Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton will start first in the final race of the Formula One season – the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (GP) – after a dominating performance in Saturday’s qualifying race.
The 34-year-old Englishman, who wrapped up his sixth Formula One drivers’ title earlier this month at the United States Grand Prix, added to his record haul of pole positions by clinching the top spot on the grid for the 88th time in his illustrious career, reports Efe news.
He did so with a dominant showing in the third and final qualifying session at the 5.554-km Yas Marina Circuit outside the United Arab Emirates’ capital, clocking a fastest lap of one minute, 34.779 seconds, nearly two-tenths of a second quicker than that of his Finnish teammate, Valtteri Bottas on Saturday.
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen finished third in with a time of 1:35.139 but the Dutchman will start on Sunday alongside Hamilton on the front row because Bottas has been relegated to the back of the grid due to a second change of power unit elements in his car.
Hamilton, the defending champion in Abu Dhabi, is now just one drivers’ title shy of the record held by German racing legend Michael Schumacher, who clinched seven championships between 1994 and 2004.