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Sat 3 Nov 2012 06:08 PM

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Hamilton on pole for Abu Dhabi F1 race

British driver puts in storming qualifying performance to beat Red Bull's Webber, Vettel

Hamilton on pole for Abu Dhabi F1 race
(Getty Images)

British racing star Lewis Hamilton on Saturday put his McLaren car on pole for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

The British driver stormed around the Yas Marina circuit to pip Red Bull driver Mark Webber to the top spot in qualifying for Sunday's race.

It was Hamilton's sixth pole position of the season and the 25th of his career. He has started on pole position for every Abu Dhabi race since its start in 2009.

World championship leader Sebastian Vettel finished third fastest while his main title contender, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso, would manage only seventh.

Martin Whitmarsh, team principal of the McLaren Mercedes, team said he was "thrilled" about Hamilton's performance.

Vettel took pole position at last year's race, equalling Nigel Mansell's 1992 record of 14 in a single season.

However, Hamilton claimed victory in the race proper, ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso with Hamilton's team-mate Jenson Button.

Organisers of this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have announced the event has sold out for the fourth consecutive year.

According to the circuit, 35 percent of ticket sales were to regional and international fans.

Key international growth markets for this year's race include Australia, UK, Europe and the US.

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