Lewis Hamilton takes pole in Abu Dhabi

3 Nov, 2012 2:22pm

Hamilton has qualified on pole for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while a penalty means Vettel starts from the pit lane

Lewis Hamilton will start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix from pole, having qualified three-tenths of a second faster than second-place Mark Webber.

Championship leader Sebastian Vettel was third fastest, but will start from the pit lane following a penalty for stopping on the track after qualifying. He didn't have enough fuel in his car for a sample to be taken, which is a breach of Article 6.6.2 of the FIA Formula One Technical Regulations.

The stewards' statement said: “The stewards heard from the driver and team representatives and studied telemetry evidence that showed the reason why the car was stopped. The stewards accepted the explanation and considered the incident as being a case of force majeure.

“However a report was received from the technical delegate that showed during post-qualifying scrutineering an insufficient quantity of fuel for sampling purposes.

“The stewards determine that this is a breach... and the Competitor is accordingly excluded from the results of the Qualifying Session. The competitor is however allowed to start the race from the back of the grid.”

The decision reflects the penalty given to Hamilton in Spain. However, the team have decided to withdraw the car from parc ferme for further analysis, which means that Vettel will start the race from the pit lane.

Pastor Maldonado's one-and-only lap of the final qualifying session was good enough for fourth fastest. The Williams driver inherits third from Vettel, and will start just ahead of Kimi Raikkonen and Jenson Button.

Fernando Alonso will start from sixth, despite huge efforts from his team. They broke the personnel curfew for the second night in a row, as they attempted to improve the car overnight.

Nico Rosberg will start from seventh - six places ahead of teammate Michael Schumacher - ahead of Felipe Massa and Romain Grosjean.

Nico Hulkenberg missed out on a spot in Q3 by just a tenth of a second. He will start from 10th, just ahead of Sergio Perez, who received a reprimand for impeding Bruno Senna during Q1. Paul di Resta will start from 12th, ahead of Schumacher, Senna and Kamui Kobayashi.

Daniel Ricciardo managed 16th but his teammate, Jean-Eric Vergne, again failed to make it out of the first qualifying session. He spun his Toro Rosso at the end of Q1 and will start the race from 17th on the gird. The team announced earlier this week that they would be sticking with their current driver line-up for next year.

Caterham's Heikki Kovalainen was the fastest of the newer teams in 18th. But more impressive was rookie Charles Pic for Marussia, who not only out qualified his teammate, Timo Glock, but was also faster than Vitaly Petrov in the second Caterham. Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan will start 22nd and 23rd respectively for HRT.

2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix grid

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1'40.630
2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1'40.978
3 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1'41.226
4 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1'41.260
5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1'41.290
6 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1'41.582
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1'41.603
8 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1'41.723
9 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1'41.778
10 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1'42.019
11 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1'42.084
12 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1'42.218
13 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1'42.289
14 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1'42.330
15 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1'42.606
16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1'42.765
17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1'44.058
18 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1'44.956
19 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1'45.089
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1'45.151
21 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1'45.426
22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1'45.766
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1'46.382
24 Sebastian Vettel* Red Bull Racing-Renault 1'41.073

107 per cent time: 1'48.601

* Starts from the pit lane having been disqualified from qualifying