Lewis Hamilton sets yet another new record, Mercedes take a fifth consecutive Yas Marina front-row lockout and it’s Groundhog Day for Renault. Here are all the best statistics and facts from the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend!
MORE RECORDS FOR MERCEDES
On Saturday, Lewis Hamilton took his 83rd pole position in Formula 1 and his eleventh pole of the 2018 season. He’s the first driver to have taken four poles at the Yas Marina Circuit. It was the fourth pole for a British driver at the track, equalling the tally of German drivers’ poles here.
It was Mercedes’ fifth pole position at the track, as well as their fifth consecutive front-row lock-out at the circuit; a feat which no team has previously achieved. In the 100th qualifying session since the start of the hybrid era, Mercedes took their 84th pole since the start of the 2014 season. It was their 101st pole position overall in F1.
On Sunday, Lewis Hamilton took victory in a Grand Prix for the 73rd time in his career and for the eleventh time in the 2018 season. It was Hamilton’s 134th podium finish, and his seventh at the track, in which he became the first driver to have won four times at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. All of the last four races here have been won from pole.
The win saw Hamilton take his points total for the year to 408, a new record; beating Sebastian Vettel’s previous best of 397.
Hamilton won by 2.581 seconds. All of the last three races here have been won by less than five seconds.
It was Mercedes’ 87th victory in Formula 1. Mercedes have won every race here since 2014, but 2018 is the first time the team failed to take a 1-2 finish since 2014. Hamilton recorded the team’s ninth top three finish at the circuit.
ON THE PODIUM
Sebastian Vettel took the 111th podium finish of his career and set the fastest lap of the Grand Prix. It’s the first time he’s done so since the British Grand Prix. It was the 36th fastest lap of his career, and his fourth at this circuit; more than any other driver. It was his seventh podium finish at the track and Ferrari’s sixth top three appearance. There were contrasting fortunes at Ferrari as, on his last appearance with the team, Kimi Raikkonen retired from the race and failed to score in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the first time since 2013. It marked Ferrari’s first ever retirement from a race at this track, while Vettel equalled the team’s best-ever result here.
Max Verstappen secured his 22nd podium finish, equalling Rene Arnoux’s tally of top three finishes. He becomes the tenth different driver to have finished on the podium at the circuit. It was Red Bull’s first podium finish here in the hybrid era and their seventh in total. It’s the first time a driver starting from as low as sixth on the grid has finished in the top three at the circuit since 2012.
For the first time since 2012, and only the second time in its history, three different teams finished on the podium at the Yas Marina Circuit.
This is only the second time, after 2012, that the driver starting from second on the grid for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has failed to finish on the podium.
With Sergio Perez out in Q2, 2018 marked the first time a Force India car has failed to reach Q3 in Abu Dhabi since 2014. It was also Perez’s first non-Q3 appearance here since 2014, and marked the first time Esteban Ocon has beaten a team-mate in qualifying at the track.
Romain Grosjean reached Q3 for the first time at the Yas Marina Circuit since 2013. It was also Haas’ first ever Q3 appearance at the Yas Marina track.
Saturday marked only the second time a McLaren car has been eliminated in Q1 at the Abu Dhabi track. The last time that happened was in 2015.
Charles Leclerc took Sauber’s first Q3 appearance in Abu Dhabi since 2013. With Marcus Ericsson reaching Q2, it was also the first time neither Sauber car has been eliminated in Q1 at the track since 2012. It was the first time Ericsson has managed to make it through to Q2 at this circuit.
2018 is the third year in a row where both Toro Rosso cars have been eliminated in Q1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It was the team’s first double Q1 exit since Germany.
The 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the first time Williams have recorded a double Q1 exit at the Yas Marina track. In fact, before the weekend, the only time a Williams driver had been eliminated in Q1 at the circuit was Rubens Barrichello in 2011. For the fifth time in 2018, Lance Stroll qualified in last place.
Max Verstappen has qualified in sixth here in all of the past three seasons.
Max Verstappen (6th), Romain Grosjean (7th) Esteban Ocon (9th) and Pierre Gasly (17th) all equalled their previous best Abu Dhabi qualifying performances, while Marcus Ericsson and Brendon Hartley (16th) recorded their best Saturday performances here. Meanwhile, Sergio Perez (14th), Stoffel Vandoorne and Lance Stroll (20th) all recorded their worst Yas Marina grid slots.
With Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen lining up on the third row of the grid, Red Bull maintain their record of never failing to get both of their cars through to Q3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Verstappen failed to beat Ricciardo in Q3, meaning the Australian has never been beaten in qualifying by a team-mate at this track on all eight of his appearances here.
For only the second time this season, all the drivers lined up in the grid slots in which they qualified.
Valtteri Bottas and Romain Grosjean were the only drivers who finished the race to have lost a position from their starting place.
Both Kevin Magnussen and Carlos Sainz scored a point at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the first time in their careers. Magnussen is the first driver to have started from thirteenth on the grid to score a point at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Brendon Hartley (12th) and Lance Stroll (13th) recorded their best finishes at the Abu Dhabi track, while Daniel Ricciardo equalled his best result here in fourth. It’s the first time Ricciardo has finished in a higher position than his grid slot at this track since 2014.
Renault had the same result in the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as they did here in 2017. In 2017, Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth while Carlos Sainz failed to finish. This year, it was Sainz who finished sixth with Hulkenberg crashing out on the first lap.
With Esteban Ocon failing to finish the race, Force India recorded their first DNF at the track since 2012.
Haas scored their first points at the track this weekend, with both Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen finishing in the top ten.
2018 is the first time Sauber have scored points at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2012. Charles Leclerc has finished seventh in all of the last four races which he’s reached the end of.
Williams failed to score a point in Abu Dhabi for the first time since 2013.
For the first time since 2012, the Safety Car made an appearance in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. As a result, the race was the second-longest Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on record, with Lewis Hamilton completing the race distance in six minutes less than Kimi Raikkonen did in 2012.
Fifteen drivers reached the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the least number of finishers so far in a Grand Prix at the track.
Nicky Haldenby is a freelance writer from Scarborough, England. After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fourth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations, and sister site GPDestinations, where he shares regular race previews and articles focussed around the latest in Formula 1 calendar and venue news. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky can also be heard regularly as a guest on various Formula 1 radio shows and podcasts.