2017 Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix — Qualifying Results

This is it: the final race weekend of the 2017 F1 season. Lewis Hamilton sits atop his throne as a four-time champion — the most successful British driver in F1 history. The Briton wrapped up the battle against Sebastian Vettel in Mexico last month.

That brings us to qualifying for this weekend’s season finale. Occupying the front row, as one would come to expect by now, is the Mercedes duo. Valterri Bottas beat his world champion teammate to pole position to the tune of 0.176 seconds. Behind them sits Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, 0.546 seconds off the pace.

Vettel is coming off a convincing victory in Brazil two weeks ago — momentum Hamilton will want to put an end to. Both men are looking to end the season on a high albeit for different reasons.

Hamilton wants to prevent Vettel from ending the season with two wins. Why? Ending the season on a high note could very well carry over into the 2018 season. That’s momentum that Mercedes will likely want to avoid if this year’s return to form is any sign of things to come. Vettel’s reasoning is simple: end the season on a positive note; a season that looked so promising, only to fall apart over the past three months.

To make things more interesting, if either man is to win tomorrow they’ll have to make it past Bottas. The Finn’s qualifying is a sign that won’t be an easy feat. Bottas will be looking to make the most of his fourth career pole position with a race win to close the season.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo secured fourth, off the pace by 0.728 seconds. The Australian drivers sits ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen, who trails behind Ricciardo by 0.026 seconds. Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen occupies sixth.

Nico Hulkenberg takes seventh for Renault, ahead of both Force India cars. Sergio Perez edged ahead of teammate Esteban Ocon by 0.023 seconds. While the teammates have butted heads on more than one occasion, they’ve left a mark this season. Force India sits in a comfortable fourth in the constructors’ standings.

It’s worth noting there’s a bit of pressure on Hulkenberg to finish strong tomorrow. His position gives Renault a chance to take sixth place in the championship from Toro Rosso. Renault heads into tomorrow’s race four points behind the Red Bull junior team. Should Hulkenberg pull this off the team will find itself with a hefty sum of prize money.

Rounding out the top 10 is Felipe Massa for Williams. The Brazilian is set to retire after tomorrow’s race and looks to close his 17-year run on a positive note. Massa edged ahead of McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Renault’s Carlos Sainz and the second McLaren of Stoffel Vandoorne.

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