Verstappen finds pace to take pole in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - NOVEMBER 25: Pole position qualifier Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi at Yas Marina Circuit on November 25, 2023 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202311250316 // Usage for editorial use only //

The Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix looked like it might offer a few surprises, and it actually has so far with Max Verstappen taking pole ahead of Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri. No surprise? Well, it actually kind of was.

Red Bull seemed to be on the back foot with their setup through all three practice sessions while McLaren and Ferrari looked set to upset the traditional running order.

However, Max surprisingly found the right setup just before qualifying to nab pole and Oscar Piastri was the man of the moment for McLaren, not Lando Norris. The other surprise was Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc who looked off the pace in Q1 and Q2, found the right mix to put it in P2 for the race start.

Qualifying Result

1Max VerstappenRed Bull1m24.160s1m23.740s1m23.445s
2Charles LeclercFerrari1m24.459s1m23.969s1m23.584s
3Oscar PiastriMcLaren-Mercedes1m24.487s1m24.278s1m23.782s
4George RussellMercedes1m24.337s1m24.013s1m23.788s
5Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m24.368s1m23.920s1m23.816s
6Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1m24.286s1m24.207s1m23.968s
7Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-Mercedes1m24.501s1m24.131s1m24.084s
8Nico HülkenbergHaas-Ferrari1m24.425s1m24.213s1m24.108s
9Sergio PérezRed Bull1m24.209s1m24.116s1m24.171s
10Pierre GaslyAlpine-Renault1m24.600s1m24.078s1m24.548s
11Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m24.437s1m24.359s
12Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1m24.565s1m24.391s
13Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m24.405s1m24.422s
14Alex AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1m24.298s1m24.439s
15Daniel RicciardoAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1m24.461s1m24.442s
16Carlos SainzFerrari1m24.738s
17Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1m24.764s
18Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m24.788s
19Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m25.159s
20Logan SargeantWilliams-Mercedes
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