FIA F1 - Hamilton On Pole At Abu Dahbi

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Abu Dahbi, Nov. 3, 2012: Lewis Hamilton’s unstoppable form continued in qualifying here on Yas Island as night fell on Saturday, his lap of 1m 40.630s proving uncatchable as he took his 25th pole position for McLaren.

In the end only Red Bull’s Mark Webber could get anywhere near him with 1m 40.978s, while team mate Sebastian Vettel’s final effort fell short with 1m 41.073s, leaving him in third place ahead of surprise fast man Pastor Maldonado who jumped his Williams up to fourth with 1m 41.226s. Vettel then stopped out at Turn 18 on his slowdown lap following a request from Renault.

That left Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen fifth on 1m 41.260s with McLaren’s Jenson Button for company on the third row with a lap of 1m 41.290s.

Qualifying brought further disappointment for Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, who couldn’t better 1m 41.582s for a fourth-row start in seventh place with Nico Rosberg alongside for Mercedes on 1m 41.603s. Row five will comprise Felipe Massa in the second Ferrari on 1m 41.723s and Romain Grosjean in the second Lotus on 1m 41.778s.

As dusk began to fall, Hamilton had headed Q2 with 1m 40.901s, ahead of Webber and Vettel. For a while Nico Hulkenberg had looked very strong for Force India, but eventually 1m 42.019s left him 11th ahead of Sauber’s Sergio Perez on 1m 42.084s, Force India’s Paul di Resta on 1m 42.218s, Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher on 1m 42.289s, Williams’ Bruno Senna on 1m 42.330s, Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi on 1m 42.606s and Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo on 1m 42.765s.

Hamilton had also dominated Q1 with a lap of 1m 41.497s, which was half a second clear of surprise second place man Rosberg. Further down, a spin didn’t help Jean-Eric Vergne’s chances of getting into Q2 and an eventual time of 1m 44.058s in the Toro Rosso left him 18th ahead of Caterham’s Heikki Kovalainen on 1m 44.956s. Charles Pic was next for Marussia on 1m 45.089s ahead of Caterham’s Vitaly Petrov on 1m 45.151s and Marussia’s Timo Glock on 1m 45.426s. At the back, Pedro de la Rosa continued to lead HRT team mate Narain Karthikeyan, with 1m 45.766s to 1m 46.382s.

Perez and Senna will be investigated after qualifying following an impeding incident.

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