VIDEO: Verstappen grabs pole position for title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - GulfToday

VIDEO: Verstappen grabs pole position for title-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton during practice for the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. AP

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Max Verstappen will start on pole position in Sunday’s Formula One Etihad Airways ABU DHABI Grand Prix 2021 following a thrilling performance in qualifying to best title rival Lewis Hamilton by three tenths of a second, as the countdown to the historic season-ending race begins.   

The Red Bull driver, setting the fastest lap with a time of 1m22:109 will start ahead of Mercedes’ Hamilton as the drivers enter Sunday’s grand finale level on 369.5 points in the 2021 World Driver’s Championship, with the seven-time world champion filling out the front line with his title rival.

McLaren’s Lando Norris took third in qualifying, followed by Verstappen’s team-mate Sergio Perez and Valtteri Bottas in his final race for Mercedes.

Meanwhile, Saturday saw the return of the fan-favourite session on Abu Dhabi Hill as racing superfans got to see the new look Yas Marina Circuit track.

In an action-packed qualifying session, a sell-out crowd were up close to see how drivers tackled the new course with incredible views of the new north hairpin heading into Yas Marina Circuit’s famous straight.

Verstappen is seeking his first title in the championship, while Hamilton, the most successful driver in the history of the championship, aspires to win the eighth title during his career with the championship and set an unprecedented record.

And because of the heated competition between the drivers until the last round, the International Automobile Federation warned the two men of any irregularities or unsportsmanlike behaviour after three collisions occurred between them during the current season.