Max Verstappen produced a blistering lap in qualifying to take pole from Lewis Hamilton at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Red Bull pulled off a tactical masterclass in Q3, as the team sent out Sergio Perez in front of Verstappen and he was given a crucial bit of slipstream.
It may have made the difference, as he crossed the line in a time of 1:22.109.
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“Great teamwork, great job,” Red bull chief Christian Horner said on race radio.
Verstappen said: “It is an amazing feeling. It has been a bit on and off so far, so incredibly pleased with it. I am now looking forward to tomorrow.”
The lap left him 0.371 clear of Hamilton, who will start the race in second.
"Max did a great lap, we could not compete with that," Hamilton, who was fastest in final practice, said. "We are in a good position with our tyres tomorrow. The last lap was nice and clean, I just could not go any quicker.
I am still on the front row, so we can navigate things from there.
Lando Norris took third, with Perez in fourth. Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas is down in sixth.
Verstappen has an eight-metre advantage off the line, and he will start on faster tyres
A lock-up in Q2 on the mediums forced Verstappen to go out on the softs to post a time - to avoid starting the race on a tyre with a flat spot.
“The flat spot was not ideal, and it kind of forced our hand,” Horner said. “We will be on different tyres now to Mercedes, so we will see how that plays out.”
The softs are quicker off the line, so Verstappen has every chance of securing track position.
It is all to play for, as if Verstappen finishes ahead of Hamilton he will win the title. Should both fail to finish, the title will be the Dutchman's on countback of most wins - provided there are no penalties.
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