Max Verstappen takes pole in Abu Dhabi, while Lewis Hamilton qualifies second.
Max Verstappen will start from pole position in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ahead of world champion Lewis Hamilton.
After posting a three-tenths slower time than the Dutchman, Hamilton will start the championship decider in second place.
After their first attempts in the final qualifying session, the Mercedes driver was more than a half-second behind Verstappen, and despite getting closer on his final run, he was unable to beat his time.
"YES! Didn't expect that, but amazing comeback," Verstappen exclaimed over the radio after confirming his pole position.
He expressed his feelings to David Coulthard after qualifying, saying, "Of course, it's an amazing feeling."
"I think we definitely improved the car in qualifying, because it's been a bit on and off this weekend."
"But, yeah, we're really pleased with this."
"Of course, this is what we wanted, but it's never easy, especially with their recent form."
"Right now, all I can think about is tomorrow, because that's the most important thing."
Hamilton praised Verstappen's performance and stated that he deserved to be at the front of the grid.
He admitted, "Max did a great lap today."
"At the end, we just couldn't compete with that time."
"It was looking really good in practice."
We were unable to respond to that lap, which was fantastic on his part.
I'm hoping for a good race.
"I couldn't go any faster on the last lap, it was nice and clean."
I couldn't beat his time today; he deserved to be on top.
"We're still on the front row, with different tyres, and it's great that I can see where he's at."
At the top of the drivers' standings, Hamilton and Verstappen are tied on points, making Saturday's qualifying session crucial.
Both men have 369.5 points, but the Dutchman is ahead in the standings due to the number of races he has won - nine to Hamilton's eight.
The equation is straightforward for Hamilton.
In Abu Dhabi on Saturday, if he outscores Verstappen, he will win a record-breaking eighth world title.
However, after failing to qualify ahead of his opponent for Sunday's duel in the desert, that task has become much more difficult.
If he wants to make history, he'll have to get past the man vying for his first ever Formula One drivers' title.
Lando Norris of McLaren finished third, ahead of Sergio Perez of Red Bull, on the other side of the grid.
Carlos Sainz of Ferrari will start fifth, with Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes in sixth place in his final race for the Silver Arrows before joining Alfa Romeo.