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After Baku
Championship Standings:
Drivers
Pos Driver Points
1 Nico Rosberg 141
2 Lewis Hamilton 117
3 Sebastian Vettel 96
4 Kimi Raikkonen 81
5 Daniel Ricciardo 78
6 Max Verstappen 54
7 Valtteri Bottas 52
8 Sergio Perez 39
9 Felipe Massa 38
10 Daniil Kvyat 22
11 Romain Grosjean 22
12 Nico Hulkenberg 20
13 Fernando Alonso 18
14 Carlos Sainz 18
15 Kevin Magnussen 6
16 Jenson Button 5
17 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
18 Esteban Gutierrez 0
19 Jolyon Palmer 0
20 Marcus Ericsson 0
21 Felipe Nasr 0
22 Pascal Wehrlein 0
23 Rio Haryanto 0

Constructors standings
POS CONSTRUCTOR POINTS
1 Mercedes 258
2 Ferrari 177
3 Red Bull/Renault 140
4 Williams/Mercedes 90
5 Force India/Mercedes 59
6 Toro Rosso/Ferrari 32
7 McLaren/Honda 24
8 Haas/Ferrari 22
9 Renault 6
10 Sauber/Ferrari 0
11 Manor/Mercedes 0  
 

Abu Dhabi: Hamilton on pole by 6/10ths

by Mark J. Cipolloni
Saturday, October 31, 2009

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Lewis Hamilton took pole on his final lap in spectacular fashion
McLaren's Lewis Hamilton, put his KERS to good use, took pole position for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit Saturday by over 6/10ths of a second.  His margin over 2nd place Sebastian Vettel was the widest margin since the Hungarian GP in 2005. 

Vettel's Red Bull teammate Mark Webber will start 3rd. 

The Brawns of Rubens Barrichello and new World Champion Jenson Button round out the top-5.

Hamilton's pole was no fluke though.  He dominated all three stages of qualifying - topping Q1 by half a second and Q2 by 3/10ths and then a phenomenal 6/10ths in Q3.

The action began in daylight with darkness rapidly falling over the course of the qualifying hour and the floodlights coming on to illuminate the track.

Nick Heidfeld came up with a novel solution to tackle sunset during qualifying at Abu Dhabi's Yas Marina Circuit.

With the session beginning at 5pm and ending under dark skies and floodlights, visibility is a dilemma for F1's drivers in terms of selecting the most appropriate tint for their visors.

"I am using a clear visor," said Jarno Trulli, favoring best visibility in the dark, but Sebastien Buemi told Auto Motor und Sport that he opted for a light tint to tackle the lowering sun and glare.

BMW-Sauber's Heidfeld, however, settled for no such compromise.  His Schuberth visor had a clear visor, but several tinted rip-off strips sat atop.

"When there is daylight I have the shade and when it's dark I tear them off," said the German.

Buemi was surprised: "I didn't know you could do that!"

After pulling out of qualifying on Saturday, Heikki Kovalainen's woes deepened when it emerged he will drop even further down the grid for the Abu Dhabi grand prix.

While his teammate Lewis Hamilton looks set to dominate the race from pole position, the Finn suffered a gearbox failure during the 'Q2' segment.

The McLaren transmission cannot be repaired and therefore must be replaced for the race, incurring a five-place grid demotion for an unscheduled change.

Kovalainen, 28, therefore drops from 13th to 18th.

"I already had minor problems with the gearbox yesterday when it jumped out of gear, so it's frustrating when you have a car you can easily take into Q3," he said.

The FIA published the starting weights of the cars in the hours after qualifying, showing that Hamilton's dominance was not influenced by a particularly light fuel load.

The Briton is carrying marginally less fuel than the Red Bulls, but the Brawns are actually slightly lighter than Hamilton.

"Both of us (Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber) are a little bit surprised by the gap," Red Bull's Vettel said, referring to Hamilton's Q3 advantage of more than 6 tenths.

Results

Pos

Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3
1. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.873 1:39.695 1:40.948
2. Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1:40.666 1:39.984 1:41.615
3. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:40.667 1:40.272 1:41.726
4. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:40.574 1:40.421 1:41.786
5. Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:40.378 1:40.148 1:41.892
6. Trulli Toyota 1:40.517 1:40.373 1:41.897
7. Kubica BMW-Sauber 1:40.520 1:40.545 1:41.992
8. Heidfeld BMW-Sauber 1:40.558 1:40.635 1:42.343
9. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:40.842 1:40.661 1:42.583
10. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:40.908 1:40.430 1:42.713
11. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:41.100 1:40.726 -
12. Kobayashi Toyota 1:41.035 1:40.777 -
13. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:40.808 1:40.983 -
14. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:41.096 1:41.148 -
15. Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:41.503 1:41.689 -
16. Alonso Renault 1:41.667 - -
17. Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:41.701 - -
18. Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:41.863 - -
19. Grosjean Renault 1:41.950 - -
20. Fisichella Ferrari 1:42.184 - -

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