Starting Grid 2020 Austrian Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit

Lewis Hamilton scored his 88th pole in Abu Dhabi

F1 Race Event: Abu Dhabi F1 Grand Prix
Race Track: Yas Marina Circuit

Start time:17:10 local | 13:10 GMT | 05:10 PT

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton has claimed pole position using the Red soft tyre in Abu Dhabi, breaking his own outright track record from last year’s qualifying session. Hamilton got through Q2 on the Yellow medium tyre, meaning that this is the compound he will start the race on tomorrow.

His team mate Valtteri Bottas along with both Red Bull cars and Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari also chose the medium to set their best Q2 times and will also start on medium tomorrow. Hamilton received the Pirelli Pole Position Award from Saudi Arabian motorsport pioneer Aseel Al-Hamad: the first woman from her country to drive a Formula 1 car, and a member of the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission.

Start Grid 2019 Abu Dhabi F1 GP

PosNoDriverTeamLap TimePole gap
    144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:34,779
    233Max VerstappenRed Bull1:35,139+0,360s
    316Charles LeclercFerrari1:35,219+0,440s
    45Sebastian VettelFerrari1:35,339+0,560s
    523Alexander AlbonRed Bull1:35,682+0,903s
    64Lando NorrisMcLaren1:36,436+1,657s
    73Daniel RicciardoRenault1:36,456+1,677s
    855Carlos Sainz Jr.McLaren1:36,459+1,680s
    927Nico HülkenbergRenault1:36,710+1,931s
  1011Sergio PérezRacing Point1:37,055+2,276s
  1110Pierre GaslyToro Rosso1:37,089+2,310s
  1218Lance StrollRacing Point1:37,103+2,324s
  1326Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1:37,141+2,362s
  1420Kevin MagnussenHaas1:37,254+2,475s
  158Romain GrosjeanHaas1:38,051+3,272s
  1699Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo1:38,114+3,335s
  177Kimi RäikkönenAlfa Romeo1:38,383+3,604s
  1863George RussellWilliams1:38,717+3,938s
  1988Robert KubicaWilliams1:39,236+4,457s
  2077*Valtteri BottasMercedes1:34,973+0,194s



  • Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes no.77) has to start from the back due to several grid penalties for using more than 3 power unit elements.

2019 Abu Dhabi Race Strategy

The optimal strategy for the 55-lap Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a one-stopper, but there are several interesting variations on this theme as the pit stop window is quite wide.

There are two one-stop strategies that work almost equally well: soft for seven to 14 laps, combined with hard for 41 to 48 laps. Alternatively, medium for 10 to 18 laps, combined with hard for 37 to 45 laps.

It’s then going to be down to the individual race circumstances for each driver to decide when is the best time to stop.

What’s slower is a one-stopper using the soft for 18 to 22 laps followed by the medium for 33 to 37 laps. That requires a bit too much pace management (to keep the soft alive) to be consistently fast, so expect the hard to be a key ingredient for any one-stopper.

A two-stopper is about as fast on paper, but it’s not going to be a favoured tactic due to the problem of getting through traffic on a track where it’s not particularly easy to overtake. But if anyone wanted to try it, the best way would be to do two soft stints for seven to 10 laps each, plus a hard stint of 35 to 41 laps. In the end, a two-stopper using any combination of the tyres available would theoretically result in a broadly similar overall race time, if the stops are made at the right moment.

2019 Abu Dhabi Race Notes

  • Falling temperatures. Track temperatures fall dramatically during the race as evening sets in: this has the effect of extending the second stint.
  • A wide pit stop window. There are many options when it comes to the timing of the pit stops, meaning that drivers can come in when it suits them best to gain an advantage. Expect the stops to be quite spread out tomorrow.
  • Traffic. It’s not easy to overtake at the Yas Marina circuit, so traffic could have a big effect on the strategy and race outcome.
  • Valtteri Bottas. Unusually, a Mercedes starts at the back of the grid following a penalty for Bottas. He has one of the fastest cars out there, also with a new engine, so watch his progress.

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