F1 – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Qualifying – Live news and lap-by-lap updates from the final qualifying of a season dominated by Max Verstappen

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Follow Mail Sport’s live blog for the latest news and lap-by-lap updates from qualifying at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Poor start for Mercedes

There’s about a second between Verstappen in first and Stroll in 14th.

However, Hamitlon has come in at 13th, while Russell is ninth.

A pretty underwhelming start from the Brits…

Flying laps completed

No surprises Verstappen is currently leading, although it wasn’t his greatest lap.

He posted a time of 1:24.160, with Norris 0.208 seconds behind him and Leclerc a little bit further back.

Verstappen is out!

And we’re underway with cars on the track.

Still no action

No one seems to be in a rush to head out as we’re still without any cars on the track.

Perhaps they’re waiting for the best conditions.

A reminder there are 18 minutes in this qualifying session and it’s just ticked down into 14 minutes.

Qualifying all set to begin

We’re now just minutes away from qualfying getting underway.

Lewis Hamliton has the most poles of any driver in Abu Dhabi with five ?

Could he add to that today? His recent form doesn’t suggest so, but what a way that would be for the seven-time world champion to end what has been

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 24: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes walks in the Paddock during previews ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 23, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Edmund So/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images)

POLE POSITION: Mercedes continue to struggle

If you hear noise emanating from the Mercedes hospitality area here in Abu Dhabi, it is the sound of feet being stamped.

The team who once dominated the sport with serene efficiency are now in a state of meltdown. The latest example of Toto Wolff’s thin skin came when he ordered his PR operative to ask me to leave their building ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s press conference.

My chief offence, it seems, was to have questioned Wolff in the press conference in Las Vegas last week when practice was delayed. Wolff was denying the obvious embarrassment this represented at the sport’s all-new showpiece event.

Read Jonathan McEvoy’s full Pole Position column from this week below…

Verstappen and Hamilton-Russell clash

Max Verstappen reignited his rivalry with Mercedes by hitting out at ‘slow’ Lewis Hamilton and George Russell after a bizarre clash in practice which saw the Red Bull driver attempt to overtake both in the pit-lane.

An impatient Verstappen was seen weaving past rivals in the narrow pit-lane during practice at the Abu Dhabi circuit.

While plenty were left unimpressed by Verstappen’s antics, the Dutchman turned the focus around onto Hamilton and Russell who he felt were ‘silly’ in trying to ‘squeeze’ him into the wall.

Who has dominated pole position this season?

Understandably, Max Verstappen has the most pole positions in 2023, which is no surprise given he has won 18 of the 21 races.

However, he has only actually started in pole on 11 of those occasions, with Charles Leclerc fronting the grid the second most on five times.

Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz both have two poles, while Lewis Hamilton has one.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 25: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 looks on during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 25, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Amin Mohammad Jamali/Getty Images)

Aguero shows off his City roots

There might be a huge Premier League game involving his former club going on right now, but Sergio Aguero is one of the many celebrities out in Abu Dhabi.

The Manchester City icon was rocking a club-themed racing gear outfit earlier today as he walked through the racing paddock.

His old City number, 10, adorned his outfit in a flourish that will bring back many memories for the club’s fans.

Rising star Norris reflects on improvements over the season

Did Hamilton enquire about Red Bull move?

The big drama in F1 this week has been surrounding Lewis Hamilton’s future.

Red Bull chief Christian Horner claimed in an exclusive interview with Mail Sport that a representative of the seven-time world champion approached his team over a potential move.

Hamilton dennied this and labelled Horner a ‘lonely stirrer’ as they exchanged a war of words.

The final weekend of a Verstappen-dominated season

It seems only yesterday that the 2023 F1 season was getting underway in Bahrain but here we are with the final race of the year in Abu Dhabi.

It’s been one-way traffic for pretty much the whole campaign with Red Bull winning all but one of the 21 races so far.

18 of those have gone to Max Verstappen, with the Dutchman lifting his third world title last month in Qatar.

They’ve wrapped up the Constructors championship too, on a whopping 822 points, but second place is still up for grabs with on Mercedes just four points clear of Ferrari on 392 and 388 respectively.

Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen speaks with a technician in the pits during the third practice session for the Abu Dhabi Formula One Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit in the Emirati city on November 25, 2023. (Photo by Giuseppe CACACE / AFP) (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP via Getty Images)

Good Afternoon

And welcome to Mail Sport’s live blog of qualifying at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Be sure to stay with us over the next couple of hours for all the action and updates as we find out who will start on pole for the final race of the 2023 season.





Post source: Daily mail

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