Washington, District of Columbia 2020-12-12 10:02:02 –
Abu Dhabi (AP), Yas Island — Red Bull driver Max Verstappen creates a stunning last lap and defeats both Mercedes …
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi (AP) — Red Bull driver Max Verstappen produced a brilliant final lap, beating both Mercedes cars to take pole position at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of the season on Saturday.
He was .025 seconds earlier than Valtteri Bottas, clearing .086 from world champion Lewis Hamilton, the first pole of the season and the third in his career.
“Mega, Mega Wrap!” Red Bull team principal Christian Horner shouted on the radio as Verstappen crossed the line under floodlight at the Yas Marina Circuit.
“It was a long season for everyone and it was a great final qualifying for the whole team,” Verstappen said. “We are all very happy. We are happy to finally get there after closing many times in 2020.”
Bottas led Verstappen and Hamilton after the first attempt in the final section of qualifying, the third quarter, with Hamilton leading the split time in the second and final attempts, aiming for a record 99th career pole. Appeared on the course.
However, Verstappen showed why he was touted as a future world champion, and Bottas found some extra speed to win a rare victory over his illustrious teammates.
“I’m very happy with that. It was a tricky qualifying at first to put in the lap. In the last sector, there are many corners where you can make mistakes,” Verstappen said. “Fortunately, that final lap brought everything together.”
Hamilton, who recorded 95 F1 wins, immediately praised Verstappen for his second win of the season and tenth overall on Sunday.
“I did my best to it, congratulations to Max. It’s a great way for him to seal a year of great performance. We’ll give them a good run for their money tomorrow.” Hamilton said. “It’s always good to start first, but this makes it even more exciting. I’m definitely excited about how I can turn it around.”
Hamilton spread significantly in the first quarter, crossing the curb. Meanwhile, Verstappen complained on the radio that his hand was stuck in the cockpit.
Hamilton performed well in the second quarter, breaking the charts. However, in Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari final qualifying session, along with Renault drivers Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, he was eliminated among the five drivers.
“I’m not sure why I had a hard time. I was certainly surprised,” said Ricardo, who won the podium twice this season. “I have a frustration that I couldn’t do any more.”
Racing Point Driver Sergio Perez will start his final race in 15th place.
A popular Mexican driver won his first victory of his career and his tenth podium at the dramatic Sakhir GP in Bahrain last Sunday. However, he does not have a seat next year after Racing Point was renamed Aston Martin after the acquisition after being replaced by Vettel.
Previously, Verstappen was faster than his teammate Alex Albon in his third and final practice. He led Arbon and Ricardo competing in his last race for Renault before joining McLaren next year.
Hamilton won 11 races this year, but was unable to compete in the Sakhir GP in Bahrain last Sunday due to recovery from the coronavirus. This denied an opportunity for seven F1 champions to rival Vettel’s record of 13 wins in the single season set in Red Bull in 2013.
Hamilton said he lost weight after qualifying, still feeling side effects such as lower energy levels than before.
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