Valtteri Bottas has taken his fourth career pole in Abu Dhabi to take back to back poles in the last two rounds of 2017.
As the cars went out for the last time in qualifying it was all to play for in the midfield for those crucial final points.
Ericsson and the Toro Rosso’s were first to set times but Hamilton soon came through with a 1:37.473 to go top.
Vettel however, could only manage 3rd behind Bottas, 7 tenths off Hamilton. His teammate Raikkonen then overtook the German still 6 tenths off the leader.
It was Ricciardo who then went third while Hamilton couldn’t improve on Bottas who was now in first.
The Toro Rosso’s meanwhile were struggling and both down at the bottom of the timesheets.
At the line, Galsy improved to 15th only to be beaten by Stroll and Grosjean.
Out in Q1: Grosjean, Gasly, Wehrlein, Ericsson, Hartley.
Bottas was first out in Q2 alongside Hamilton who complained of smelling fumes as he left the pits.
Bottas set the early pace but Hamilton was close behind and went fastest with a 1:36.742.
The Ferrari’s meanwhile couldn’t match the Mercedes and Hulkenberg went 6th, splitting the two Red Bull’s.
Massa in his last F1 qualifying session could only manage 12th on his fast lap and Stroll was 15th and last.
From 10th Alonso failed to improve on his final lap as did Vandoorne and Hamilton who stayed in first.
Stroll couldn’t improve enough and stayed in 15th compared to Massa who overtook Alonso to reach Q3 or the final time,
Out in Q2: Alonso, Sainz, Vandoorne, Magnussen, Stroll.
And so the final Q3 session of the 2017 season got underway and everybody was straight out on track with Raikkonen being the first to start a lap wich end being a 1:36.9 but Bottas came 7 tenths faster while Hamilton could only manage 2nd.
On his first lap, Ricciardo could only manage 6th behind Verstappen followed by Hulkenberg, Ocon, Perez and Massa.
On the final runs, Ocon was told to try and keep Bottas behind which was unable to do as they begin their laps.
Hamilton started his lap very slowly around the final corner but was faster than Bottas in sector one while both were slow in the second sector.
With Bottas still in first, Hamilton failed to improve giving Bottas provisional pole and after Vettel, Verstappen and Ricciardo couldn’t natch him it was Bottas who stayed there and took his fourth pole position.
Final results are as follows