Five drivers have a 100% finish rate in Abu Dhabi, two drivers have reached Q3 on every Yas Marina appearance and two drivers have never been out-qualified by a team-mate at the track. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
?? Lewis Hamilton
From the ten Abu Dhabi Grands Prix held so far, Lewis Hamilton has featured on the podium in seven of them. The only times he hasn’t was with a seventh place finish in 2013 and two DNFs in 2009 and 2012. He’s won here four times – once with McLaren in 2011 and three times with Mercedes in 2014, 2016 and 2019. He’s finished in the top two here in all of the last four seasons. Hamilton has qualified on pole at the Yas Marina track four times, with 2013 being the only year where he hasn’t qualified on the front row. 2013 is the only time he’s lost a position from his starting slot in the eight Yas Marina races which he has completed. He has a 100% Q3 appearance record at the track, but has beaten his team-mate in qualifying only twice in the past five seasons (in 2016 and 2018).
?? Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas won the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and also finished on the podium at the circuit in 2014. His fifth place finish last year is the only other time he’s scored in his six appearances at the Yas Marina Circuit. He has had one retirement here, in 2016. Bottas has lined up on the front row in each of the last two seasons, taking pole in 2017 and starting second in 2018. 2013 and 2016 are the only years that Bottas has failed to reach Q3 at the circuit, being eliminated in Q2 each time. The Finn has never finished in a better position than where he has started at this circuit.
?? Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix three times and has visited the podium seven times. He’s yet to win here with Ferrari, but has finished on the podium in all of the last three years, recording a best Ferrari result of second at the circuit last year. The only time Vettel has failed to score at the track was in 2011, when he was eliminated from the race on the first lap. Vettel has taken pole here twice and has started from the front row four times, but is also yet to do so with Ferrari. He has reached Q3 in every season except 2015, where he was eliminated in Q1. He was also disqualified from the qualifying result in 2012 for failing to have enough fuel in his car to make it back to the pits. Between 2012 and 2016, Vettel failed to out-qualify his team-mate at Yas Marina for five consecutive seasons, but out-qualified Kimi Raikkonen in each of the last two years. Vettel has never lost a position from his starting place here and made up a best of 21 positions in the 2012 race after starting from the back of the grid.
?? Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc raced at the Yas Marina Circuit in both GP3 and F2 before reaching Formula 1. In 2017, he took podium finishes in both the Feature and Sprint races on his last F2 appearances, standing on the top step of the podium after the Sprint race. On his first F1 appearance at the track last year, Leclerc finished in seventh place. He reached Q3, out-qualifying his team-mate and lining up eighth on the grid.
?? Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen has never failed to finish the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and has scored on three of his four appearances. He has finished in the top five in all of the last three years, and scored his first Yas Marina podium in 2018 with a third place finish. 2015 is the only season that Verstappen has failed to reach Q3 at the circuit. He has qualified in sixth place in all of the last three years. Verstappen has never out-qualified a team-mate in Abu Dhabi. Verstappen has gained at least one position from where he started in all of the last three events at the track.
?? Alexander Albon
Alexander Albon has raced at the Yas Marina Circuit in both GP3 and F2. Albon retired from both GP3 races here in 2016, suffering a huge crash in the second race. His best result so far here came in F2 in 2017, where he finished as runner-up in the Sprint Race. Last year in F2, he finished fourteenth in the Feature Race and eighth in the Sprint Race.
?? Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo is yet to finish on the podium at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He’s finished in the points on five of his eight appearances, with a best result of fourth in 2014 and 2018. The Australian has recorded two DNFs here, in 2011 and 2017. The only time that he has finished a Yas Marina race outside of the points is in 2013, when he finished sixteenth. Ricciardo has reached Q3 in all of the last six races at the track, with a best qualifying result of third in 2016. During his time at Red Bull, he never failed to qualify inside the top five – though he started nineteenth in 2014 after being excluded from qualifying. Impressively, Ricciardo has never been out-qualified by a team-mate at the Yas Marina Circuit.
?? Nico Hulkenberg
Last year marked the first time that Nico Hulkenberg has failed to score at Abu Dhabi since 2013. He retired for the second time at the event last year, following a scary first lap shunt, his first non-finish here since 2012. Hulkenberg’s best result at the track is sixth, scored in both 2014 and 2017. He has reached Q3 on six of his eight appearances at the circuit, with a best qualifying position of sixth in 2013, which later became fifth on the final grid. 2010, 2014 and 2015 are the only seasons where Hulkenberg has been out-qualified by his team-mate at Yas Marina.
?? Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean has scored points three times in his eight appearances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. His best result here is fourth, in 2013, while he also finished ninth in both 2015 and 2018. 2012 is the only occasion that Grosjean has failed to finish the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Last season marked the first time that Grosjean has reached Q3 at Yas Marina since 2013, equalling his best qualifying position of seventh place (though he moved up to sixth on the grid in 2013). 2014 and 2018 are the only seasons where the Frenchman has out-qualified his team-mate at this circuit, while last season was the first time he has finished the race in a worse position than where he started.
?? Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen scored a point last year for the first time from his four appearances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Magnussen has had one retirement at the Yas Marina Circuit, in 2016, and recorded eleventh and thirteenth place finishes in 2014 and 2017 respectively. Magnussen is yet to reach the final part of qualifying at this track, with a best qualifying result of eleventh with McLaren in 2014. That year, he moved up to ninth on the final grid as a result of grid penalties for other drivers. 2016 is the only time the Dane has been eliminated in Q1 at the track, while 2017 is the only occasion that he has out-qualified his team-mate here. Magnussen has finished the race in a better position than where he started in each of the last two seasons.
?? Carlos Sainz
2018 marked the first time that Carlos Sainz has reached the end of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since his maiden season. It was also the first time he scored points at the event, finishing sixth for Renault. 2015 is the only season that Sainz has reached Q3 at the circuit as well as the only occasion that he has out-qualified a team-mate at the track. The Spaniard was out in Q1 in 2016 and has been eliminated in Q2 in each of the last two years.
?? Lando Norris
Lando Norris made his F2 debut at the Yas Marina Circuit in 2017, making a one-off appearance before joining the series full time in 2018. Last year, he finished fifth in the Feature Race and finished as runner-up on his final F2 appearance in the Sprint Race.
?? Sergio Perez
Having appeared here eight times and never retired, Sergio Perez holds the record for the most Abu Dhabi Grand Prix appearances without a DNF. He has scored in all of the last six seasons, with a best finish of fifth in 2015. Last year marked the first time since 2014 that Perez failed to qualify in the top ten at the Yas Marina Circuit. He has never been eliminated in Q1 at the track, and has a best qualifying position of fourth in 2015. 2016 and 2018 are the only seasons in which Perez has been out-qualified by a team-mate at this track.
?? Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll is yet to score a point at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He has a 100% finish record at the circuit, having finished eighteenth in 2017 and thirteenth in 2018. Stroll has failed to out-qualify his team-mate on both Yas Marina appearances so far. He made it out of Q1 in 2017, but qualified in last position in 2018. He lost three positions from where he started on his first appearances, finishing last of the remaining cars, and gained five places in last year’s event.
?? Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen took his first win since returning to Formula 1 at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. That’s one of two times that he’s finished on the podium from his eight appearances at the circuit. He also finished third in 2015. The Finn has failed to score on three occasions, with a twelfth place finish in 2009 and retirements in 2013 and 2018. Raikkonen has reached Q3 on every appearance at the Yas Marina Circuit except in 2009, when he was out in Q2. He was also disqualified from the Saturday running in 2013 after his car failed a floor deflection test. Raikkonen’s best qualifying result here is third, in 2015. He has started from inside the top five in all of the last four years at the track. The last two years are the only seasons in which Raikkonen has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the circuit, while 2012 and 2017 are the only occasions that he has finished the race in a better position than where he started from.
?? Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi was still in contention for the 2016 GP2 title when the series arrived for its final round of the championship in Abu Dhabi. While he didn’t do enough to beat his team-mate Pierre Gasly to the crown, the Italian finished fifth in the Feature Race and sixth in the Sprint Race. Giovinazzi has made appearances in Free Practice 1 in each of the last two seasons at the track, with Haas in 2017 and with Sauber in 2018.
?? Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat only finished on one of his three appearances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in his first stint in F1. He finished tenth in 2015, but recorded retirements in both 2014 and 2016. 2015 is also the only season so far where Kvyat has been beaten by his team-mate in qualifying at the track, while 2016 is the only season where the Russian failed to qualify in the top ten at the circuit. His best qualifying result at the track came in 2014, when he qualified seventh – which later became fifth on the grid.
?? Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly has failed to score on both of his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix appearances so far. He finished sixteenth in 2017 and recorded a DNF last year. Gasly has qualified in seventeenth for both of his Yas Marina races, out-qualifying his team-mate in 2017, but being beaten in 2018.
?? Robert Kubica
Robert Kubica has scored once from his two appearances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He holds a 100% finish rate at the track, finishing a best of fifth in 2010. Kubica finished tenth in 2009, in the final race where the position didn’t offer points. The Pole qualified in the top ten once at the Yas Marina track in 2009, when he lined up seventh on the grid. Kubica particpated in Free Practice 1 with the Williams team at the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
?? George Russell
In the four races in which he’s contested so far in Abu Dhabi, George Russell has never finished below fourth. He finished as runner up in the first GP3 race of the 2017 weekend at the track, a weekend on which he also partook in Free Practice 1 with Force India. Last year, Russell secured the F2 title at the Yas Marina Circuit with a win in the Feature Race. He went on to finish fourth in the Sprint Race on his final F2 appearance.
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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.