F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix LIVE: Race results as Max Verstappen wins season finale

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Max Verstappen ended the most dominant season in Formula One history with another victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Mercedes clung on to second place in the constructors’ championship by the skin of their teeth – and a £10milllion cash boost.

Verstappen - who became the first man to lead 1,000 laps in a single F1 season - failed to triumph at just three of the 22 rounds staged, and his latest win takes him to 54 for his career, leaving only Lewis Hamilton (103 wins) and Michael Schumacher (91) ahead of him.

The Dutchman finished 17 seconds clear of team-mate Sergio Perez but the Red Bull driver was demoted to fourth following a five-second penalty for a collision with Lando Norris.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was promoted to second with Mercedes’ George Russell third. Lewis Hamilton finished ninth in the other black-liviried machine with Mercedes three points clear of Ferrari in the standings to land a £105million reward, rather than £95m.

Follow reaction from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with The Independent

F1 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX - RACE UPDATES

Toto Wolff sees ‘Mount Everest’ ahead as Mercedes seek to end Red Bull’s domination

18:28 , Kieran Jackson

Lewis Hamilton’s boss Toto Wolff has conceded Mercedes will have to scale Mount Everest to topple Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team next season.

Mercedes clung on to second place in the constructors’ championship by the skin of their teeth – and a £10million cash boost – as Verstappen ended the most dominant season in Formula One history with another victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The Dutchman, taking his 19th win from 22 rounds, finished 17 seconds clear of team-mate Sergio Perez. But, mercifully for Mercedes, the Mexican driver was demoted to fourth following a five-second penalty for a collision with Lando Norris.

Toto Wolff sees ‘Mount Everest’ ahead as Mercedes seek to end Red Bull’s domination

A record-breaking year for Red Bull!

15:58 , Kieran Jackson

21 wins out of 22. Astonishing.

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(Getty Images)
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(Getty Images)
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(Getty Images)

Max Verstappen sets new landmark as he ends dominant season with Abu Dhabi win

15:43 , Kieran Jackson

Race report

Max Verstappen ended the most dominant season in Formula One history with another victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Mercedes clung on to second place in the constructors’ championship by the skin of their teeth – and a £10milllion cash boost.

Verstappen - who became the first man to lead 1,000 laps in a single F1 season - failed to triumph at just three of the 22 rounds staged, and his latest win takes him to 54 for his career, leaving only Lewis Hamilton (103 wins) and Michael Schumacher (91) ahead of him.

The Dutchman finished 17 seconds clear of team-mate Sergio Perez but the Red Bull driver was demoted to fourth following a five-second penalty for a collision with Lando Norris.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was promoted to second with Mercedes’ George Russell third.

Full report below:

Max Verstappen sets new landmark as he ends dominant season with Abu Dhabi win

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff with a message to Mercedes fans:

15:30 , Kieran Jackson

“Keep pushing. We’re going to reach for the stars and that’s what we’re going to do.”

Time for the podium in Abu Dhabi!

15:19 , Kieran Jackson

A new podium at the Yas Marina Circuit too!

And, for the final time in 2023, the Dutch and Austrian national anthems for Max Verstappen’s and Red Bull’s team.

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(Getty Images)

Max Verstappen after his 19th win of the year:

15:08 , Kieran Jackson

“An incredible season. It was a bit emotional on the in-lap, last time sitting in a car which has given me a lot. Big thank you to everyone at Red Bull, it’s been an incredible year. It’ll be hard to do something similar again.

“It will be very hard to have another season like that, we’ll see. We’re working hard for next year to have a competitive team, we’re ready for the battle but in the meantime we’re going to enjoy this year too.”

“Sold out every place we went to. I hoped the fans enjoyed the race today, thank you very much for cheering us on.”

Charles Leclerc after finishing second:

14:56 , Kieran Jackson

“I tried to give Checo the DRS and slipstream, it wasn’t enough. On one hand I’m really happy, we were the second fastest car this weekend, it’s such a shame we finished third in the constructors. We didn’t achieve that but I’d like to thank the team for working so incredibly hard.

“We lacked performance compared to where we wanted but the team have done an incredible job.

“I wanted to try and get that first place. We also know in the race we lacked some pace compared to them. My only target was to beat the Mercedes.”

George Russell after finishing third in Abu Dhabi:

14:47 , Kieran Jackson

“It’s been a really challenging season, I’ve let the team down a few times this year. I can chill out now!

“Checo came from nowhere, they had great pace. It was really tense at the end, really pleased to secure P2 for the team - I’m sure we’ll have a few drinks tonight!

“I was coughing four times a lap, it was pretty miserable out there! Can’t believe it’s only the second podium of the year but really happy to finish this way.”

TOP-10 AT THE ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX:

14:40 , Kieran Jackson

1. Max Verstappen

2. Charles Leclerc

3. George Russell

4. Sergio Perez

5. Lando Norris

6. Oscar Piastri

7. Fernando Alonso

8. Yuki Tsunoda

9. Lewis Hamilton

10. Lance Stroll

Cue the doughnuts!

14:35 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen has some fun on the grid as he pulls into P1 for the 19th time this year!

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(Getty Images)

Max Verstappen wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

14:33 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen wins for the fourth time in a row at Yas Marina - his 19th win of the season!

Charles Leclerc does take second in the end due to Sergio Perez’s five-place penalty - and the Mexican drops back to fourth.

1-10: Verstappen, Leclerc, Russell, Perez, Norris, Piastri, Alonso, Tsunoda, Hamilton, Stroll

And Mercedes take second in the constructors’ championship from Ferrari by three points!

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(Getty Images)

Final lap! (Lap 58/58)

14:31 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen starts his last lap of the season - and is now the first driver to lead 1,000 laps in a Formula 1 season.

And up top: Charles Leclerc has swapped P2 with Sergio Perez with the intention of trying to block George Russell for the constructors’ championship!

Sergio Perez moves up to third (Lap 55/58)

14:27 , Kieran Jackson

Sergio Perez cruises past George Russell to take third place.

Now the Mexican has three laps to build-up a five-second advantage to take a podium spot!

That could be crucial for the constructors’ championship!

Sergio Perez has a five-second time penalty (Lap 51/58)

14:22 , Kieran Jackson

Perez punished! He has a five-second time penalty for that collision with Norris!

The Mexican now 2.7 seconds behind Russell - and 3.3 seconds clear of Norris.

Top-10: Verstappen, Leclerc, Russell, Perez, Norris, Piastri, Tsunoda, Alonso, Hamilton, Sainz

Carlos Sainz in 10th does have to pit again in order to switch compound. As it stands, Mercedes will claim second in the constructors’ championship.

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(Getty Images)

Sergio Perez does take fourth place (Lap 50/58)

14:19 , Kieran Jackson

At the same turn, Sergio Perez does now take fourth down the inside on Lando Norris!

But... the Mexican is under investigation for causing a collision. We’ll wait and see on this one!

Meanwhile, Alpine and McLaren might be getting a fine: both teams being noted for their pit crews not wearing the requisite eye-protection during pit stops.

Lando Norris and Sergio Perez collide! (Lap 47/58)

14:16 , Kieran Jackson

Perez looks to take fourth down the inside at turn 6 - and he clips Lando Norris!

The McLaren takes to the escape road and stays in front... but will he have to give the position back?

Norris: “Yeah he just crashed into me.”

Perez: “He just turned into me.”

Sergio Perez pits (Lap 45/58)

14:13 , Kieran Jackson

This strategy has worked out well for Sergio Perez - he’s up to P5 after pitting and is right on the tail of Lando Norris ahead.

Max Verstappen also heads in - 2.3 sec stop - and comes out five seconds clear of Charles Leclerc. Dominant.

Top-10: Verstappen, Leclerc, Russell, Norris, Perez, Tsunoda, Piastri, Sainz, Alonso, Hamilton

Not one yellow flag yet (Lap 39/58)

14:01 , Kieran Jackson

No yellow flags and no safety cars yet this afternoon. Very much a rarity...

Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and George Russell pit (Lap 34/58)

14:00 , Kieran Jackson

A game of attempted undercut begins - but ends with the usual order restored between second, third and fourth.

McLaren try first with Lando Norris, but all the stops are solid and Leclerc keeps de facto second place.

Max Verstappen opting not to respond yet, and his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez is now 16 seconds behind in second.

Max Verstappen extends his lead to Charles Leclerc (Lap 32/58)

13:52 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen just dominating once again out front: his lead to Charles Leclerc is now 6.8 seconds.

George Russell is 2.2 seconds off Leclerc, while Lando Norris a full two seconds behind Russell.

There’s now only one car within DRS of the car in front - Ocon on Ricciardo in the battle for 11th.

Race just settling down into a routine now.

Toto Wolff to Lewis Hamilton:

13:44 , Kieran Jackson

“Fastest car on track now.”

Hamilton up to P8. There’s good race-pace in this Mercedes car on this Yas Marina Circuit!

Russell inching closer to Leclerc in second, too.

Yuki Tsunoda pits (Lap 23/58)

13:40 , Kieran Jackson

Fun over. Yuki Tsunoda pits - 2.5 seconds - and the AlphaTauri driver comes out in 12th place... but should be zooming through the field from now on.

Top-10 is restored to the usual order now.

Top-10: Verstappen, Leclerc, Russell, Norris, Piastri, Alonso, Perez, Ricciardo, Hamilton, Tsunoda

Verstappen’s gap to Leclerc out in front: 4.7 seconds.

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(Getty Images)

The frontrunners all pit! (Lap 18/58)

13:34 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc come in - and the Red Bull now has a three-second lead!

And who now leads the race? Yuki Tsunoda, who is yet to pit!

Lance Stroll, who also hasn’t pitted, is in second - followed by Verstappen, Sainz (yet to pit) and Leclerc.

George Russell overtakes Lando Norris in the pits! (Lap 15/58)

13:27 , Kieran Jackson

A nightmare for McLaren!

A slow 5.1 sec pit stop sees Lando Norris fall behind George Russell, in what in reality was P3 in the standings.

Norris does get out, just, in front of his team-mate Oscar Piastri though.

Pit stops all over the field now.

George Russell takes fourth from Oscar Piastri (Lap 13/58)

13:23 , Kieran Jackson

Valiant defence from Oscar Piastri, but eventually the Mercedes’ superior pace comes through down the second back straight, with DRS - Russell up to fourth!

Sergio Perez is up to eighth, cruising past Pierre Gasly, while Charles Leclerc just keeping in touch with Max Verstappen at the front - 1.3 secs.

Top-10: Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris, Russell, Piastri, Tsunoda, Perez, Gasly, Hamilton, Ocon

Fernando Alonso the first of the frontrunners to pit - the Aston Martin comes out down in 18th.

Oscar Piastri holds off George Russell (Lap 8/58)

13:17 , Kieran Jackson

It looked like George Russell was through around the outside of Oscar Piastri - but the Aussie does brilliantly to keep fourth place with some rapid acceleration on the inside line!

How long can the McLaren hold off the Mercedes though?

At the front, the gap remains at 1.5 seconds. Can Charles Leclerc, perhaps, haul in the Red Bull out front?

Throughout the field, a big old DRS train is forming throughout the pack - a typical feature of this Yas Marina track.

Lando Norris takes third place from his team-mate (Lap 4/58)

13:12 , Kieran Jackson

Hell of a start from Lando!

He’s now up to third, quicker than his McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri, and now has Charles Leclerc in his sights.

At the front, Max Verstappen has opened up a 1.5 sec lead.

Top-10: Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris, Piastri, Russell, Tsunoda, Alonso, Gasly, Perez, Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton down to P10, giving up the position to Sergio Perez. The Mercedes man went wide at turn 1 on the first lap, so perhaps was told to let Perez by.

Lights out in Abu Dhabi!

13:07 , Kieran Jackson

It’s a decent start from both man at the start - but Max Verstappen holds off Charles Leclerc!

But the Ferrari man comes back into turn 6 and almost makes a move stick - but the Red Bull keeps its nose in front!

So close for the Monegasque!

Further back, Lando Norris has overtaken George Russell for fourth, while Lewis Hamilton is up to ninth from 11th!

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(Getty Images)

Formation lap!

13:01 , Kieran Jackson

So for the final time in 2023, Max Verstappen leads the pack around at the start of the race for the formation lap.

The top-12 all on medium tyres. Carlos Sainz a notable name on hard tyres in 16th.

Here we go then! Can Charles Leclerc get a jump on Max Verstappen into turn one?!

A reminder of the starting grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

12:58 , Kieran Jackson

1) Max Verstappen

2) Charles Leclerc

3) Oscar Piastri

4) George Russell

5) Lando Norris

6) Yuki Tsunoda

7) Fernando Alonso

8) Nico Hulkenberg

9) Sergio Perez

10) Pierre Gasly

11) Lewis Hamilton

12) Esteban Ocon

13) Lance Stroll

14) Alex Albon

15) Daniel Ricciardo

16) Carlos Sainz

17) Kevin Magnussen

18) Valtteri Bottas

19) Zhou Guanyu

20) Logan Sargeant

Chris Hemsworth on the grid!

12:53 , Kieran Jackson

The Aussie actor obviously played F1 legend James Hunt in the film Rush.

Driver Standings ahead of this final race!

12:51 , Kieran Jackson

Battle to look out for: Who will finish fourth between Sainz, Alonso, Norris and Leclerc?

--

1) Max Verstappen - 549 points (champion)

2) Sergio Perez - 273 points

3) Lewis Hamilton - 232 points

4) Carlos Sainz - 200 points

5) Fernando Alonso - 200 points

6) Lando Norris - 195 points

7) Charles Leclerc - 188 points

8) George Russell - 160 points

9) Oscar Piastri - 89 points

10) Lance Stroll - 73 points

11) Pierre Gasly - 62 points

12) Esteban Ocon - 58 points

13) Alex Albon - 27 points

14) Yuki Tsunoda - 13 points

15) Valtteri Bottas - 10 points

16) Nico Hulkenberg - 9 points

17) Daniel Ricciardo - 6 points

18) Zhou Guanyu - 6 points

19) Kevin Magnussen - 3 points

20) Liam Lawson - 2 points

21) Logan Sargeant - 1 point

21) Nyck de Vries - 0 points

Time for the national anthem of the United Arab Emirates

12:48 , Kieran Jackson

A serene picture as the sun sets in Abu Dhabi.

Here were the drivers posing before the race:

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(Getty Images)

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner odds!

12:46 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen - 1/7

Lando Norris - 14/1

Charles Leclerc -16/1

George Russell - 20/1

Oscar Piastri - 25/1

Sergio Perez - 50/1

Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton - 100/1

Carlos Sainz - 150/1

Yuki Tsunoda - 250/1

Pierre Gasly - 500/1

Odds provided by Grosvenor Sport

Christian Horner reveals talks with Lewis Hamilton’s father over Red Bull seat

12:38 , Kieran Jackson

Christian Horner revealed that Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony made an enquiry about Sergio Perez’s seat at Red Bull earlier this season.

Following on from an interview Horner gave saying that a representative of Hamilton had been in touch about joining the world champions, Hamilton had his say on Thursday – insisting that nobody from his team has been in touch and, in fact, Horner messaged him on an old phone.

The Mercedes driver added that Horner was simply “stirring things.”

Yet the Red Bull team principal looked to put the speculation to bed by divulging that it was Hamilton’s father and former manager Anthony who had touched base.

Full quotes below:

Christian Horner reveals talks with Lewis Hamilton’s father over Red Bull seat

It’s been a bit of a despairing end to the season for Lando

12:27 , Kieran Jackson

He starts P5 today. It should have been better.

Walking with the stars: Inside the white lines of the Las Vegas Grand Prix grid

12:16 , Kieran Jackson

Feature by Kieran Jackson

It’s Saturday night in Sin City, 9pm local time. One hour until lights out. Walking out of the media centre, across the car park of the Tuscany Suites and Casino, and up through the various security checkpoints, you arrive at the highly coveted, yet strangely downplayed open space that is the Formula One paddock. Halfway down, between the garages of Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo, lies the grid access lane: a portal to the forthcoming chaos.

There is a chill in the air. A cool 15C temperature which, predicted all week, is about to play havoc with tyres in the 50 laps ahead. A pause for breath and then the steel-faced American bodyguard gives the go-ahead. On you stroll, pretending you belong here. Welcome to the curiously flummoxing experience that is the F1 pre-race grid.

Full piece below:

Walking with the stars: Inside the white lines of the Las Vegas Grand Prix grid

Relegation and promotion in F1? An alternative reality to reinvigorate the season finale

12:09 , Kieran Jackson

Friday’s first practice session in Abu Dhabi was an intriguing watch. On a weekend which is alarmingly lacking much intrigue, exactly half the grid were absent. Substituted in their place were 10 “rookie” drivers, as part of F1’s mandatory young drivers programme introduced last year. One driver, and more so how he performed, amplified one of the sport’s most peculiar issues – and one where a solution could amp up the closing races of the season.

It is one of the FIA’s – the sport’s governing body – most odd rules that the Formula 2 champion can’t compete in the series again. Such a regulation would imply that there is a ready-made pathway to F1 for the winner, but this is not the case. For 2022 champion Felipe Drugovich, a second year in a row begrudgingly watching from the sidelines beckons next season. A shame because (who’d have thought it), he’s actually pretty fast.

Full piece below:

Relegation and promotion in F1? An alternative reality to reinvigorate Abu Dhabi

A reminder of the starting grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

11:58 , Kieran Jackson

1) Max Verstappen

2) Charles Leclerc

3) Oscar Piastri

4) George Russell

5) Lando Norris

6) Yuki Tsunoda

7) Fernando Alonso

8) Nico Hulkenberg

9) Sergio Perez

10) Pierre Gasly

11) Lewis Hamilton

12) Esteban Ocon

13) Lance Stroll

14) Alex Albon

15) Daniel Ricciardo

16) Carlos Sainz

17) Kevin Magnussen

18) Valtteri Bottas

19) Zhou Guanyu

20) Logan Sargeant

Lewis Hamilton to start down the order in Abu Dhabi as Max Verstappen claims pole

11:48 , Kieran Jackson

Qualifying report

Lewis Hamilton said there was something wrong with his Mercedes after he qualified only 11th for Sunday’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.

As Max Verstappen put his Red Bull on pole position for the final race of his all-conquering campaign – with Charles Leclerc second and Oscar Piastri third – Hamilton was left starting at another poor performance in his underperforming machinery.

The seven-time world champion, facing up to a second season without a victory, finished six tenths behind Verstappen and a third-of-a-second back from team-mate George Russell, who qualified fourth.

Hamilton’s failure to progress to Q3 – as he gloomily predicted here on Friday night – leaves the fight between Mercedes and Ferrari for second place in the constructors’ championship firmly in the balance.

Full report below:

Lewis Hamilton to start down the order in Abu Dhabi as Max Verstappen claims pole

Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

11:39 , Kieran Jackson

Battle to look out for: who will finish P2 between Mercedes and Ferrari?

--

1) Red Bull - 822 points (champions)

2) Mercedes - 392 points

3) Ferrari - 388 points

4) McLaren - 284 points

5) Aston Martin - 273 points

6) Alpine - 120 points

7) Williams - 28 points

8) AlphaTauri - 21 points

9) Alfa Romeo - 16 points

10) Haas - 12 points

Christian Horner reveals talks with Lewis Hamilton’s father over Red Bull seat

11:20 , Kieran Jackson

Christian Horner revealed that Lewis Hamilton’s father Anthony made an enquiry about Sergio Perez’s seat at Red Bull earlier this season.

Following on from an interview Horner gave saying that a representative of Hamilton had been in touch about joining the world champions, Hamilton had his say on Thursday – insisting that nobody from his team has been in touch and, in fact, Horner messaged him on an old phone.

The Mercedes driver added that Horner was simply “stirring things.”

Yet the Red Bull team principal looked to put the speculation to bed by divulging that it was Hamilton’s father and former manager Anthony who had touched base.

Full quotes below:

Christian Horner reveals talks with Lewis Hamilton’s father over Red Bull seat

Driver Standings ahead of this final race!

10:58 , Kieran Jackson

Battle to look out for: Who will finish fourth between Sainz, Alonso, Norris and Leclerc?

--

1) Max Verstappen - 549 points (champion)

2) Sergio Perez - 273 points

3) Lewis Hamilton - 232 points

4) Carlos Sainz - 200 points

5) Fernando Alonso - 200 points

6) Lando Norris - 195 points

7) Charles Leclerc - 188 points

8) George Russell - 160 points

9) Oscar Piastri - 89 points

10) Lance Stroll - 73 points

11) Pierre Gasly - 62 points

12) Esteban Ocon - 58 points

13) Alex Albon - 27 points

14) Yuki Tsunoda - 13 points

15) Valtteri Bottas - 10 points

16) Nico Hulkenberg - 9 points

17) Daniel Ricciardo - 6 points

18) Zhou Guanyu - 6 points

19) Kevin Magnussen - 3 points

20) Liam Lawson - 2 points

21) Logan Sargeant - 1 point

21) Nyck de Vries - 0 points

Mick Schumacher returns to racing with Alpine in 2024

10:43 , Kieran Jackson

Mick Schumacher has been confirmed as a driver for Alpine in the World Endurance Championship next year.

The 24-year-old has been present in the Formula 1 paddock this season as a reserve driver for Mercedes, driving in the simulator and providing cover for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell.

The German driver, son of seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, was dropped from his F1 race seat at Haas at the end of the 2022 season after two years but after experiencing a year without racing in 2023, Schumacher will race for Alpine in their Hypercar squad next season.

More detail below:

Mick Schumacher returns to racing with Alpine in 2024

Walking with the stars: Inside the white lines of the Las Vegas Grand Prix grid

10:30 , Kieran Jackson

Feature by Kieran Jackson

It’s Saturday night in Sin City, 9pm local time. One hour until lights out. Walking out of the media centre, across the car park of the Tuscany Suites and Casino, and up through the various security checkpoints, you arrive at the highly coveted, yet strangely downplayed open space that is the Formula One paddock. Halfway down, between the garages of Aston Martin and Alfa Romeo, lies the grid access lane: a portal to the forthcoming chaos.

There is a chill in the air. A cool 15C temperature which, predicted all week, is about to play havoc with tyres in the 50 laps ahead. A pause for breath and then the steel-faced American bodyguard gives the go-ahead. On you stroll, pretending you belong here. Welcome to the curiously flummoxing experience that is the F1 pre-race grid.

Full piece below:

Walking with the stars: Inside the white lines of the Las Vegas Grand Prix grid

A reminder of the starting grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

10:22 , Kieran Jackson

1) Max Verstappen

2) Charles Leclerc

3) Oscar Piastri

4) George Russell

5) Lando Norris

6) Yuki Tsunoda

7) Fernando Alonso

8) Nico Hulkenberg

9) Sergio Perez

10) Pierre Gasly

11) Lewis Hamilton

12) Esteban Ocon

13) Lance Stroll

14) Alex Albon

15) Daniel Ricciardo

16) Carlos Sainz

17) Kevin Magnussen

18) Valtteri Bottas

19) Zhou Guanyu

20) Logan Sargeant

Lewis Hamilton to start down the order in Abu Dhabi as Max Verstappen claims pole

10:19 , Kieran Jackson

Qualifying report

Lewis Hamilton said there was something wrong with his Mercedes after he qualified only 11th for Sunday’s season finale in Abu Dhabi.

As Max Verstappen put his Red Bull on pole position for the final race of his all-conquering campaign – with Charles Leclerc second and Oscar Piastri third – Hamilton was left starting at another poor performance in his underperforming machinery.

The seven-time world champion, facing up to a second season without a victory, finished six tenths behind Verstappen and a third-of-a-second back from team-mate George Russell, who qualified fourth.

Hamilton’s failure to progress to Q3 – as he gloomily predicted here on Friday night – leaves the fight between Mercedes and Ferrari for second place in the constructors’ championship firmly in the balance.

Full report below:

Lewis Hamilton to start down the order in Abu Dhabi as Max Verstappen claims pole

F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

10:17 , Kieran Jackson

Good morning and welcome to live coverage on The Independent of the 22nd and final race of the 2023 F1 season!

21 down, one to go. Max Verstappen starts on pole for the 12th time this season, with Charles Leclerc alongside him on the front row. Oscar Piastri is P3, with George Russell fourth. Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, starts down the order in 11th.

Can anyone stop Max’s march to a 19th victory of the season? Stay right here for all the build-up - lights out is at 1pm (GMT).

F1-ABU DHABI (AP)
F1-ABU DHABI (AP)