in Abu Dhabi, Max Verstappen takes the last pole of the season

The Dutchman edged out his Red Bull teammate Sergio Pérez.

The last pole position of 2022 for the double world champion: Max Verstappen (Red Bull) will start the last Grand Prix of the Formula 1 season, in Abu Dhabi, at the forefront ahead of his teammate Sergio Pérez. In the battle for second place in the championship, the main challenge of the last round of the year, Pérez has the advantage. The Mexican will start 2nd ahead of Monegasque Charles Leclerc on Sunday at the Yas Marina circuit, where the two drivers are tied on points.

For the other stake, the 2nd place of the manufacturers, the advantage is for the moment for Ferrari. The Scuderia, which is 19 points ahead of Mercedes, has placed its drivers ahead of the Silver Arrows. Behind Leclerc, his teammate Sainz will indeed leave ahead of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell. At the very place of his controversial coronation in 2021, Verstappen, guaranteed to be champion since the Japanese Grand Prix on October 9, offered himself the 20th pole position of his career. The 7th this year. The defending vice-champion Hamilton could not do better than 4th. He ends a year without pole position, a first since his debut in 2007. The seven-time world champion could finish the year without a win, which would also be a first.

Vettel’s der

This final race of the year is, as often, the occasion of farewell or at least goodbye for several pilots. First, the German Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), quadruple world champion (2010-2013), leaves the discipline. For the occasion, he equaled his best qualification of the year and will start 9th for his 199th and last Grand Prix – including 53 victories between 2008 and 2019. Without a victory or a podium since his arrival in 2020, the Canadian Nicholas Latifi ( Williams) was pushed out due to his poor performances – he had the worst time on Saturday. His accident on this circuit in 2021 caused the entry of the safety car, which had redistributed the cards and offered victory and the world title to Verstappen against Hamilton, against a backdrop of controversial decisions by former race director Michael Masi.

German Mick Schumacher, son of legend Michael, will also leave the elite on Sunday, not retained by his Haas team for 2023, although he hopes to bounce back elsewhere in the future. Like a burst of pride, he qualified 13th, ahead of his teammate Kevin Magnussen 16th. Just like Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), who does not have a steering wheel in 2023 but could be Red Bull’s reserve driver, according to Helmut Marko, one of the influential leaders of the world champion team, who announced it. Friday on Sky Germany. Finally, it was the last qualifying session at Alpine for Fernando Alonso, who will be with Aston Martin next year, and the last at AlphaTauri for Pierre Gasly, who will replace him at Alpine in 2023. Wearing a helmet in tribute to Vettel, Alonso will start 11th, behind his French teammate Esteban Ocon, 8th. Gasly only qualified 17th, a result reflecting a very complicated season at the wheel of a slow single-seater.

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