Formula 1 qualifying has ended for 2023 in the same way it has 11 other times throughout the season with Max Verstappen taking pole position for Red Bull in Abu Dhabi.
The Dutchman never truly looked challenge during all three sessions, pipping the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc to pole by 0.139 seconds.
It is his 12th pole of his dominant 2023, and it’s a position that he has won from every time he has started from it throughout the year.
Aussie Oscar Piastri was impressive for McLaren and will start third, two spots ahead of his McLaren teammate Lando Norris who will start fifth.
(Photo by Sportskeeda)
George Russell will start fourth for Mercedes, while his teammate Lewis Hamilton languishes back in 11th after being narrowly pipped out of Q2.
Hamilton wasn’t the only big name teammate to miss out on the final part of qualifying, with Carlos Sainz going even worse by not being able to get his Ferrari out of Q1 and will start a disappointing 16th.
Yuki Tsunoda will start an impressive sixth for AlphaTauri, nine spots ahead of Daniel Ricciardo who struggled in the sister car.
Fernando Alonso will start seventh for Aston Martin ahead of the impressive Nico Hulkenberg for Haas, while Sergio Perez had another difficult qualifying for Red Bull and will start ninth after his fastest lap time was deleted at the end of qualifying. Pierre Gasly rounds out the top ten.
While there isn’t much on the line tonight in terms of a World Championship fight, there will be focus on the lower positions to see who can take second in the Constructors’ Championship and fourth in the Drivers’.
The race begins at midnight AEDT.
1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull 1:23.445
2 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +0.139
3 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +0.337
4 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.343
5 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.371
6 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri +0.523
7 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.639
8 Nico HULKENBERG Haas +0.663
9 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull +0.726
10 Pierre GASLY Alpine +1.103
11 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes 1:24.359
12 Esteban OCON Alpine +0.032
13 Lance STROLL Aston Martin +0.063
14 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.080
15 Daniel RICCIARDO AlphaTauri +0.083
16 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari 1:24.738
17 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas F1 Team +0.026
18 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +0.050
19 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo +0.421
20 Logan SARGEANT Williams NO TIME SET
This article was originally written for The Roar. You can read the published version here