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Hulkenberg heads Q2 casualties in Abu Dhabi

Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez head list of those missing out on pole shoot-out in second phase of qualifying at Yas Marina.

Neither Sauber or Force India managed to get a car through to the final stage of qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while Mercedes saw Nico Rosberg sneak into Q3 at the last gasp.

With almost the entire field on the softer Pirelli tyres, there were few variations to play with, but the expected names appeared at the top of the timesheets, leaving the midfield runners to fight amongst themselves for survival. With five minutes remaining in the 15-minute session, Nico Hulkenberg was living up to his FP3 performance by holding down a spot that would have qualified him for the pole position shoot-out, but, despite few moves between the drop zone and safety, the German was eventually usurped by countryman Rosberg, who proved to be the only escapee from the bottom seven.

Hulkenberg remained in eleventh place, ahead of Sergio Perez - who may still face a grid drop for blocking Bruno Senna in Q1 - and Force India team-mate Paul di Resta, who improved his time but not by enough to move higher than a provisional 13th in the final scheme of things. The Scot did at least outgun seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher, Senna, Kamui Kobayashi and Daniel Ricciardo.

Lewis Hamilton twice overcame faster times from Red Bull's Mark Webber to claim top spot for the second time in two qualifying phases, while Sebastian Vettel moved ahead of title rival Fernando Alonso to take third spot, despite another couple of ragged laps. Lotus duo Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean were next up, while Rosberg, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button and Pastor Maldonado joined them in Q3.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Free Practice 1: Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren Mercedes MP4-27
Free Practice 2: Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber F1 Team C31
Free Practice 2: Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 Team VJM05
Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso - Mercedes, McLaren
George Russell, Mercedes junior programme, [Credit: Mercedes]
Valtteri Bottas, Nico Rosberg
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Force India reveals the launch date for its 2017 F1 challenge
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?
Kimi Raikkonen tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]
Lewis Hamilton tests the 2017 F1 tyres in Abu Dhabi [credit: Pirelli]

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Amigo - Unregistered

November 03, 2012 6:01 PM

Zeyar, Please remember all three tracks are not Sauber's car favorite tracks. Most disappointment out come was Force India because Dubai track is usually suit to Force India Mercedes power car. If Sauber has beat Mercedes team in championship and then Koba may be retained his seat at Sauber. Sauber know they can have Mexican sponsor for 2013 regardless of Mexican driver in the cockpit. All Mexican Sponsor will go to McLaren in 2014. Sauber team boss Monisha told the press nothing connection to next year seat at Sauber with Koba performance in this year. Outsider can't judge on how Koba performance is doing because the insiders know about their car performance. Perez backer Carlos Slim family will put money on his car development and to win Championship. Koba has no back since Toyota walk away from F1. I'm very interesting Perez driving Mclaren Mercedes and how he will develop relationship with his team mate Jensen Button. However, he will be very lucky to not having Lewis Hamilton a

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