Lewis Hamilton beats Rosberg to pole to set up tense Abu Dhabi title decider

The final race of the 2016 season takes place on Sunday

Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg,

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton celebrates qualifying in pole position at Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi. Picture by David Davies PA Wire/PA Images

Lewis Hamilton has qualified on pole for the season ending Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi.

The three-time champion beat team-mate and 2016 championship leader Nico Rosberg to first place on the grid for Sunday's title deciding race.

His time of 1:38.755 was 0.303 faster than the German's mark.

Rosberg leads the driver's championship by 12 points.

With 25 points for a race win and 18 and 15 for second and third respectively, he could afford to finish as low as third and still clinch the title even if Hamilton wins.

If Rosberg were to finish fourth on Sunday however and Hamilton wins, the two Mercedes drivers would be level on points but the British driver would be world champion for the fourth time as he would have 10 race wins for the season in comparison to the German's nine.

Behind the two Mercedes on the starting grid on Sunday is Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo in third and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen in fourth.

Sebastian Vettel will be fifth and Max Verstappen qualified sixth.

In his final Grand Prix before retirement, Williams' Felipe Massa starts 10th while Jenson Button who is also leaving the sport, will be 12th.

You can read the in-depth Abu Dhabi by Thomas Maher right here.