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Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying LIVE: F1 latest updates


Brad Pitt Working On F1 Racing Movie With Lewis Hamilton

Follow all the action from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as qualifying gets underway on Saturday afternoon.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen’s battle for the F1 title has gone down to the wire, with the Mercedes and Red Bull drivers tied on 369.5 points heading into the deciding race. Their rivalry flared once again last week at a chaotic Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, where Hamilton eventually prevailed but not before he was forced off the track by Verstappen running wide. The Dutchman then appeared to slam on his brakes right in front of Hamilton later in the race when conceding first position, causing the Briton to crash into the back of the Red Bull car. The damage to Hamilton’s front wing did nothing to stop him from taking a third chequered flag in a row, though, and he is now the favourite to clinch a record-breaking eighth world championship.

If neither driver finishes Sunday’s race due to a crash, Verstappen will win the championship courtesy of having won more races this season, meaning there will be intense scrutiny on the first corner. Mercedes will hope that Valtteri Bottas can produce a strong showing to provide some form of defence against Verstappen’s aggressive driving. Follow all the latest updates from qualifying below:

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Tom Kershaw11 December 2021 11:13

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F1: Final practice session ends

The chequered flag waves and Hamilton can’t better his leading time. Here are the results from the final practice session:

Tom Kershaw11 December 2021 11:05

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F1: Perez providing little threat to Mercedes

Perez is providing few warnings of being a threat to the front row and sits in fourth as it stands. He’s still seven-tenths of a second adrift of Hamilton’s fastest lap. The Briton is back out on the track and looks to be going for one last flying lap.

Tom Kershaw11 December 2021 10:59

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F1: Verstappen closes gap

Now Verstappen posts a flying lap and that’s encouraging for Red Bull. He’s just two-tenths of a second adrift of Hamilton, and the engineers believe this hot track is working to Mercedes’ benefit. Remember, it will have cooled down a lot before qualifying gets underway at 1pm.

Tom Kershaw11 December 2021 10:51

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F1: Verstappen out on soft tyres

Verstappen is out on the soft tyres now but abandons his flying lap after a lack of turn at the sixth corner. “Unbelievable,” the Dutchman says over his radio.

Tom Kershaw11 December 2021 10:48

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F1: Hamilton concerned about car temperature

Hamilton tells the Mercedes crew that the rear of his car is very hot. The track temperature is around 38C right now, although that’ll cool down considerably during the gap between this final practice session and the start of qualifying.

Tom Kershaw11 December 2021 10:43

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F1: Hamilton clear of Verstappen in practice for now

Hamilton is almost 1.5s quicker than Verstappen so far, however, the Red Bull driver is still on medium tyres. We’ll get a far more realistic look at the gap once he switches to softs nearer the end of the final practice session.

Tom Kershaw11 December 2021 10:33

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F1: Hamilton sets new fastest lap

Hamilton was on for a perfect lap but did suffer from a slight oversteer at turn 13. That does little harm to the Briton’s time, though, setting a new fastest lap of 1:23.27411. That’s almost three-quarters of a second quicker than his teammate.

Tom Kershaw11 December 2021 10:31

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F1: Bottas goes fastest

Bottas goes fastest now with a lap of 1:24.02510, three-hundredths of a second ahead of teammate Hamilton.

Tom Kershaw11 December 2021 10:28

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F1: Perez goes third with Bottas fourth

So much of tomorrow’s Grand Prix could depend on the grid order and whether Bottas can steal a spot on the front row and then provide some protection to Hamilton. It’s Verstappen’s teammate, Perez, who’s currently third fastest in this practice session, though, after posting a 1:24.832 lap. Bottas trails just behind on 1:25.0458.

Tom Kershaw11 December 2021 10:23

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