Rosberg Takes Pole In Abu Dhabi; Eyes World Title

ABU DHABI- United Arab Emirates- Although Lewis Hamilton is leading the world driver’s championship by 17 point going into this weekend, Nico Rosberg proved Saturday night at the Yas Marina Circuit that he is still in the fight for the title as the German recorded a 1:40:480 quickest lap in the final session to win his 11th pole of the year for Sunday’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton was fourth tenths off of his teammate in second, while Valterri Bottas took third for Williams.

“It was a great day for sure, for the engineers, because they did a great job with the setup.” Said Rosberg. It all worked out together at the end and I was pleased with that.”

Hamilton dominated the first two sessions, with times of 1:41:207, and 1:40:920, respectively, while the two Lotus drivers of Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado exited the opening session along with the Caterham drivers, Kamui Kobyaschi and newcomer Will Stevens.

Kevin Magnussen, Jean-Eric Vergne, the two Force India entries of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, and Sauber’s Adrian Sutil joined them as the former failed to advance to the final round.

Rosberg kept his cool and managed to take the fastest time with minutes to go in the final round, while Hamilton could not match the German and had to settle for second. For Mercedes, it is their 12th 1-2 front row grid start for the season, proving the domination this season of the Stuttgart based squad.

Hamilton though, was pleased that he is still in a good position to win his second world title.

“It was still a great qualifying session, and I really enjoyed it”. Commented the Briton. And as Nico (Rosberg) said, tomorrow is a special day.”

Felipe Massa came close to the top three but had to settle for fourth in the second Williams, while Red Bull’s pairing of Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel were next in fifth and sixth, respectively. Danill Kvyat, who replaces Vettel next year at the Austrian based team was seventh, while Jenson Button, Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso rounded out the top ten.

Afterwards, Rosberg like anyone else contesting for a championship was nervous, but also realized that winning pole does not give you world championships.

“It is one step, and it is a small step.” Rosberg added. “And because this weekend, it is the championship. Starting first is the best place to be”.

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