YAS MARINA, Abu Dhabi — Lewis Hamilton edged the team Red Bull teammates to earn his 25th pole position for McLaren during Saturday’s qualifying for Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton’s lap of one minute and 40.630 seconds was better than the one minute and 40.978 second run of Australian Mark Webber.
“It’s the first time for a long time to be ahead of the Red Bulls, and not to be seeing the tail of them at the start of the race but I know it’s going to be, as always, very, very tough in the race because they’ve got great race pace,” Hamilton said. “But we are strong enough to fight them, the team’s done a fantastic job all weekend. The car’s felt beautiful all weekend. I don’t know why the car works so well here. We’ve not really made any improvements to the car since the last race, so I guess it just suits. The guys are still massively focused so I hope that tomorrow’s a good day for us.”
“Well, first of all credit to Lewis, he’s obviously got a quick car this weekend and he bumped us off the front row, that’s the first time in a while, maybe since six or eight weeks ago when we had a good run, so now they’ve done a good job today,” Webber explained. “Credit where it’s due and we did the best we could.”
Two-time defending world champion and point leader Sebastian Vettel will start third in search of his fifth consecutive victory.
Vettel was subsequently excluded from the results for failing to provide a one-litre fuel sample in post-qualifying scrutineering, as required by the sport’s technical regulations. He will start Sunday’s race from the back of the grid.
Pastor Maldonado for Williams-Renault and Kimi Raikkonen, driving a Lotus-Renault, rounded out the top five.