Starting grid GP Abu Dhabi: Verstappen surprisingly on pole, Hamilton fights from P2

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After qualifying again for this spectacular season, it is now known what the provisional grid will look like for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Max Verstappen was able to take pole position for the race, while Lewis Hamilton did not get further than second starting position. The Mercedes driver will therefore have to attack the Red Bull Racing driver to secure his eighth world title.

At the moment, the Dutchman leads the world championship, despite the fact that there is a tie in points. Verstappen has more victories to his name than Hamilton and is therefore at the top. Fun fact for Verstappen: in the past six races, the pole sitter also won the race in Abu Dhabi. Should that be the case again this year, the Red Bull driver will take his first world title.

Perez has to pass Norris to help Verstappen

If we look further at the starting grid, we see that Sergio Perez has ended up behind Lando Norris in P4. For Verstappen’s teammate, the task is clear: bypass Norris in order to help Red Bull in the championship. The entire top five, excluding Hamilton, start on the softs. That can give an advantage at the start, although Hamilton will be able to drive longer on the mediums.

Behind Perez we see Carlos Sainz and behind it Valtteri Bottas. The Finn did not have a good qualifying and will have to make up more places to get close to his teammate Hamilton at all. In addition, Bottas also starts on the mediums, as does Yuki Tsunoda, who starts behind him. Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo, who complete the top ten, both start on the softs.

Starting grid Abu Dhabi GP

1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3. Lando Norris (McLaren)
4. Sergio Perez (Red Bull Racing)
5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
6. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
7. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
8. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)
9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
10. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
11. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
12. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri)
13. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
14. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
15. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
16. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
17. George Russell (Williams)
18. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
19. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
20. Nikita Mazepin (Hare)

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