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.
— Formula1.com (@F1) November 22, 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.
|3.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Mercedes||1:41.025|
|4.||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||1:41.119|
|5.||Daniel Riccardo||Red Bull Racing Renault||1:41.267|
|6.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault||1:41.893|
|7.||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso Renault||1:41.908|
|8.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes||1:41.964|
|11.||Kevin Magnussen||McLaren Mercedes||1:42.198|
|12.||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso Renault||1:42.207|
|13.||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:42.239|
|14.||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India Mercedes||1:42.384|
|15.||Adrian Sutil||Sauber Ferrari||1:43.074|
|16.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus Renault||1:42.768|
|17.||Esteban Gutierrez||Sauber Ferrari||1:42.819|
|18.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus Renault||1:42.860|
|19.||Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham Renault||1:44.540|
|20.||Will Stevens||Caterham Renault||1:45.095|