Starting grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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He may have just three races remaining in his Formula One career, but Mark Webber proved on Saturday in Abu Dhabi that he still has what it takes to compete at the highest level. The Australian driver produced a stunning lap at the end of qualifying to deny teammate Sebastian Vettel pole position by just over one-tenth of a second as Red Bull locked out the front row for the second time in three races.

Mercedes posed the greatest challenge to the world champions, but both Ferrari and Lotus floundered. The Italian team could only qualify in eighth and eleventh, but both Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso will make up one place on the grid following the exclusion of Kimi Raikkonen from qualifying. The Finn’s car was found to have a technical irregularity that Lotus could not explain, meaning that he will start from the back of the grid.

Following qualifying, there have been two changes made to the grid due to penalties:

  • As mentioned, Kimi Raikkonen was excluded from qualifying for a technical irregularity on his car. However, he will be permitted to start the race from the back of the grid.
  • Jules Bianchi was handed a five-place grid penalty by the stewards on Saturday after a gearbox change. He will start from P21 following Raikkonen’s exclusion.

All of the top nine drivers qualified on the soft compound tire, whilst the rest of the field will have a free choice of starting rubber.

Starting grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

1 Mark Webber Red Bull
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull
3 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
5 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber
6 Romain Grosjean Lotus
7 Felipe Massa Ferrari
8 Sergio Perez McLaren
9 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso
10 Fernando Alonso Ferrari
11 Paul di Resta Force India
12 Jenson Button McLaren
13 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso
14 Pastor Maldonado Williams
15 Valtteri Bottas Williams
16 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber
17 Adrian Sutil Force India
18 Giedo van der Garde Caterham
19 Charles Pic Caterham
20 Max Chilton Marussia
21 Jules Bianchi Marussia
22 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus

F1 Paddock Pass: United States Grand Prix post-race (VIDEO)

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As Lewis Hamilton took another step towards his fourth Formula 1 World Championship Sunday at the United States Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas, plenty of other topics of discussion emerged in the wake of Round 17 of the season from Austin.

Hamilton’s win came as his Mercedes AMG Petronas team claimed its fourth consecutive Constructor’s Championship, Scuderia Ferrari came up short once again despite a valiant effort in second and third, and Max Verstappen’s penalty after the race was the major talking point.

Elsewhere Valtteri Bottas struggled again, the Sahara Force India twins continued to pick up points, Carlos Sainz Jr. made a major positive impact in his first start with Renault, Brendon Hartley impressed on debut at Toro Rosso and Romain Grosjean and Haas F1 Team endured a tough weekend on Haas’ home soil.

Check out all the recap from the latest USGP in the latest post-race edition of the NBC Sports Group original digital series Paddock Pass with NBCSN pit reporter and insider Will Buxton, below.