Rosberg takes pole for Abu Dhabi GP, ahead of Hamilton

ABS-CBN Sports on Nov 29, 2015 12:00 PM
Rosberg takes pole for Abu Dhabi GP, ahead of Hamilton
Second placed Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain, right, and winner of the qualifying, Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg of Germany, wave to supporters after the qualifying at the Yas Marina racetrack in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015. The Emirates Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

AP Sports Writer

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Nico Rosberg extended his streak of pole positions to six when he edged Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton in Saturday's qualifying session for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Rosberg's final lap was 0.377 of a second faster than Hamilton at Yas Marina circuit, and he became the eighth man in Formula One history to record six straight poles. The all-time record is eight, set by Ayrton Senna over the 1988 and 1989 seasons.

It was the 15th time this season that Mercedes had locked out the front row of the grid, establishing a new F1 record.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen qualified third but his teammate Sebastian Vettel was down in 16th after the team miscalculated its tire allocation.

Force India's Sergio Perez will start from fourth on the grid in Sunday's race — equaling his career-best qualifying performance — ahead of Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.

Completing the top ten were: Force India's Nico Hulkenberg, Felipe Massa of Williams, Daniil Kvyat of Red Bull and Toro Rosso's Carlos Sainz Jr.

Hamilton has already secured the drivers' championship but has been off the pace of Rosberg late in the season, with the German aiming for a hat trick of wins on Sunday.

Rosberg said "it's not a revival, and I have not reinvented anything."

"Before it was close in one direction, now it is quicker in this direction," Rosberg said. "At the moment I am quicker and I'm very pleased about that and happy to be on pole again."

Hamilton was not surprised by second place again, saying "I've been struggling with the car a little all weekend. It generally feels a little bit better in the race, but it's been a while now I'm struggling on the edge with the car. I was a lot more comfortable at the beginning of the year."

Raikkonen's pace was impressive, with his qualifying time only four tenths of a second behind Hamilton, but Ferrari was left to rue a critical miscalculation with Vettel. It gambled that the German could progress to Q2 on the harder of the two tires, but Vettel finished in 16th, missing out on Q2 by just a hundredth of a second.

"No issues with the car," Vettel said. "We thought that it would be enough to go through to Q2 with a lap on the softs but it wasn't."

"As a team we didn't do the right decision today and that has a big consequence."

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