F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix LIVE: Qualifying results as Max Verstappen claims pole at Yas Marina

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F1 returns to Abu Dhabi this weekend for the usual season-finale at the Yas Marina Circuit.

Max Verstappen won the inaugural Las Vegas Grand Prix last week for his 18th victory of a record-breaking season. The Dutchman has now won six races in a row since Carlos Sainz’s victory in Singapore in September.

Charles Leclerc finished second in Vegas after a terrific last-lap overtake on Sergio Perez, who despite dropping down to third place still sealed second in the world championship for Red Bull’s first-ever one-two finish in a Formula 1 season.

Lewis Hamilton is still chasing his first win in nearly two years as Mercedes look to stave off Ferrari in the battle for second place in the constructors’ championship. Toto Wolff’s team are four points clear ahead of the final grand prix of the season.

Follow live updates from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with The Independent

F1 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING

Charles Leclerc after securing P2:

Saturday 25 November 2023 15:25 , Kieran Jackson

“The last lap I had to put everything together - really happy with second place. Q1 and Q2 I was worried about going through but at the end a front row, it’s amazing.

“When we put the new tyres on everything feels great. Happy to be on the front row, it’s a great surprise!”

Oscar Piastri after securing third:

Saturday 25 November 2023 15:17 , Kieran Jackson

“Difficult session, extremely tight this weekend. Been a bit of a messy one, a lot of mistakes, it would have been quite the last corner to get to the front - but happy with that.”

TOP-10 FOR THE ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX:

Saturday 25 November 2023 15:08 , 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

Max Verstappen on pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

Saturday 25 November 2023 15:03 , Kieran Jackson

It’s a fourth pole in a row in Abu Dhabi for Max Verstappen!

Verstappen didn’t improve - but he didn’t need to!

Lando Norris was looking good before he slid wide in sector three - he’s only fifth!

Instead, it’s Charles Leclerc who goes second - +0.139 secs - and Oscar Piastri is third, ahead of his team-mate!

Sergio Perez was P5 but has his lap time deleted for track limits, dropping him to ninth!

4-10: Russell, Norris, Tsunoda, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Perez, Gasly

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Here come the pack for their final flying laps!

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:58 , Kieran Jackson

Moment of truth then! Can anyone beat Max Verstappen’s time?

2 to go...

Max Verstappen quickest after the first set of laps

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:55 , Kieran Jackson

There’s the benchmark: Max Verstappen up top with a 1:23:445

Lando Norris, in second, is three-tenths down but was on used soft tyres, he’ll have new ones for his second lap!

Oscar Piastri third too, with George Russell fourth.

5-10: Perez, Tsunoda, Hulkenberg, Alonso, Leclerc, Gasly

Charles Leclerc in ninth over a second down!

Q3 underway!

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:50 , Kieran Jackson

So, who will be on pole for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?!

10 drivers involved: Verstappen, Norris, Leclerc, Russell, Gasly, Perez, Alonso, Tsunoda, Hulkenberg, Piastri

Lewis Hamilton:

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:45 , Kieran Jackson

“There’s something not right with this car mate,” Hamilton says to Peter Bonnington (a.k.a Bono), his engineer.

A Q2 elimination for the second week running.

Lewis Hamilton out of qualifying!

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:42 , Kieran Jackson

Bit of a nightmare for Mercedes - seven-time world champion and five-time pole-sitter here Lewis Hamilton is OUT!

P11 for Hamilton - a tenth down on Oscar Piastri in second.

Bottom-five and out in Q2, 11-15: Hamilton, Ocon, Stroll, Albon, Ricciardo

Top-3: Verstappen, Norris, Leclerc

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Alex Albon moves up to fifth

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:38 , Kieran Jackson

Alex Albon moves up to P5. That drops Lewis Hamilton down into the bottom five.

Two minutes to go - who will make the top-10 shootout here?

Max Verstappen fastest once again

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:35 , Kieran Jackson

The three-time world champion with a rapid table-topping time here - a 1:23:740 - a tenth up on Lando Norris in second and Sergio Perez three-tenths down in third.

More importantly, Daniel Ricciardo and Alex Albon among the bottom five after the first runs.

Current bottom-five (11-15): Ricciardo, Gasly, Albon, Ocon, Hulkenberg

Lewis Hamilton just tenth, with Lance Stroll in ninth. Six minutes to go...

Q2 underway!

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:30 , Kieran Jackson

Now 15 minutes for the next slowest five to be eliminated...

Carlos Sainz is OUT!

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:21 , Kieran Jackson

What a shock here! Carlos Sainz is out in Q1 in 16th! And he’s a tenth off Pierre Gasly in 15th.

Out in Q1 (16-20): Sainz, Magnussen, Bottas, Zhou, Sargeant

Sergio Perez put in a quick late lap to go P2, with Max Verstappen first.

Onto Q2 we go...

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Logan Sargeant has a lap time deleted

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:17 , Kieran Jackson

Sargeant now back down to 18th - having been P4.

Here comes all the late flying laps with two minutes to go.

Alex Albon fourth fastest

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:16 , Kieran Jackson

“Track evolution will be around four-tenths,” Alex Albon’s engineer tells him.

He’s alright for now though, sitting in P4.

Around four minutes left - bottom-five (16-20): Alonso, Gasly, Magnussen, Zhou, Hulkenberg

Max Verstappen quickest early on

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:12 , Kieran Jackson

Max Verstappen fastest early on with a 1:24:160, with Lando Norris in second and Charles Leclerc third.

A few laps deleted already, too, due to track limits (which is being regulated with AI today).

Bottom-five (16-20): Gasly, Magnussen, Sargeant, Zhou, Hulkenberg

All 20 out on track now

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:09 , Kieran Jackson

Suddenly, they all rush out!

Here come the first few laps...

No cars out on track in the first four minutes

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:04 , Kieran Jackson

All 20 of the field biding their time here - they’re all in the garage for the time being.

The track evolution is quite big here, so think they’re simply waiting for the optimal conditions. There’ll be traffic!

Q1 underway!

Saturday 25 November 2023 14:01 , Kieran Jackson

For the final time, we’re underway with qualifying in F1 in 2023!

18 minutes where we will lose the slowest five drivers at the Yas Marina Circuit...

For the time being, no cars out on track.

Five minutes from qualifying in Abu Dhabi!

Saturday 25 November 2023 13:55 , Kieran Jackson

It’s the final grand prix qualifying session of the season - could we have something different or will it be Max Verstappen dominant once more?

Q1 starts in five!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Driver Standings ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

Saturday 25 November 2023 13:52 , Kieran Jackson

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

Sergio Aguero is among the starts in Abu Dhabi!

Saturday 25 November 2023 13:48 , Kieran Jackson

And it’s quite the outfit he has on - I wonder if he’s watching City vs Liverpool!

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(Getty Images)

Qualifying odds!

Saturday 25 November 2023 13:44 , Kieran Jackson

Fancy a flutter?

Max Verstappen - 6/5

Lando Norris - 11/4

George Rusell - 4/1

Charles Leclerc - 9/2

Carlos Sainz - 20/1

Sergio Perez - 22/1

Lewis Hamilton - 33/1

Oscar Piastri - 33/1

Fernando Alonso - 66/1

Alex Albon - 100/1

Odds provided by Lucky Block

Mick Schumacher returns to racing with Alpine in 2024

Saturday 25 November 2023 13:38 , 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

Qualifying at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

Saturday 25 November 2023 13:30 , Kieran Jackson

We’re just half-an-hour away from qualifying at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

It’s been a patchy race weekend so far, with 10 drivers missing out on first practice for the rookies programme and FP2 curtailed by two crashes.

George Russell was fastest in the third practice session earlier, with the McLaren pairing of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri in the top-three.

Could we, perhaps, have something a bit different in qualifying later? Stay right here for all the build-up - the session starts at 2pm (GMT).

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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

Saturday 25 November 2023 13:01 , 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

Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

Saturday 25 November 2023 12:39 , Kieran Jackson

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

Saturday 25 November 2023 12:22 , 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 the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

Saturday 25 November 2023 12:06 , Kieran Jackson

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

What is the race schedule?

Saturday 25 November 2023 11:57 , Kieran Jackson

(All times GMT)

Saturday 25 November

  • Qualifying: 2pm

Sunday 26 November

  • Race: 1pm

George Russell fastest in FP3!

Saturday 25 November 2023 11:37 , Kieran Jackson

George Russell was top for pretty much the whole session - and that’s where he finished!

His 1:24:418 time was 0.095 secs quicker than Lando Norris in second, with Oscar Piastri in third.

Max Verstappen only sixth-fastest after the third and final practice session.

4-10: Albon, Leclerc, Versappen, Ocon, Sargeant, Tsunoda, Zhou

Lewis Hamilton in the other Mercedes, however, only P12.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Max Verstappen aborts his lap!

Saturday 25 November 2023 11:25 , Kieran Jackson

On one of his final push laps, Max Verstappen grapples with the car before snapping at turn 5!

He also went beyond the white line at turn 1! Interesting...

Lando Norris up to second!

Saturday 25 November 2023 11:21 , Kieran Jackson

McLaren have found some pace!

Lando Norris up to P2, despite almost losing it at the final corner!

Oscar Piastri joins him in the top-three, with George Russell still leading the way.

Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant look good for Williams too, in fourth and sixth respectively.

5-10: Ocon, Sargeant, Gasly, Verstappen, Stroll, Perez

The Ferraris, much like last week, not setting a push lap on softs and are down in 17th and 18th on mediums.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Max Verstappen up to P2

Saturday 25 November 2023 11:03 , Kieran Jackson

Halfway through the session and Max Verstappen is up to second - 0.529 secs off George Russell’s first-place time of 1:24:829.

Sergio Perez is in fourth, with McLaren’s Oscar Piastri splitting the Red Bull.

5-10: Stroll, Alonso, Norris, Ocon, Albon, Tsunoda

George Russell fastest early on

Saturday 25 November 2023 10:50 , Kieran Jackson

The Mercedes driver, quickest in FP1 on Friday, the fastest early on here on the softs - 1:25:163.

Sergio Perez is two-tenths back in second, with Lance Stroll third.

4-10: Alonso, Verstappen, Piastri, Norris, Hamilton, Leclerc, Sainz

“Quite a lot of rear sliding a lot,” says Verstappen. Still not quite satisfied with the balance of the car it seems.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

FP3 underway!

Saturday 25 November 2023 10:32 , Kieran Jackson

Third and final practice is underway! Lewis Hamilton the first driver out on track...

Not usually a representative session given the temperatures in the Abu Dhabi sun, but after limited running on Friday, it could well be crucial!

FP3 in Abu Dhabi...

Saturday 25 November 2023 10:26 , Kieran Jackson

Third practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix coming right up - it’s set to be a hectic one after the two crashes yesterday!

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

Saturday 25 November 2023 10:22 , 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

REPLAY: Carlos Sainz hitting the wall in practice

Saturday 25 November 2023 10:15 , Kieran Jackson

Mick Schumacher returns to racing with Alpine in 2024

Saturday 25 November 2023 10:11 , 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

Constructors’ Championship ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

Saturday 25 November 2023 09:58 , Kieran Jackson

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

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

Saturday 25 November 2023 09:52 , 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

Driver Standings ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix:

Saturday 25 November 2023 09:48 , Kieran Jackson

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

What is the race schedule?

Saturday 25 November 2023 09:45 , Kieran Jackson

(All times GMT)

Saturday 25 November

  • Free practice 3: 10:30am

  • Qualifying: 2pm

Sunday 26 November

  • Race: 1pm

F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying!

Saturday 25 November 2023 09:35 , Kieran Jackson

Good morning and welcome to live coverage of the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!

It’s the 22nd and final race of the season this weekend at the Yas Marina Circuit with Max Verstappen looking to record his 19th victory of the season after what has been an incredible year.

Stay right here for all the updates - third practice is at 10:30am (GMT) with qualifying at 2pm!

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)