McLaren chairman Ron Dennis made a timely return to a formula one paddock on Saturday, witnessing his protege Lewis Hamilton dominate qualifying for the inaugural Abu Dhabi grand prix.

McLaren chairman Ron Dennis made a timely return to a formula one paddock on Saturday, witnessing his protege Lewis Hamilton dominate qualifying for the inaugural Abu Dhabi grand prix.

The 62-year-old former long-time team boss began his exile earlier this year, apparently in a low-profile agreement with Max Mosley following the lie-gate scandal.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Abu Dhabi is the first race since 1993 without Dennis' nemesis Max Mosley in charge of the FIA. Mosley's successor Jean Todt is also trackside this weekend.

It is believed that high-level talks between McLaren and Mercedes are taking place this weekend, as the latter looks to forge a closer relationship with Brawn in 2010.

Rumours have circulated that Dennis may be closely involved with McLaren's plans for a post-Mercedes future, amid rumours the British team might buy up the withdrawing BMW's engine division.

BMW chief Mario Theissen denied the direct McLaren link earlier in Abu Dhabi, but refused to rule out the Munich manufacturer theoretically agreeing to sell parts of its F1 structure.

Meanwhile, in his first qualifying since securing the 2009 world championship two weeks ago, Jenson Button booked fifth place on Sunday's grid, behind his teammate Rubens Barrichello.

Asked whether the result was a satisfactory one for F1's new champion, he told the BBC: "No of course it's not.

"In Q3 I had massive vibrations. Hopefully we can solve it by the race," added Button.

Pos No Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Laps
1 1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:39.873 1:39.695 1:40.948 20
2 15 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:40.666 1:39.984 1:41.615 21
3 14 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:40.667 1:40.272 1:41.726 21
4 23 Rubens Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes 1:40.574 1:40.421 1:41.786 24
5 22 Jenson Button Brawn-Mercedes 1:40.378 1:40.148 1:41.892 25
6 9 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:40.517 1:40.373 1:41.897 24
7 5 Robert Kubica BMW Sauber 1:40.520 1:40.545 1:41.992 25
8 6 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:40.558 1:40.635 1:42.343 24
9 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:40.842 1:40.661 1:42.583 25
10 12 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:40.908 1:40.430 1:42.713 27
11 4 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:41.100 1:40.726 20
12 10 Kamui Kobayashi Toyota 1:41.035 1:40.777 17
13 2 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:40.808 1:40.983 16
14 17 Kazuki Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:41.096 1:41.148 18
15 11 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:41.503 1:41.689 19
16 7 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:41.667 12
17 21 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:41.701 10
18 20 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:41.863 10
19 8 Romain Grosjean Renault 1:41.950 12
20 3 Giancarlo Fisichella Ferrari 1:42.184 12

 

 

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Hamilton dominates qualifying in Abu Dhabi - results