Event: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Track: Yas Marina Circuit

Weather: dry  26.3°C
Tarmac: dry  30.9°C
Humidity : 68%
Wind : 4.3 km/h S
Pressure: 1015 mbar

Max Verstappen scored the 32nd F1 pole position of his career during the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying session today. The Red Bull driver will start from P1 for the fourth time in a row at Yas Marina circuit. It was the 95th pole for Red Bull Racing. 

Qualifying Report

As the sun dipped below the horizon, the Yas Marina Circuit was awash in the glow of its magnificent floodlights, setting the stage for a gripping qualifying session for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The cooler track temperatures, a stark contrast to the earlier practice sessions, promised an unpredictable and thrilling battle for the last pole position of the season.

McLaren Surges, Mercedes Battles

George Russell, coming off a strong performance in FP3, continued to show impressive form, contrasting starkly with teammate Lewis Hamilton's struggles. The pair ended the qualifying head-to-head tied at 11-11, but it was Russell who shone under the Abu Dhabi lights.

McLaren's Lando Norris emerged as a serious contender, his car seemingly tailor-made for the circuit's high-speed corners. His teammate Oscar Piastri, though not as quick as Norris, aimed for a strong finish to cap off a noteworthy rookie season.

Mixed Fortunes for Red Bull and Ferrari

Red Bull's Max Verstappen, despite a car that seemed a handful during practice, managed to put in competitive lap times, while Ferrari experienced a rollercoaster of a weekend. Charles Leclerc showed pace, but Carlos Sainz's heavy crash in FP2 left him reeling, ultimately leading to a dramatic exit in Q1.

The Quest for Pole

As the qualifying progressed, the fight for pole intensified. Verstappen and Norris emerged as the frontrunners, with surprising performances from drivers like Tsunoda and Hulkenberg shaking up the order.

Q1 Drama and Surprises

The initial quiet of Q1 soon gave way to a flurry of activity. Verstappen set the pace, but the real story was the struggle of big names. Sainz's troubled weekend continued, culminating in his elimination in Q1 amidst traffic woes, a significant setback for Ferrari in their battle with Mercedes for the constructors' standings.

Q2's Tight Contest

Q2 saw Verstappen, using just one set of tires, dominate, while Lewis Hamilton faced an unexpected exit, only managing P15. The session ended with five different teams in the top five, showcasing the driver's influence in determining the pecking order.

The Final Showdown in Q3

The battle for pole in Q3 was nothing short of spectacular. Verstappen, on fresh tires, set a blistering pace, clinching pole with a commanding performance. Leclerc, overcoming earlier difficulties, secured P2, with Piastri impressing with a P3 finish.

Norris's error on his final run proved costly, relegating him to P5, behind Russell in P4. Perez, after a lap time deletion, settled for P9, setting up an intriguing scenario for race day.

Looking Ahead to the Race

With Verstappen in pole and a mixed-up grid behind him, the stage is set for an enthralling race. McLaren's strong showing, particularly from Norris, could be a key factor, while Leclerc's P2 start gives Ferrari a fighting chance against Mercedes.

In the midfield, Aston Martin and Alpine looked poised for a strong showing, while Williams's Tsunoda, starting P6, aimed to challenge the front-runners.

As the lights go out tomorrow, the battles throughout the grid promise to deliver a fitting finale to what has been a sensational season in Formula 1.

The quickest sector times in Q3 were:

  • Sector 1: 17.076 sec. by Lando Norris (MCL60).
  • Sector 2: 35.894 sec. by Max Verstappen (Red Bull RB19).
  • Sector 3: 30.365 sec. by George Russell (Mercedes W14).

Last years pole position was won by Max Verstappen in the Red Bull RB18 with a lap time of 1:23.824 min.

Qualifying Times 2023 Abu Dhabi GP

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:24.160 1:23.740 1:23.445 15
2 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:24.459 1:23.969 1:23.584 18
3 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:24.487 1:24.278 1:23.782 17
4 63 George Russell Mercedes 1:24.337 1:24.013 1:23.788 18
5 4 Lando Norris McLaren 1:24.368 1:23.920 1:23.816 16
6 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:24.286 1:24.207 1:23.968 18
7 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:24.501 1:24.131 1:24.084 18
8 27 Nico Hülkenberg Haas 1:24.425 1:24.213 1:24.108 18
9 11 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:24.209 1:24.116 1:24.171 17
10 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:24.600 1:24.078 1:24.548 18
11 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.437 1:24.359 12
12 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:24.565 1:24.391 12
13 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:24.405 1:24.422 12
14 23 Alex Albon Williams 1:24.298 1:24.439 12
15 3 Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri 1:24.461 1:24.442 12
16 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:24.738 6
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:24.764 6
18 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:24.788 6
19 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:25.159 6
RT 2 Logan Sargeant Williams no time 6

✅ Don't forget to check out the 2023 Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix preview.

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5 F1 Fan comments on “F1 Qualifying Results & Report 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

  1. shroppyfly

    LS has to go , he was well up on both his laps and good enough to progress and ---track limits not once but twice-- looks like when the pressures on

    Sainz , Sainz what are you doing, the traffic wasnt that bad , same for Laura croft, even Toto said the car was good enough for 4th, as King G proved, wll done the Mcl boys , same for the Hulk dragging the sorry Haas into 8th, expected more from DR , Laura was again very embaressing in her post race interview as if she couldnt be bothered and finishing the season 11--11 good result for KG, yeah , yeah who cares about the points

    • ReallyOldRacer

      I read on another site that Sir Lew claims that something is wrong with the MB. Uh, your young teammate managed fourth, Lewie. How about you go balls out to help the team beat Ferrari?

  2. Jere Jyrälä

    Sainz’s early elimination was surprising, but Hamilton’s Q2 elimination was somewhat unsurprising.
    Tsunoda was qualifying's positive surprise.

  3. ReallyOldRacer

    Looks like it's up to LEC to claim that 4 point gap to MB by himself unless SAI can maybe fight his way to the top ten. That's really all that's left to this season. It would be nice to see LEC finally win but that will require a RB kerfuffle.....not likely.


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