F1: Nico Rosberg beats scruffy Hamilton to Abu Dhabi pole (+photos)

From press release

Nico Rosberg made a step in the right direction, as he tries to overturn a 17-point deficit and beat his teammate Lewis Hamilton in the chase for the drivers' title.

The German secured his 11th pole of the season, some four tenths ahead of Hamilton, who simply seemed off the pace this time.

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes W05 Abu Dhabi F1
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes W05 (Photo: WRI2)

It's also the 19th pole for a Mercedes-powered car this year. No engine manufacturer had claimed every pole in a season since Ford... in 1969.

Considering the point deficit, simply winning Sunday's race might not be enough for Rosberg to win the championship. The 29-year-old even joked about hiring Valtteri Bottas, who, being third on the grid, could help by finishing in front of Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W05, Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W05 (Photo: WRI2)

"I will push flat out and keep the pressure high on Lewis to try to force him into a mistake like in Brazil and also hope that the Williams have a chance to be in between us," said Rosberg.

Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Valtteri Bottas F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Valtteri Bottas (Photo: WRI2)

"I already offered to pay for Valtteri to have a great wellness programme tonight so that he is fully relaxed and will put on a great performance tomorrow... let's see what happens!"

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1
(Photo: WRI2)

Qualifying results* - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (round 19 of 19)
1.Nico Rosberg (Mercedes W05) - 1'40"480 - Q3
2.Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes W05) - 1'40"866 - Q3
3.Valtteri Bottas (Williams FW36-Mercedes) - 1'41"025 - Q3
4.Felipe Massa (Williams FW36-Mercedes) - 1'41"119 - Q3
5.Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull RB10-Renault) - 1'41"267- Q3
6.Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull RB10-Renault) - 1'41"893 - Q3
7.Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso STR9-Renault) - 1'41"908 - Q3
8.Jenson Button (McLaren MP4/29-Mercedes) - 1'41”964 - Q3
9.Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari F14-T) - 1'42"236 - Q3
10.Fernando Alonso (Ferrari F14-T) - 1'42”866 - Q3
11.Kevin Magnussen (McLaren MP4/29-Mercedes) - 1'42"198 - Q2
12.Jean Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso STR9-Renault) - 1'42"207 - Q2
13.Sergio Perez (Force India VJM07-Mercedes) - 1'42"239 - Q2
14.Nico Hulkenberg (Force India VJM07-Mercedes) - 1'42"384 - Q2
15.Adrian Sutil (Sauber C33-Ferrari) - 1'43"074 - Q2
16.Esteban Gutierrez (Sauber C33-Ferrari) - 1'42”819 - Q1
17.Pastor Maldonado (Lotus E22-Renault) - 1'42"860 - Q1
18.Kamui Kobayashi (Caterham CT05-Renault) - 1'44”540 - Q1
19.Will Stevens (Caterham CT05-Renault) - 1'45”095 - Q1
20.Romain Grosjean (Lotus E22-Renault) - 1'42"768 - Q1 **

* Unofficial results
** 20-place grid penalty

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