WELL DONE LEWIS!: Lewis Hamilton grabs his 12th pole position of the season with a blistering performance during qualifying for the 2016 Abu Dhabi GP. Image AP / Luca Bruno
Abu Dhabi - Defending champion Lewis Hamilton dominated qualifying to clinch pole position Saturday for the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and keep the pressure on title rival Nico Rosberg.
Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo qualified in third behind Rosberg, and starts on the second row with Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.
As it happened: 2016 Abu Dhabi Qualifying
With temperatures cooling and the sun setting on the Yas Marina circuit, Hamilton dominated all three qualifying sections and edged out Rosberg by .303 seconds to take pole.
Hamilton also beat his Mercedes team mate in all three practice runs this weekend, although Rosberg entered the race with the odds stacked in his favor and not needing to push for pole.
Rosberg, who took pole in Abu Dhabi the two previous years, guarantees his first title by finishing third, even if Hamilton wins the race.
1. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) Mercedes
2. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes
3. Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Red Bull
4. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari
5. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Ferrari
6. Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull
7. Nico Huelkenberg (Germany) Force India
8. Sergio Perez (Mexico) Force India
9. Fernando Alonso (Spain) McLaren
10. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Williams
11. Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams
12. Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren
13. Esteban Gutierrez (Mexico) Haas
14. Romain Grosjean (France) Haas
15. Jolyon Palmer (Britain) Renault
16. Pascal Wehrlein (Germany) Manor
17. Daniil Kvyat (Russia) Toro Rosso
18. Kevin Magnussen (Denmark) Renault
19. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber
20. Esteban Ocon (France) Manor
21. Carlos Sainz Jr (Spain) Toro Rosso
22. Marcus Ericsson (Sweden) Sauber