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Valtteri Bottas seizing the pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton. It was a dominant showing by Mercedes, who locked out the front row.

The Finn made quickest time of 1:36.231 seconds and clinched his second consecutive pole position and the fourth of his career, Yas Marina qualifying result gives Mercedes their 50th front row lock-out in Formula 1.

Following the session, Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said that, the Pole lap proved the strong character of the Finn after he endured some testing times in his first season with the team.

“That was a great lap from Valtteri and I’m really pleased to see him claim pole position,” Wolff said.

“It shows he has really bounced back after some tough races after the summer break. Lewis scored a very strong second place, too, and it’s great to see our boys lock out the front row at the final race of the season. Our car was the fastest in every sector today and that is a first sign of how we have kept the level high since winning the championships,” he added.

Despite clinching the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championship for the fourth time in a row, Wolff said it was vital to end the season on a high so as to carry on the momentum to next year.

“Looking ahead to tomorrow (Sunday), we cannot underestimate the importance of the race. The final race gives an important momentum into the winter and we will be going all out for the win. The long runs yesterday looked very similar between ourselves, Ferrari and Red Bull so we are in for a close fight!” said Wolff.

Mercedes race engineer Andrew Shovlin said it was a truly deserved pole for the Finn.

“Firstly, very well done to Valtteri on a well-deserved pole position and his second in a row!” said Shovlin.

“He’d had a few issues over the sessions getting the tyres to come in for a single lap but he seemed to judge it perfectly when it mattered,”.

“Overall, the day has gone rather well and both cars had a busy but productive session this morning. One of the challenges of this track is following the evolution of the circuit and adapting from the hot conditions in the earlier sessions to the cooler conditions you face in qualifying and the race,” Shovlin added.

“More of less from the word go it was clear that both Valtteri and Lewis were going to be contenders for pole, we had a very close eye on Ferrari although as the sessions went on our drivers seemed to be able to keep finding a little more each run and we had an entertaining shoot-out for pole between the two of them.”

“Having both cars on the front row for the race tomorrow (Sunday) puts us in the best possible position as a team although we’re not expecting the race to be easy. The Ferrari and Red Bulls both showed very strong pace on Friday and no one has much to lose at this stage of the season so we’re ready for a good fight,” he added.


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