ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- McLaren's Lewis Hamilton won the pole at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Saturday, breaking Red Bull's string of three consecutive Formula One pole positions.
Hamilton, the defending Abu Dhabi champion, covered the 3.45-mile course in 1 minute, 40,630 seconds to edge the Red Bull duo of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, who took the No. 2 and 3 starting positions respectively.
"It is the first time in a long time to be ahead of the Red Bulls and not have to see the tail end of them at the start of the race," Hamilton said. "As always, I know it's going to be very tough in the race, because they have a great race pace."
Hamilton said his car had been performing "beautiful all week" but there seemed to be a glitch in Vettel's car.
He had to park it on turn 18 at the request of his pit crew during his slow-down lap after qualifying.
"It's probably some problem, but it shouldn't be something major," said Vettel, who will compete for his fifth consecutive Grand Prix victory Sunday. "This morning's (final practice session) wasn't ideal not being able to run, so we didn't get the answers that we were hoping for."
Vettel was comfortably in the lead at Abu Dhabi last year when he blew a tire and watched Hamilton grab the victory.