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Button forced to retire in final Formula One race

Jenson Button's Formula One career ended in bitter disappointment on Sunday after he was forced to retire from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Button was given a standing ovation by the crowd. Credit: PA

Button, competing in what he described as "probably" his final race as he makes way for Stoffel Vandoorne at McLaren next season, lasted only 12 laps before he parked his car.

The 36-year-old Englishman ran heavily over a kerb at the Yas Marina Circuit which damaged his front suspension.

"I don't think we've ever had a failure like this," said Button over the team radio as he limped back to the McLaren garage.

Button was given a standing ovation by the crowd before he stood on top of his McLaren cockpit and applauded them back.

The Englishman removed his crash helmet and his balaclava before hugging his mother, Simone, who brushed away tears, and the rest of his entourage. He then shook hands with his McLaren mechanics.

Hamilton on pole ahead of Rosberg in Abu Dhabi

Lewis Hamilton will start on pole ahead of Nico Rosberg. Credit: Reuters

A dominant Lewis Hamilton delivered another crushing display over his title rival Nico Rosberg to secure pole position for the championship-deciding Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Hamilton was in a field of one under the floodlights at the Yas Marina Circuit to finish more than three tenths of a second ahead of Rosberg.

But the German, who is 12 points ahead of Hamilton, will join his Mercedes team-mate on the front row, and should he finish in the top three tomorrow evening, he will be crowned world champion.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo crossed the line as the best of the rest to line up in third with Kimi Raikkonen fourth on the grid for Ferrari.

Button preparing for last race in Formula One

Jenson Button celebrates after winning the World Championship in 2009. Credit: PA

Jenson Button will treat Sunday's final race of the season in Abu Dhabi as his last in Formula One.

The 36-year-old British driver has still not completely ruled out a return in 2018, but it looks increasingly likely that Sunday's race will be his swansong.

"I go into this weekend thinking it's my last race," Button said at the press conference ahead of the race.

"At this moment in time I don't want to be racing in F1 beyond this race."

Button had already announced that he will take up an ambassadorial role for McLaren next year with the British team's highly-rated reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne partnering Fernando Alonso.

McLaren has an option for Button, who has competed in more than 300 grands prix, to return to their race set-up in 2018, but it is one which is largely viewed as an insurance policy should Alonso walk away from the British constructor.

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