McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton put in a stunning final lap in qualifying Saturday to claim the pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton was trailing the Red Bull drivers entering his last lap, but then circled the new Yas Marina circuit in 1 minute, 40.948 seconds to beat Sebastian Vettel by more than six-tenths of a second.
"It was a great lap, I would say the best lap I have done all year," Hamilton said. "Winning tomorrow would be a perfect way to end the season and raise our expectations for 2010."
The pole is the 17th of Hamilton's career, putting him second among active drivers, one behind Fernando Alonso.
Vettel's teammate, Mark Webber, will start from third, and the Red Bull pair believe they may be the stronger team during today's 55-lap race.
Just behind the Red Bulls were the Brawn GP cars of Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button.
NASCAR: Jimmie Johnson will be starting from the pole at Talladega Superspeedway after rain washed out qualifying and the field was set by points. Mark Martin and Jeff Gordon will start second and third.
TRUCKS: Kyle Busch got a generous bump from teammate Aric Almirola a few hundred yards from the finish to win the NASCAR Camping World Trucks race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Busch and Almirola pulled wide behind leader Todd Bodine on the final lap and Almirola nudged Busch's No. 51 Toyota to the front. They overtook Bodine just before the finish line in the fading daylight at the massive 2.66-mile oval.
NHRA: Larry Dixon earned his ninth No. 1 Top Fuel qualifying position of the year in the Las Vegas Nationals.
Matt Hagan (Funny Car), Mike Edwards (Pro Stock) and Hector Arana (Pro