Red Bull Racing Takes Its First Pole Of 2020 With Max Verstappen In Abu Dhabi

Illustration for article titled Red Bull Racing Takes Its First Pole Of 2020 With Max Verstappen In Abu Dhabi
Photo: Kamran Jebreili (Getty Images)

It only took until the final race of the 2o20 season for Red Bull Racing to score its first pole position. In a tense qualifying session, both Mercedes drivers outpaced each other only to be outpaced in the end by Max Verstappen. Surprisingly, this is only Verstappen’s third career pole position.


“It’s going to be the final send of the season and we did that,” Verstappen said i a post-qualifying interview. “Very happy with that. It was tricky in the beginning, but luckily everything came together in that final lap.” 

While the grid for the Abu Dhabi finale isn’t quite as wild as Bahrain was last weekend, this result is still a bit of a shock. With Lewis Hamilton making his return after testing positive for COVID-19, fans expected it to be back to business as usual. That hasn’t been the case. 0.086 seconds covered the top three qualifying positions.

Other important positions to note:

  • Lando Norris has qualified fourth, which has secured him the small victory of out-qualifying his teammate throughout the season.
  • Norris also claimed he would be on pole with a Mercedes engine.
  • While Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc qualified ninth, a three-place grid penalty as a result from the first-lap Sakhir GP crash saw him pushed down to 12th place instead.
  • Because of that, Renault’s Esteban Ocon has been promoted to 10th place. He didn’t technically start Q3, which means he can start on fresh tires.
  • In his return to Williams, George Russell has qualified 16th, just barely pipped out of Q1.

Qualifying Order:

  1. Max Verstappen
  2. Valtteri Bottas
  3. Lewis Hamilton
  4. Lando Norris
  5. Alex Albon
  6. Carlos Sainz Jr.
  7. Daniil Kvyat
  8. Lance Stroll
  9. Pierre Gasly
  10. Esteban Ocon
  11. Daniel Ricciardo
  12. Charles Leclerc
  13. Sebastian Vettel
  14. Antonio Giovinazzi
  15. Kimi Raikkonen
  16. George Russell
  17. Pietro Fittipaldi
  18. Nicholas Latifi
  19. Sergio Perez
  20. Kevin Magnussen

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That battle for third and fourth in the constructors is really close.  I’ll be on the edge of my seat hoping for McLaren to pull it off.