riccardo however will have a three-place grid penalty for causing a collision with Kevin Magnussen in Brazil moving Fernando Alonso into the 10th spot for Sunday’s start.

The session was an emotional one for Vettel who was able to make it through to Q3 for the final F1 qualifying session of his career.

“I was very pleased with how the session went – very happy. We got everything together,” said the 4-time champion Vettel.“I wish I had another set [of soft tires] in that last segment, but overall, I think it was very good for us. It puts us in a good spot for tomorrow.

“It’s the bit where you are able to go fastest and push the limit, so I enjoyed every lap that I had. [I have] no regrets today, it was a good day!”

 

FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 2022 – QUALIFYING

 

Pos No Driver Car Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing RBPT 1:24.754 1:24.622 1:23.824 17
2 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing RBPT 1:24.820 1:24.419 1:24.052 18
3 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:25.211 1:24.517 1:24.092 17
4 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:25.090 1:24.521 1:24.242 16
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:25.594 1:24.774 1:24.508 21
6 63 George Russell Mercedes 1:25.545 1:24.940 1:24.511 20
7 4 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1:25.387 1:24.903 1:24.769 17
8 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1:25.735 1:25.007 1:24.830 17
9 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 1:25.523 1:24.974 1:24.961 18
10 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren Mercedes 1:25.766 1:25.068 1:25.045 15
11 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault 1:25.782 1:25.096 12
12 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri RBPT 1:25.630 1:25.219 15
13 47 Mick Schumacher Haas Ferrari 1:25.711 1:25.225 15
14 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes 1:25.741 1:25.359 15
15 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:25.594 1:25.408 12
16 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:25.834 9
17 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri RBPT 1:25.859 9
18 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:25.892 6
19 23 Alexander Albon Williams Mercedes 1:26.028 9
20 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Mercedes 1:26.054 9

Q1 107% time – 1:30.687

Note – Ricciardo penalised 3 grid places for the Grand Prix for causing a collision in Brazil.

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