Fernando Alonso fell in Q2, but will start tenth due to Ricciardo’s sanction
MADRID, November 19 (.) –
The Dutch driver Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has signed the last pole of the course in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which is held at the Yas Marina Circuit and which closes the Formula 1 season, while the Spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari ) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) will start fourth and tenth, respectively.
The current world champion signed a 1:23.824 that guaranteed him to lead a front row in which he will be accompanied by his teammate, the Mexican Sergio Pérez, who fights for the runner-up with Charles Leclerc, who accumulates the same 290 points. The Monegasque and Sainz Ferraris will start from the second row and will try to prevent the energy team’s single-seaters from escaping soon.
For his part, Alonso, in his last appointment at the controls of the Alpine, established the cut in Q1, but could not prevent his elimination in Q2, just 28 thousandths of a second behind the tenth place marked by the Australian Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren). However, the Australian’s three-position grid ban for his accident with the Dane Kevin Magnussen (Haas) in Brazil will allow him to start tenth.
Far from the tension of the Emirati Grand Prix last year, where Max Verstappen managed to proclaim himself world champion for the first time after beating Lewis Hamilton in a dramatic and controversial final, the Dutchman, with the world title already reissued, began commanding in Q1 in which he beat ‘Checo’ by 66 thousandths.
While drivers like the Canadian Nicholas Latifi (Williams), the Thai Alex Albon (Williams), the Finnish Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), the French Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) and the Danish Kevin Magnussen (Haas) fell, Fernando Alonso managed to pass the cut by only 77 thousandths, although Q2 became its ceiling.
The Asturian, eliminated along with the Chinese Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo), the Canadian Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), the German Mick Schumacher (Haas) and the Japanese Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), was 28 thousandths off the cut set by Daniel Ricciardo to access Q1, with ‘Checo’ Pérez setting the best time ahead of the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz and with Verstappen falling to fourth place.
However, the Dutchman rescued pole position already in Q3, where he dominated ahead of the Mexican -despite the slipstream of the champion on his last lap launched- and the two cars of the ‘Scuderia’. In addition, the British Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) was fifth before his teammate and compatriot George Russell (Mercedes).
The also British Lando Norris (McLaren) will start the appointment seventh, the Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Alpine) will start eighth, Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), in his farewell to Formula 1, will do so ninth and Alonso, tenth.