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Bottas secures pole in all-Mercedes duel – Qualifying Report

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Valtteri Bottas defeated team-mate Lewis Hamilton as the Mercedes team-mates dominated qualifying at the Yas Marina circuit.

Following Hamilton’s practice pace, Bottas went against the form book to claim his fourth pole position of the season, securing his first back-to-back pole positions in Formula One.

His first stint in Q3 saw him post a 1:36.231 – a new track record – with Lewis Hamilton falling 0.172 of a second short.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished as third fastest but was half-a-second off Bottas’ pace.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo narrowly beat the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen to fourth place, with team-mate Max Verstappen in sixth.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg finished as ‘best of the rest’ in seventh ahead of the two Force Indias of Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon.

Williams’ Felipe Massa achieved a Q3 appearance for his final Formula One outing, finishing the session in tenth place.

In the final qualifying session for the McLaren-Honda partnership, Fernando Alonso narrowly missed out on a Q3 appearance after losing out to Massa in the final moments of Q2.

Team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne could only manage thirteenth, with the pair separated by Renault’s Carlos Sainz, who reported power unit issues during the session.

Kevin Magnussen (Haas) and Lance Stroll (Williams) completed the top fifteen.

The second Haas of Romain Grosjean missed out on a Q2 appearance by 0.013 of a second after being edged out by Stroll.

Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly qualified in seventeenth place, ahead of the two Saubers of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.

Team-mate Brendon Hartley was handed a ten-place grid penalty at the start of the weekend for having to use a ninth MGU-H of the season, however the New Zealander was unable qualify better than the back row of the grid.

To view the full results from the qualifying session, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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