'Pole is the goal' for Hamilton in Abu Dhabi


Lewis Hamilton hopes he can deliver pole position at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on Saturday as he looks to keep the pressure on Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Hamilton must earn 12 more points than drivers' championship leader Rosberg in this weekend's finale at the Yas Marina circuit if he is to retain his title.

The Englishman started the weekend strongly with the fastest time in both practice sessions on Friday but Rosberg was right behind him, setting up a mouth-watering race on Sunday.

Hamilton was pleased with the performance of his Mercedes on the opening day of the grand prix and hopes to take the first step towards the outcome he needs with the best time in qualifying.

"It's been a great day. Generally very smooth with no real issues. I'm really happy with the car and we're in a good position for tomorrow," he said.

"Pole is the goal for tomorrow.

"I haven't managed it at this track for a long time but I know I'm quick here, the car feels great and there's still some time in it, so that's my absolute focus right now."

Rosberg was also pleased with the initial showing from his Mercedes, describing his two second-placed finishes on the initial time charts as "a decent start to the weekend".