F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix LIVE: Race build-up, Hamilton starting THIRD, Verstappen takes pole – results, latest updates

LEWIS HAMILTON starts the F1 season finale third on the grid after Max Verstappen took pole in Abu Dhabi.

The Brits' Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas is second on the grid as the 2020 schedule draws to a close today.

  • Race: 1.10pm, TODAY

Follow ALL the action from Abu Dhabi below…

  • Jake Lambourne

    NOR BLIMEY

    Take a look at how Lando Norris secured fourth place in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi GP.

  • Jake Lambourne

    McLAREN UPDATE

    F1 team McLaren have confirmed that MSP Sports Capital has invested £185m for an intial 15 per cent stake.

    This would rise to 33 per cent by the end of 22.

    Commenting on the news, McLaren CEO Zak Brown said: "“This new investment bolsters our plan to return McLaren to contention for race wins and championships in Formula 1 and IndyCar.

    "And will strengthen our positive momentum as we continue to focus relentlessly on our mission to return to the top of the podium.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    WOLFF CONTINUED

    “I am loyal to my two race drivers in the same way I am loyal to our junior drivers.

    "George did a phenomenal job last weekend and he deserves to be in a great car one day.

    "He has a contract with Williams for one more year and they have been very flexible and accommodating in giving George to Mercedes this other weekend. 

    "Everything is going to go its way, but calmly and in a structured way.”

  • Jake Lambourne

    BY GEORGE

    George Russell has been told to forget about driving for Mercedes next season as Valtteri Bottas will be keeping his seat.

    The 22-year-old was impressive when he filled in for Covid-hit Lewis Hamilton last weekend and was only denied a debut win for the team after a bungled pitstop.

    But Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff has stated he will sticking by the Finn.

    He said: "Valtreri's going to be in our car, I am hereby confirming.

    "We have a contract with Valtteri and he is going to race next year. 

    "You need to kick me quite hard in a sensitive zone for me to ever lose my loyalty!"

  • Josh Graham

    SO CLOSE!

    There was so little between Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas for spots one and two on the grid tomorrow.

  • Josh Graham

    MAN OF THE MAX

    Max Verstappen bagged pole position at the final opportunity in F1's last race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

    He told Sky Sports F1: "Finally, I have at least one. For the whole team it's a great achievement.

    "For us it was all about understanding the car to make it better for next year – I was very happy for the whole team."

  • Josh Graham

    LEW ARE YA

    Lewis Hamilton returned from his Covid-enforced absence but could only place third in qualifying back in his Mercedes.

    He told Sky Sports F1: "Yesterday and today were a couple of the hardest days, probably in the car this year.

    "I gave it everything I could, I struggled with the car but I gave it everything I've got.

    "It's not miles off at least but I know there's work to do tomorrow.

    "A bit of rhythm and generally struggled with the balance of the car.

    "Usually my laps are super clean, but I didn't have one clean lap through qualifying.

    "I still enjoyed it – it's the last qualifying of the year – so I will miss it until next year."

  • Josh Graham

    SLICK RICC

    Renault's Daniel Ricciardo was unhappy with his last qualifying showing for the team, finishing P12.

    On Sky Sports F1, he said: "It was a strange one, we didn't really have the pace. But we had it a few hours ago in practice – sure the track changes a bit – but you expect to be closer to our competitors in qualifying.

    "Right now, I don't like being 12th for sure, but we will try and make something happen tomorrow.

    "Normally things are easier at night, everything kind of comes to you.

    "We start on a different strategy to our competitors tomorrow, we will try something.

    "I don't like to be the grumpy pants but obviously it is my last one and I wanted to do better for the team, but tomorrow I'll try and do what the others did last week and come from the back and be on podium.

    "I'm grumpy inside, I have a permanent smile but honestly right now I don't feel like it. Maybe it's a little fake."

  • Josh Graham

    FULL CLASSIFICATION

    Here's the full 1-20 from the final F1 qualifying session of the season.

    Max Verstappen will start on pole for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tomorrow.

  • Ben Hunt

    VERSTAPPEN TAKES POLE

    Wow, just as Mercedes were celebrating, Verstappen pickpocketed their P1.

    It is Verstappen, Bottas, Hamilton, Norris.

    First time Mercedes have not been on pole in Yas Marina since the turbo hybrid era.

    And the first non Mercedes pole all season. Incredible stuff.

    "Very, very well deserved for Max, he's threaded it together at the end there. He's made it happen himself," says Red Bull boss Christian Horner.

    "An amazing performance from him. Mercedes have been so dominant, so to do that with Honda power, and finishing the seasonwith a pole… we just have to convert it."

  • Ben Hunt

    HAMILTON GOING QUICKER

    The Brit could leapfrog Bottas and Verstappen here….

  • Ben Hunt

    TWO MINUTES TO GO

    Toto Wolff has messaged Valtteri Bottas to tell him to give it all he has got.

    Unusual to hear that from the Merc boss.

  • Ben Hunt

    BOTTAS TAKES PROVISIONAL POLE – MERC V RED BULL

    The Finn is in P1 after his first flying lap. Max Verstappen in P2.

    Lewis Hamilton is down in third and Alex Albon in P4 after their first runs.

  • Ben Hunt

    Q3 IS GO

    The final qualifying for 2020. Let's see who will take pole.

  • Ben Hunt

    Q2 IS DONE – BIG BLOW FOR RENAULT

    Eliminated are Perez, who will start at the back owing to an engine penalty, Giovinazzi, Vettel, Ricciardo and Ocon.

    The double knockout of the two Renault drivers is a huge boost to McLaren in the team's battle.

    Vettel also going for an early bath on his last qualifying for Ferrari.

  • Ben Hunt

    Q2 IS GO

    Often the most interesting session, this will be interesting to see who will make it into the top 10.

  • Ben Hunt

    Q1 IS DONE – USUAL SUSPECTS ELIMINATED

    Latifi, Fittipaldi, Russell, Magnussen and Raikkonen all booted out at the first attempt.

    Hamilton topped the session from Bottas.

  • Ben Hunt

    FINAL THREE MINUTES

    In the drop zone are Giovinazzi, Latifi, Russell, Fitipaldi and Magnussen.

  • Ben Hunt

    HAMILTON GOES QUICKEST BUT…

    His lap time has been deleted for exceeding track limits, so with no time on the board, he will have to go again.

    He's also gone over the kerbs too and is now worried about damage to the underside of his car.

  • Ben Hunt

    QUALIFYING IS GO

    Can Red Bull take the fight to Mercedes for pole?

    Can McLaren gain an advantage in their race for third place in the championship?

  • Jake Lambourne

    THIRD PRACTICE RESULTS

    Here is how we stand after the third practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

  • Jake Lambourne

    IN THE NIC OF TIME

    Relive the epic 2016 finale at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix where Lewis Hamilton beat Nico Rosberg.

    But it was the German who would clinch the Formula One World Championship.

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by FORMULA 1® (@f1)

  • Ben Hunt

    FP3 IS DONE – RED BULL LEAD THE WAY

    It is Verstappen then Albon in the last session before qualifying in Abu Dhabi. Maybe they do have a chance of pole here.

    Renault duo Ricciardo and Ocon in P3 and P4 while Norris in P5. Hamilton in P6.

    But all this is largely meaningless as the track temperatures will be much lower for qualifying in two hours.

  • Ben Hunt

    AND NOW RENAULT PUMP IN SOME QUICK LAPS

    Could the Oxfordshire-based team rival McLaren and Racing Point for third place in the championship?

  • Ben Hunt

    12 MINUTES TO GO

    And some encouraging signs for Ferrari, who have two cars inside the top six.

    Steady too from McLaren who looked quicker than Racing Point.

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