Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Max Verstappen on pole with Lewis Hamilton second

Verstappen was 0.371 seconds faster than the Mercedes driver after a brilliant first qualifying lap at Yas Marina. Verstappen and Hamilton head into the race tied on points. Hamilton was more than 0.5secs adrift after their first laps in final qualifying and although he improved on his final run he could not get close to Verstappen’s time. And there is a strategy twist because Verstappen and Hamilton will start the race on different tyres, the Dutchman on the soft and the Briton on the medium. Verstappen was forced to switch to the soft tyres in the second session, which defines the starting tyre, after locking his brakes and damaging one of his medium tyres. Verstappen delivered the pole lap he almost managed in Saudi Arabia last weekend. In Jeddah, he was on for one of the laps of the season only to crash at the final corner. Verstappen was aided by a slipstream from Perez, which gained him 0.2secs on the straight, but he was also nearly the same margin quicker than Hamilton in the final sector, which has most of the corners.

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