In the first December F1 race since 1963, Hamilton reaches 250 appearances and Grosjean could take two unwanted records. Here are the records which are up for grabs over the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend!
The Numbers and Milestones:
This will be the 1,017th F1 race. It’ll be the eleventh Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the eleventh race held at the Yas Marina Circuit.
This weekend, Yas Marina will equal Watkins Glen as the circuit to have hosted the second-most season-closing races, with eight, behind only Adelaide (11). United Arab Emirates will also equal Japan as the country to have held the third-most season finales (8, behind USA on 12 and Australia on 11)
The 50th lap of the race will be the 600th racing lap of the Yas Marina Circuit since the event was first held in 2009.
Kimi Raikkonen will become the second-most experienced F1 driver this weekend, surpassing Fernando Alonso’s tally of Grand Prix starts.
The 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will mark Lewis Hamilton’s 250th Grand Prix appearance.
Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen & Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas will join the top ten of the longest lasting team-mates. After the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, they’ll have shared 63 races as team-mates – one more than Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher spent together at Williams.
Haas will equal the Prost team’s tally of 83 Grand Prix appearances this weekend; which will put them an equal 34th in the all-time list.
This will be only the fourth Formula 1 race to have been held in December. Since 1979, February and December have been tied as the months to have held the least F1 races, with three in each month. This will be the first F1 race held in December since the 1963 South African Grand Prix.
The Records to Beat:
Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are both tied for the most podium appearances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. One of them could snatch the outright record this weekend, or they could both extend it to eight.
If he finishes the race, Lewis Hamilton will make this the ninth time that a driver has completed every round of the championship. If he completes every lap of the race, this’ll be only the second time in F1 history that a driver has completed every lap in a Formula 1 season.
Sebastian Vettel could equal Lewis Hamilton’s record tally of four Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victories this weekend, while Hamilton himself could extend the record.
Ferrari could equal Red Bull as the team to have set the most fastest laps at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, should Sebastian Vettel or Charles Leclerc set the pace on Sunday.
Red Bull could equal Mercedes as the team with the most podium finishes at the Yas Marina circuit. They can only do so if both of their drivers finish on the podium with neither Mercedes placing in the top three.
Sebastian Vetttel is the only driver to have taken back-to-back wins at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He did so in 2009 and 2010. Lewis Hamilton could join him in that exclusive club this year.
If Lewis Hamilton takes pole on Saturday, he’ll become only the third driver to have taken back-to-back poles at the Yas Marina Circuit.
A retirement for Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Kimi Raikkonen or Lewis Hamilton would see them become the first driver to reach 3 DNFs at the track.
Romain Grosjean is currently tied with Heikki Kovalainen for the most point-less finishes at the Yas Marina Circuit. Another finish outside of the points this weekend for Grosjean will see him become the first driver to have five point-less finishes at the track. Grosjean will also surpass Martin Brundle and Johnny Herbert this weekend as the driver to have appeared in the second-most races without taking pole position. Only Sergio Perez has appeared in more races without a pole.
This will be the first running of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to not feature Fernando Alonso. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton will become the only two drivers to have competed in every Grand Prix at the track.
After graduating in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. 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 Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.