Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton seals pole with a kiss
Hamilton on pole for final race of the season; Sunday's race starts at 1.10pm, live on Sky Sports F1 and Sky One
Last Updated: 25/11/18 12:22pm
An emotional Lewis Hamilton sealed his pole position for the season-ending Abu Dhabi GP with a kiss for his Mercedes W09 car.
Hamilton held off team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Ferrari rival Sebastian Vettel to claim his 11th pole position of the season by just over a tenth of a second.
"It's quite an emotional qualifying session for me because it's the last one with this car. I'm probably the closest I've been to a car. It's been an emotional rollercoaster. To go out there and push yourself, there's no better feeling."
POLE!🔥 Wow, I love this car so much. So thankful of the team and our mechanics who put this beast together. It’s been so fun out there and can’t wait until lights out tomorrow. Let’s go!!! 🙌🏾 #newheights #nevergiveup @MercedesAMGF1 pic.twitter.com/DL3yLhgopq— Lewis Hamilton (@LewisHamilton) November 24, 2018
While Hamilton's advantage in qualifying was slight, his dominance of F1 in recent years has become supreme.
Having won 50 of the last 99 races, Hamilton has also claimed 52 poles from the last 100 events.
When's the Abu Dhabi GP on Sky F1?
The essential TV times and ways to watch for the final race of the F1 2018 season...
"It was a great qualifying session. It's been such a journey this year. So many things have happened, so many trials and tribulations along the way and it's been a real privilege working with these guys," said Hamilton.
"The team have done a really good job this weekend getting the car into the right window and obviously it was quite close in the end. It's always difficult to improve on your last lap but I managed to increase the gap.
"What a great way to end the season with a one-two qualifying session. Really proud of everyone at Mercedes."
Hamilton determined to sign off in style
Hamilton's victory last week in Brazil was the first race he has won in the final events of a season in which he had already been crowned champion. But the five-time world champion insists he is not short of motivation in this weekend's season-concluder as he bids to sign off from 2018 in style.
"l really wanted to execute and deliver," Hamilton said. "In previous years, l could have been l didn't."
"I have the motivation. Now it's about delivering tomorrow. I must never get complacent."
And on his latest pole position, Hamilton added: "It's a massive challenge on this track and we are all tired at this time of year. It felt fantastic to get the lap."
How Hamilton beat Vettel to pole
Sky F1's Abu Dhabi GP schedule
Sunday, November 25
9.30am: Abu Dhabi F2 Race Two LIVE!
11.30am: Pit Lane LIVE! (Simulcast on Sky One)
12.30pm: On The Grid LIVE! (Simulcast on Sky One)
1.10pm: THE ABU DHABI GP LIVE! (Simulcast on Sky One)
Sky Sports F1 is the only place to watch every Formula 1 Grand Prix, qualifying and practice session live in 2018. Get Sky Sports F1.