Hamilton: Abu Dhabi pole 'extra special'

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton described his pole position in Abu Dhabi, his first in 10 races, as "extra special".

Lewis Hamilton celebrates qualifying on pole in Abu Dhabi.   -  Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton revelled in an "extra special" pole position in the final grand prix of the Formula One season in Abu Dhabi as he ended his qualifying drought.

The world champion had not claimed pole since the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim in July. However, he ended his wait in some style at the Yas Marina circuit on Saturday, his time of one minute and 34.779 seconds setting a new track record.

His Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas was second, though he will start from the back due to a grid penalty.

Hamilton, who will instead have Max Verstappen for company on the front row, said afterwards: "It was such a long slog trying to get this pole position in and we just kept out heads down and the guys have done a great job.

"Yesterday was quite wobbly so I had to re-compose myself and had to come back today and re-focus. I managed to dial in the car with the hard work of the engineers.

"Valtteri 2.0 has been rapid, especially this weekend. To end the qualifying season with a pole and to say goodbye to this car with a pole, is extra special."

Bottas added: "As a team it has been a really strong day, we've had good pace, it didn't feel as good today as yesterday but I think Lewis made some good improvements.

"In any case I'm going to start last and we will find the fighting spirit tomorrow. I believe, anything is possible, we have a very good car. Sunday is normally stronger for us and we'll give it all we have."

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