03/11/12 - 13:00
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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
LIVE
Yas Marina Circuit • Qualifying
avant-match

Qualifying

Follow the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix live with Eurosport. The race starts at 13:00 on 3 November 2012. Find race results, standings, stats, scores and track info. Keep up with the top F1 drivers and teams including Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Valteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing).
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This is a very interesting post-qualifying sub-plot. Vettel has been given a lift back to the pits so he can head to the press conference, and Horner reveals that Renault asked Red Bull to stop the car on the track. It's a bizarre finish, but we'll have more for you on the site as the news develops. What did you make of that? Are you backing Hamilton to win on Sunday?

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LEWIS HAMILTON IS ON POLE! The McLaren driver tops the timesheets after qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with a time of 1:40.630, and he's overjoyed with his efforts as he pips Webber and Vettel. Maldonado is fourth fastest, with Raikkonen fifth, Button sixth, Alonso seventh, and with Rosberg, Massa and Grosjean completing the top 10.

1' 

Maldonado goes third fastest with a terrific lap, and he's 0.002s faster than Webber. Raikkonen gets ahead of Alonso now, and Hamilton is the fastest again in the first sector.

2' 

Hamilton heads back out, and Vettel rejoins the action once more too. Rosberg is now out of his car, so his work is done. Webber and Raikkonen are back out on the track.

3' 

Hamilton is a long way clear, and it could well be good enough for pole already. Massa and Maldonado have still yet to record times, while Rosberg sets a 1:41.603.

4' 

Indeed, Hamilton storms through to go fastest with a 1:40.630, and he leads from Vettel and Webber with Alonso in fourth and Rosberg in fifth.

6' 

Alonso tops the timesheets in Q3 with a 1:41.582, but it may not be for long with Hamilton on a flying lap right now. Raikkonen clocks a 1:41.756.

8' 

Vettel, as he so often does, joins the track a bit later than the other top drivers, as Raikkonen continues to lead the way at the start of this session.

10'

And so on to Q3, and Raikkonen heads out first after quite a long wait, with the McLarens, Alonso and Webber joining him.

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At the end of Q2, Hamilton tops the timesheets once more with a time of 1:40.901, and he leads from Webber and Vettel. Alonso and Grosjean make up the top five on the sheets, with Hulkenburg, Perez, Schumacher, Ricciardo, Senna, Kobayashi and di Resta all eliminated.

1' 

Di Resta, Rosberg, Schumacher, Perez, Senna, Kobayashi and Ricciardo are all in the drop zone and need to improve as things stand - it's getting incredibly frenetic.

3' 

Hamilton goes quicker again with a 1:40.901, just after Webber ups his pace to very temporarily take top spot.

5' 

Vettel goes third fastest with a 1:41.511, and Alonso's engineer tells him to "keep calm" with Webber up in front of him.

7' 

Hamilton continues to lead the timesheets, and Alonso runs very close to the barrier at turn 19 and goes second fastest with a 1:41.514.

9' 

Webber is fastest with a 1:41.558 but is beaten just moments later by Hamilton with a 1:41.366, and we're just settling into the session.

11' 

Hamilton, Alonso, Button and Webber are all out on soft tyres now, as is Vettel, who heads out just after. Perez says: "I didn't block anybody. Not really."

13' 

Perez is quickest early on with a 1:42.313, and Kobayashi also makes a start with a 1:43.016. Perez and Rosberg are on decent laps.

15'

Q2 is under way, and no cars fly out immediately, with Perez and di Resta slowly making their way out.

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The stewards will investigate an incident between Perez and Senna after the session - presumably for blocking. Will that result in a penalty?

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NEWS: The stewards will investigate an incident between Perez and Senna after the session - presumably for blocking.

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Hamilton tops the timesheets after Q1, despite being on the mediums, with his 1:41.497. Rosberg is second, Webber third. Vettel is eighth fastest. Vergne needed to find 0.4s to beat Kobayashi, but he could not do that.

2'

Vergne pushes too hard on the softs, and he spins into the penultimate corner - the yellow flag comes out. He is under huge pressure now to make Q2.

4' 

Vettel is told his lap is good enough to make Q2, and Hamilton, Alonso, Massa and Button are back in the pits now. Webber goes second fastest on a 1:41.933.

6' 

Vettel is just fifth fastest with a 1:42.351 as he completes another lap, this time without any contact with a barrier. Webber errs as he rather clumsily runs through the chicane at turn eight.

8' 

Vettel clips the barrier coming out of turn 19, while Hamilton goes quickest with a clear lap at last - a 1:41.497.

10' 

Alonso takes the top spot once more with a 1:42.115, but Hamilton is looking incredibly fast. All the top drivers are on medium tyres at the moment, with softs to surely follow.

12' 

Ron Dennis is watching on from the McLaren garage as Hamilton locks up into turn 11, ruining his lap, despite hearing "Excellent! Excellent!" feedback from his team.

14' 

Alonso is now fastest with a 1:42.574 that's already faster than his time this morning, while Vettel leaves the garage to join Webber out on the track.

16' 

Maldonado sets the fastest time of the early runs on medium tyres with a 1:42.375, and almost immediately pits. Webber is finally about to leave the Red Bull garage.

18' 

Kobayashi, Grosjean and Maldonado are the first three cars on track, while McLaren are applying the finishing touches to their preparations with Hamilton waiting patiently.

20'

We are under way in Q1 at the Yas Marina circuit, and the track temperature is down to 31 degrees - it was up at 47 at the start of FP3.

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Stefano Domenicali tells the BBC that Ferrari broke one of the curfews by mistake when a mechanic turned up early after not being able to sleep! A likely story.

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Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, Vettel's closest rival who trails the 25-year-old German by 13 points with three races remaining in the Formula One season, was only the eighth fastest on track despite the team bringing front and rear wing upgrades. Alonso's time was 1.003 seconds slower than Hamilton.

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Hamilton lapped the Yas Marina harbourside circuit with a best time of one minute 42.130 seconds in final practice, 0.290 ahead of team-mate Jenson Button. Vettel completed just seven laps but was still third fastest, 0.484 off Hamilton's pace after failing to set a time until the final four minutes with mechanics working on the front brakes of his car for much of the hour.

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Good afternoon and welcome back for the qualifying session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix! Lewis Hamilton was fastest in first and third practice, and he will be desperate to deny Championship leader Sebastian Vettel yet another pole.