Hamilton takes pole at final qualifying of 2019 in Abu Dhabi
Hamilton on pole in Abu Dhabi (Photo credit: Mark Thompson Getty, Images)

Lewis Hamilton ended his pole position drought by going fastest in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Brit has not been on pole since Germany, but managed to take the 88th pole of his career after finishing ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

However, the Finn will start from the back of the grid after taking engine penalties, meaning Max Verstappen will line up alongside Hamilton for the race tomorrow.

Red Bull look to be Mercedes strongest challengers

Red Bull have looked to be Mercedes’ strongest challengers in Abu Dhabi, with both cars finding the majority of their time in the final sector.

By the end of Q3, there had been a three tenth difference between the two drivers – although Verstappen had been struggling for grip throughout qualifying.

Meanwhile the second Red Bull of Alexander Albon will start fifth following Bottas’ penalty - and was a further six tenths back on his team-mate.

Ferrari have not looked as strong this weekend, losing most their time in the final sector and not posing a big threat to Mercedes and Red Bull.

Despite Charles Leclerc starting the race from P3, he missed the chance to improve on his first lap after being forced to slow down behind his team-mate Sebastian Vettel, who will start fourth in the race.

Norris wins out McLaren battle

It was 10-10 heading into qualifying in the McLaren camp, but Lando Norris managed to out-qualify team-mate Carlos Sainz despite the Spaniard showing better pace.

Norris will start P6 with Sainz P8, with Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo splitting the two drivers.

Nico Hulkenberg will start tomorrow’s race P9, with Sergio Perez rounding off the top 10.

Further down the order, Pierre Gasly will start P11 ahead of Lance Stroll in P12 and Daniil Kvyat in 13th.

It was a disappointing day for Haas, with both their drivers starting 14th and 15th ahead of the two Alfa Romeo drivers in 16th and 17th.

At the back of the grid, Williams’ George Russell managed to out-qualify team-mate Robert Kubica for the 21st time, meaning he has been faster than his team-mate at every race this season.

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