Abu Dhabi Qualifying: Rosberg On Pole For Title Showdown

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2014, Charlie Wright, Kettle mag, kettlemag
Written by F1_Charlie

Nico Rosberg will start tomorrow’s championship decider from pole position as teammate Lewis Hamilton endured a difficult final part of qualifying making mistakes on both laps.

Nico Rosberg who trails Lewis Hamilton by seventeen points heading into the double points season finale seized the initiative earlier on in the day by topping the final free practice session prior to qualifying after Hamilton’s dominant display on Friday.

Hamilton led both Q1 and Q2 however the Brit made errors in the final two corners after his first run which gave Rosberg provisional pole. Rosberg went on to improve his time and ended the session with a time of 1:40.480, almost half a second clear of Hamilton.


The result means that Mercedes have locked out the front row twelve times in 2014.

Behind Mercedes, the Williams pairing of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa were not far behind Lewis Hamilton and pushed the silver arrows all the way throughout the session, both Bottas and Massa could play a big part in deciding who leaves the desert as a champion.

Ricciardo rounded off his great qualifying showings in 2014 and out qualified the departing four time world champion who announced on Friday that he will partner Kimi Raikkonen at Ferrari next season. Raikkonen today was quicker than the departing Fernando Alonso for just the third time this season.

Daniil Kvyat continued to show his impressive form after qualifying ahead of both Ferrari’s in seventh place as well as the McLaren’s of Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen. It what is a weekend that is vital for Jenson Button’s Formula One future he outpaced his younger teammate. Fernando Alonso is heavily linked with Button’s seat at McLaren Honda however Button is calm regarding his future. The Brit had a scare during Q2 when his McLaren team under fuelled his car however he went on to qualify eighth.

Force India’s difficult end to the session continued today, Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg will start the Abu Dhabi grand prix from a lonely thirteenth and fourteenth place. Behind the Force India pair will start just ahead of Romain Grosjean despite the Frenchman being awarded a bizarre twenty-place gird penalty. With the Frenchman starting so low down the grid tomorrow he will instead be awarded a drive through penalty.

Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil have a huge task ahead of them tomorrow if they are to score Sauber’s first points of the season at the final race of the season, the pair have been struggling all season and will not be retained for next season. Pastor Maldonado was the third slowest car in qualifying ahead of the Caterham pairing of Kamui Kobayashi and Will Stevens who did well to get within half a second of his more experienced teammate.

Looking ahead tomorrow Nico Rosberg has put himself in the best possible position to take the win tomorrow. All Lewis Hamilton has to do finish where he started, as simple as that sound he could see himself in danger at the first corner with the fast starting Williams looking for their first victory of the season. Whilst Hamilton can sit in second place and still take the title, it is Rosberg who may win the battle but Hamilton winning the war.

1.Nico RossergMercedes1:40.480
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:40.866
3.Valtteri BottasWilliams Mercedes1:41.025
4.Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:41.119
5.Daniel RiccardoRed Bull Racing Renault1:41.267
6.Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing Renault1:41.893
7.Daniil KvyatToro Rosso Renault1:41.908
8.Jenson ButtonMcLaren Mercedes1:41.964
9.Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1:42.236
10.Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:42.866
11.Kevin MagnussenMcLaren Mercedes1:42.198
12.Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso Renault1:42.207
13.Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:42.239
14.Nico HulkenbergForce India Mercedes1:42.384
15.Adrian SutilSauber Ferrari1:43.074
16.Romain GrosjeanLotus Renault1:42.768
17.Esteban GutierrezSauber Ferrari1:42.819
18.Pastor MaldonadoLotus Renault1:42.860
19.Kamui KobayashiCaterham Renault1:44.540
20.Will StevensCaterham Renault1:45.095