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F1 Abu Dhabi GP: Hamilton on pole lap: I had it under control

Lewis Hamilton says he was in control to storm to pole position for the F1 world title decider in Abu Dhabi ahead of Nico Rosberg.
Click here for full Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying results

Lewis Hamilton says he was in control to storm to pole position for the F1 world title decider in Abu Dhabi ahead of Nico Rosberg who joins him on the front row.

Knowing he must overturn a 12 point deficit to win a fourth F1 world title, Hamilton has placed himself in prime position by taking a 61st pole position of his career with a 1m 38.755s and with it pulled out a 0.303s advantage over his Mercedes team-mate who lines up second on the grid.

Despite the relatively comfortable margin at the end of the lap during both of his Q3 runs, Hamilton trailed Rosberg by around one-tenth of a second but was able to reel in his team-mate over the rest of the lap, something he says he was aware of during qualifying and was confident he could manage to secure pole position.

“The first section I knew I had pace for the rest of the lap so I was relatively not cautious but didn't want to cook it into turn one so that is where a little bit of time went to Nico,� Hamilton said. “Otherwise the rest of the lap I had it under control so I made sure I maximised it in those areas.

“So far this weekend I have been solely focused on getting to this position which I truly believed I could and it worked.�

Down to the wire: The tensest F1 title finales of all time

Shifting focus to tomorrow's title decider, Hamilton heads into the race with an optimistic frame of mind by explaining he isn't feeling the pressure like he did in 2014 during their title decider at the same venue as he has nothing to lose due to his current points deficit.

“This is a much different scenario to 2014,� he said. “The reason I couldn't sleep before the race was because I worked so hard during the year and faced different challenges but had more wins and yet I could have thrown it all away that week.

“Having lost the championship in 2007 that had played on my mind but tomorrow is a complete opposite of the spectrum.�

For Hamilton to win a fourth F1 world title his best chance is to win in Abu Dhabi and see Rosberg finish off the podium, while the German driver only needs a top three finish regardless of what his Mercedes team-mate can achieve in the final race of the season.

POINTS: The F1 Drivers� & Constructors� standings ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix F1 finale

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