Max Verstappen pulled off a heist at the Yas Marina track in Abu Dhabi to take pole from Valtteri Bottas in the dying seconds of qualifying for the final race of the season. Bottas pipped Lewis Hamilton who was returning after a break of a race due to COVID-19 as both drivers managed P2 and P3 respectively. McLaren's Lando Norris impressed with P4 followed by Red Bull's other driver Alex Albon, who is arguably racing to save his seat in the Austrian team. This was the first pole of 2020 for Verstappen.
Carlos Sainz Jr in his last race at McLaren managed P6, followed by Daniil Kvyat in the AlphaTauri who qualified at P7. Like Albon, Kvyat could be looking at his last race in F1 for a while. Lance Stroll was the highest qualified Racing Point driver considering his teammate Perez had to take a gird penalty thanks to an engine change.
Ferrari's Charles Leclerc failed in his bid to qualify in the top 6. He just managed P9 but will fall down to P12 head of his outgoing teammate Sebastian Vettel who managed P13 in his last race with the Scuderia. Pierre Gasly in the second AlphaTauri qualified in P10 but will move to P9 thanks to the penalty accrued by Leclerc. Estaban Ocon in the lead Renault qualified in P10 but will start in P9 and his teammate Daniel Ricciardo who qualified in P11 moves into P11.
Antonio Giovinazzi in the Alfa Romeo qualified behind Vettel in P14, while Sergio Perez in his last race with Racing Point managed P15. Kimi Raikkonen in the second Alfa Romeo qualified in P16. The Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Pietro Fittipaldi managed P17 and P19 while George Russell in his return to the Williams was back in a familiar position qualified in P18. His teammate Nicholas Latifi managed another P20.
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:35.246
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0.025s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +0.086s
4 Lando Norris McLaren +0.251s
5 Alex Albon Red Bull +0.325s
6 Carlos Sainz McLaren +0.569s
7 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri +0.717s
8 Lance Stroll Racing Point +0.800s
9 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.819s
10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +0.996s
11 Esteban Ocon Renault 1:36.359
12 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:36.406
13 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:36.631
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing 1:38.248
15 Sergio Perez Racing Point no time
16 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing 1:37.555
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:37.863
18 George Russell Williams 1:38.045
19 Pietro Fittipaldi Haas 1:38.173
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:38.443