Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has secured his sixth straight pole position ahead of the 2015 Abu Dhabi grand prix.
The first session of the qualifying hour was highlighted by miscalculation of Sebastian Vettel’s side of the Ferrari garage. It meant that the German missed out on advancing to the next stage of the session and will, as it stands, start Sunday’s race in sixteenth position.
There were problems too for Romain Grosjean who parked his Lotus on the side of the track. The Frenchman will start in fifteenth. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso potential to advance beyond the top sixteen was scuppered by a puncture which leaves the Spaniard in seventeenth on the grid.
In the battle for qualifying honours between the Toro Rosso drivers Carlos Sainz has bested his highly-rated teammate Max Verstappen. Sainz will line up tenth while Verstappen will be in eleventh.
The final session of the qualifying hour was an expected duel between the Mercedes drivers upon which Rosberg’s stunning lap was enough to secure pole position by nearly four tenths of a second over Lewis Hamilton. Kimi Raikkonen salvaged the day for Ferrari and will start Sunday’s race in third. The stand-out performance of the session was unquestionably the Force India driver Sergio Perez. The Mexican threatened third place on the grid but ultimately had to settle for starting a still impressive fourth.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo will start fifth and share the third of the grid with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas (6th). Nico Hulkenberg is seventh in the other Force India while Felipe Massa is eighth in the second Williams. Russian driver Daniil Kvyat is ninth with Carlos Sainz completing the top ten in his Toro Rosso.