The grid for Sunday is set.
In the championship-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, it will be Max Verstappen starting from pole position, his 10th pole of the season — and the most important of the year.
VERSTAPPEN TAKES POLE!
It’s his tenth of the year, and it means he has the best seat in the house for the final race!
Hamilton will line up alongside his title rival, with Norris in third#AbuDhabiGP 🇦🇪 #F1 pic.twitter.com/XkdfD9VAiB
In a twist, Red Bull decided to enter Q2 with soft-compound tires on their car, leading to Verstappen taking the top time in the session. That’ll be a differing strategy from Mercedes, who will be starting the race on the mediums.
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In Q3, Verstappen took a full half-second over Hamilton, thanks in part to a tow from teammate Sergio Perez, who finished fourth in qualifying. Surprisingly, Hamilton’s teammate, Valtteri Bottas, didn’t finish in the top-five in qualifying, leaving Mercedes in a small pickle entering Sunday.
Here’s how they’ll line up in the final race on Sunday:
On soft-compound tires, Verstappen took the fastest lap of the qualifying session. His Red Bull teammate, Sergio Perez, will be starting fourth.
Lewis Hamilton will start second. He will race on medium tires, as opposed to Red Bull’s soft.
The ESPN family of networks will broadcast all 2021 F1 races in the United States using Sky Sports’ feed with select late-season races airing on ABC.
ESPN Deportes serves as the exclusive Spanish-language home for all 2021 F1 races in the U.S.
The 8 a.m. ET start time for Sunday’s race means the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will start at 5 p.m. local time. Lights out will likely take place just after 8 a.m. ET. ESPN’s prerace show usually airs in the hour before the start of the race.
Below is the complete schedule for the weekend’s F1 events at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
For those who don’t have a cable or satellite subscription, there are five major OTT TV streaming options that carry ESPN: fuboTV, Sling, Hulu, YouTubeTV and AT&T Now. Of the five, Hulu, fuboTV and YouTubeTV offer free-trial options.
Below are links to each.
For those who do have a cable or satellite subscription but are not in front of a TV, Formula 1 races in 2021 can be streamed live via phones, tablets and other devices on the ESPN app with authentication.
In all, there are 23 scheduled races in the 2021 F1 season with the Portuguese Grand Prix sliding onto the docket the first week in March. The originally scheduled Vietnam Grand Prix was removed after the arrest of Nguyen Duc Chung, while the Chinese Grand Prix is up in the air. It was originally scheduled for April 11 but will likely not take place this season.
All races will be broadcast in the U.S. on the ESPN family of networks with the United States Grand Prix and Mexico City Grand Prix both airing on ABC. The Singapore Grand Prix was also removed from the schedule. The Turkish Grand Prix returned to the schedule in its stead.
(Note: The on-the-hour start times do not include the broadcast start time, which is typically five minutes before the start of the race. Times do not include ESPN’s customary prerace shows.)
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Here’s the latest schedule: