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Summary

  1. Hamilton on pole for decider, Rosberg 2nd, Ricciardo 3rd
  2. Top three finish on Sunday will secure Rosberg the title

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

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Will tonight be the final time Nico Rosberg goes to bed as just another race driver?

He's well placed to secure the top three finish he needs to win the title but then, this is 2016. 

Expect the unexpected.

We're back from 11:00 GMT tomorrow for build up to the season finale. See you then.

Best and worst of 2016

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Almost time for us to wrap things up for today but before we head off, don't forget to choose your best and worst drivers and teams of the season in our selector here and share them on social media.

Stonking lap by Lewis, but I think Nico has got it all under control. Only technical problem will prevent him winning the title. #AbuDhabiGP

Hamilton v Rosberg - F1 world title preview

Tom Clarkson and Allan McNish preview the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton battle for the World Championship in the final race of the 2016 season.

Clarkson and McNish review the World Championship showdown

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#bbcf1

Guy@bbcf1 the tortoise will win the race this year but the hare will wipe the floor with him in 2017 #bbcf1

Ibrahim@LewisHamilton is the fastest driver on earth ... We now know why Nico won the last 3 races of 2015. #bbcf1

Nick: It's one thing to get on pole but it's quite another to get off the line and Lewis has struggled more in this regard #bbcf1#AbuDhabiGP

Lewis Hamilton
Reuters

'Winner, winner chicken dinner'

And a final few words from Lewis Hamilton: "So far this weekend I have been focused on getting in this position. I am hopeful of Daniel Ricciardo saying winner, winner chicken dinner tomorrow or second chicken anyway."

'Third was the target'

Daniel Riccardo, who finished third in qualifying: "We've got to try something [on different tyre strategy]. It seems to be a bit of a trend this year, if we're in a position to qualify on a different tyre we're try and see if it gives us an opportunity.

"I was pretty slow starting the qualifying session but Q3, when it matters, I put in some good times. Third was the target, hopefully we can be somewhere up here [on the podium] tomorrow."

Ricciardo
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'Lewis that bit quicker'

Nico Rosberg, who finished second in qualifying: "I have come here to try and be on pole and try and win the race tomorrow. I am not ecstatic by today, Lewis was just that bit quicker but there are still opportunities tomorrow and I'll go for the win.

"Adrenaline is always there in qualifying for sure. I was feeling good out there and had a good balance. As qualifying went on I was feeling better and better and got a good lap but in the end, not quite good enough."

Rosberg
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'Incredible'

Lewis Hamilton, who secured pole position: "It was strange coming here this weekend as it was the last practices and qualifying with this car, it's been incredible. It's been such a privilege driving this car.

"I wouldn't have had the 61 poles I have now if it wasn't for everyone at the factory, so thanks to them.

"First sector, I knew I had pace so I didn't overcook into turn one and on the rest of the lap I had it under control."

Lewis Hamilton
AP

Tom Clarkson

BBC Radio 5 live commentator

Raikkonen is driving absolutely brilliantly at the moment, his main worry will be Ricciardo.

That's a fourth consecutive pole position for Lewis Hamilton. He's driven his heart out in the last few races but even that might not be enough. Remember a top three finish is all Nico Rosberg needs to win the title.

Rosberg
Reuters

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#bbcf1

Stephen#bbcf1 ROS needs to win this championship now or it's never again, next 6/7 years are for HAM, VES and one for Sainz

Meer: Hamilton lays down the marker in Abu Dhabi F1 qualifying. All to do in the race still but advantage Hamilton. That's all that counts #bbcf1

Nick: I would imagine there's about 3-4 tenths to come from Rosberg. If he improves S1 & S2 but keep pace with Lewis in S3, he'll have pole #bbcf1

Jack Nicholls

Radio 5 live Formula 1 commentator

Tomorrow I think that first 100m may not decide the Championship but will be incredibly important.

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

Rosberg is in a good position. When it mattered, the Mercedes had the edge.

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

He was building up to that all the way through, it was an incredibly decisive lap for Hamilton. 

Lewis Hamilton climbs on top of his car and waves to the crowd. He's done what he needed to do today, but plenty of work to do tomorrow.

He'll be disappointed to see Nico Rosberg alongside him on the front row. The ideal would have been a Red Bull or Ferrari between them.

1) Hamilton 2) Rosberg 3) Ricciardo 4) Raikkonen 5) Vettel 6) Verstappen 7) Hulkenberg 8) Perez 9) Alonso 10) Massa

Hamilton
Reuters

Chequered flag

LEWIS HAMILTON SECURES POLE POSITION FOR THE ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX.

Hamilton
EPA

Jack Nicholls

Radio 5 live Formula 1 commentator

Hamilton takes a commanding pole position.

Nico Rosberg can't beat that time! He's three tenths down on Lewis Hamilton so it is the Briton on pole position.

A 1:38.755, stunning lap by Lewis Hamilton!

...Lewis Hamilton two tenths quicker through the middle sector.

Oh my, this is going to be close!

Nico Rosberg a tenth up on Lewis Hamilton after the first sector...

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

It's certainly an important weekend for Nico as he's got the opportunity of a lifetime.

Rosberg
AP

It's going to be just the one flying lap as Lewis Hamilton warms up with his outlap.

All or nothing.

Jack Nicholls

Radio 5 live Formula 1 commentator

Hamilton leaving the pits reasonably early. I just wonder if they're giving themselves time to do two flying laps if the first one doesn't work out?

Once again, Lewis Hamilton is back out very quickly. With four minutes on the clock, he has enough time to get two laps in if he wishes.

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Kristine: I've felt über calm all weekend & confident @LewisHamilton will win, but suddenly I want to barf as we start Q3. C'mon Lewis, POLE!! #bbcf1

Jeremiah@BBCF1 Red Bulls need to squeeze themselves into top 3! That may be headache for the race to the Mercedes! #AbuDhabiGP#BBCF1

Gavin: Can we all take a moment to remember to terrible quali's of Aus and Chi. #AbuDhabiGP#F1Finale#F1#bbcf1

Jack Nicholls

Radio 5 live Formula 1 commentator

Little bit of a messy lap that one for Vettel.

Vettel
Getty Images

Kimi Raikkonen goes third, the 2012 winner here, hoes third quickest with Daniel Ricciardo fourth and Max Verstappen fifth. Sebastian Vettel is P6, followed by Nico Hulkenberg, Sergio Perez, Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

Back the cars go to the pits to prepare for their final, decisive runs.

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

Hamilton got it right sectors two and three, first sector wasn't that good.

Hamilton
AP

Jack Nicholls

Radio 5 live Formula 1 commentator

What a lap time that is for Hamilton!

...and it's a 1:39.013 for Lewis Hamilton. Superb lap.

What can Nico Rosberg do? A 1:39.359. He's three tenths slower than Hamilton and it's provisional pole for the current world champion.

Allan McNish

BBC Radio 5 live Formula 1 analyst

If you lose anything coming round the corner then you lose it down the whole straight.

...Lewis Hamilton is two tenths quicker through the second sector. 

This is going to be tight.

...Nico Rosberg is quicker through the first sector...

Lewis Hamilton is not messing about. Straight out onto to the track and swiftly starts his flying lap...

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#bbcf1

Phil Slocombe: Nico: I made two mistakes; sweet music to Lewis's ears 

RegularJon: If only Q1 was Q3, or better still, tomorrow's result! 

Smissmas Shogun: Have to say, my biggest underachievers this year are once again McLaren. They should be upfront, not mid-field battling.

Hamilton
AP

Final qualifying starts

This it it. The final top 10 shootout of the season. 

In 12 minutes, we'll have a better idea of just how tomorrow's race could play out.

Ready?

Jack Nicholls

Radio 5 live Formula 1 commentator

Nice to see Felipe Massa outqualifying Bottas in his final Grand Prix.