Lewis Hamilton Abu Dhabi GP
Lewis Hamilton scorched the Yas Marina circuit in qualifyingReuters

Lewis Hamilton will hope to pull off the most sensational of world championship heists from pole position, after the defending champion did what he had to do on Saturday, finishing with the top time in qualifying of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the final race of the Formula 1 season.

Hamilton trails Nico Rosberg by 12 points going into the final Sunday, and what the Brit needs to do is to win and hope his Mercedes teammate, somehow, finishes outside the top three.

That looks unlikely, because, Rosberg, expectedly, locked up second place, which means he will line up alongside Hamilton in the front row come raceday at Yas Marina on Sunday.

Hamilton came through with the best time of 1:38.755, with his middle and final sector timings too hot for any of the other competitors to handle.

Rosberg, while going for his final flying lap, looked good after the first sector, but then he lost time in the middle, eventually settling for second place at 1:39.058. That won't worry Rosberg too much, though, because all he needs is a top-three finish, that is assuming if Hamilton takes the win, in Abu Dhabi to win his first F1 title.

The key for both the Mercedes drivers will be to make a clean start on Sunday and from there, it will be all about who handles the pressure better.

Daniel Ricciardo (1:39.589) put in a brilliant flying lap right at the end to take third place, with the Red Bull driver joined in the second row by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, who timed 1:39.604. Raikkonen's teammate Sebastian Vettel finished fifth in qualifying, with the second Red Bull driver Max Verstappen taking sixth.

The two Force India's will start in the same row, after Nico Hulkenberg, who will take part in his final race with his current team before joining Renault next season, and Sergio Perez finished with the seventh and eighth fastest times.

Felipe Massa and Jenson Button, driving their final races in Formula One, will start from tenth and 12th on Sunday.

The complete timings are HERE

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