In a remarkable display of dominance, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinched the pole position for the fourth consecutive year at the 2023 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion outpaced his rivals in all three qualifying sessions, setting the stage for an electrifying season finale at the iconic Yas Marina Circuit.
Top 3 Drivers in Qualifying:
Verstappen’s exceptional performance placed him at the forefront, with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc securing the second spot and McLaren’s Oscar Piastri claiming the third position.
After a challenging weekend, the Dutchman expressed his satisfaction, acknowledging the team’s efforts to improve the car for the crucial qualifying round.
Constructors’ Championship Battle Intensifies:
While Leclerc expressed his happiness with the unexpected result, he focused on challenging Mercedes for the second spot in the constructors’ championship.
The battle intensified as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz faced elimination in Q2, landing him in the 16th position, and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton failed to cut Q3, starting 11th.
The constructors’ championship now hangs in the balance, promising a thrilling showdown between Ferrari and Mercedes.
Drivers Reflect on Qualifying Challenges:
Leclerc acknowledged the session’s intensity, stating, “Our target is to beat them (Mercedes) in the constructors’ championship.”
Piastri, from McLaren, described the session as extremely tight, with some mistakes in every lap, but expressed satisfaction with his Q3 performance.
Anticipation for Sunday’s Race:
As all eyes turn to the Sunday race, Verstappen aims for his 19th win of the year and a fourth consecutive victory in Abu Dhabi.
The race’s outcome will shape the individual standings and play a pivotal role in determining the constructors’ championship winner in this thrilling conclusion to the F1 calendar.
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