Mercedes have won every Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2014, Red Bull have never failed to score at the Yas Marina Circuit and Toro Rosso haven’t scored at the circuit since 2012. Here’s how the teams’ histories compare at the Yas Marina Circuit!
Mercedes have won every Abu Dhabi Grand Prix so far in the hybrid era. The team also took three 1-2 finishes in a row at the track in 2015, 2016 and 2017, while Nico Rosberg’s fourteenth place here in 2014 is the only time a Mercedes car has failed to score at the Yas Marina circuit in the past six seasons. Mercedes have recorded two DNFs here, both as results of crashes – Michael Schumacher was spun and hit by Vitantonio Liuzzi in 2010, while Nico Rosberg flew over the HRT of Narain Karthikeyan in 2012.
In 2018, Mercedes became the first team to take five consecutive front-row lock-outs at the track, having set the two fastest qualifying times here in every season since 2014. Michael Schumacher’s Q2 exit in 2012 is the only time a Mercedes driver has failed to reach the final part of qualifying at the circuit.
Though they’ve finished on the podium in all of the last four seasons, Ferrari are yet to take a victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Last season, Sebastian Vettel became the latest Ferrari driver to finish as runner-up here, with Fernando Alonso having done so previously in 2011 and 2012. 2009 marks the only time the team have failed to score here, while Kimi Raikkonen recorded Ferrari’s first DNF at the circuit in 2018.
Ferrari have never taken pole position, nor qualified on the front row, at the Yas Marina Circuit. Their best qualifying result here is third, which they’ve achieved four times in total, thrice in the past four years. Fernando Alonso’s Q2 exit in 2013 and Sebastian Vettel’s Q1 exit in 2015 are the only times since 2010 that a Ferrari driver has failed to reach the final part of qualifying at the circuit. In 2009, neither driver reached Q3; the only time so far that has happened here.
Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull took victory at the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The German gave them another two wins here, in 2010 and 2013, but the team haven’t been victorious at the track since. Max Verstappen’s third place last season marked the first time Red Bull have finished on the podium since their last 1-2 finish at the track in 2013. The team have suffered three DNFs here but every time their cars have reached the finish line, they’ve always finished in points-paying positions.
Red Bull have never failed to reach the final part of qualifying at the track, however Sebastian Vettel was excluded from qualifying here in 2012 after running out of fuel, while both their cars were excluded in 2014 for having illegal front wings. The team have taken three poles in total at the track, but haven’t qualified on the front row since their last front-row lock-out here in 2013.
In every year since their return to F1, Renault have recorded one DNF at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In the last two seasons, their other car has finished in sixth place. The team’s only better result came back in 2010, when Robert Kubica finished fifth, just ahead of team-mate Vitaly Petrov. It’s the only time both Renault drivers have scored at this track.
Nico Hulkenberg has reached the final part of qualifying in each of the last two seasons for the Renault team. Vitaly Petrov’s top ten appearance in 2010 is the only other time that a Renault driver has reached Q3 here. Since their return, Kevin Magnussen’s eighteenth position in 2016 is the only time one of their cars has exited in Q1.
After Ferrari and Sauber’s first retirements here last season, Haas are now the only current team with a 100% finish rate at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. With Romain Grosjean finishing ninth and Kevin Magnussen finishing tenth, 2018 marked the first time the Haas team have scored points at the Yas Marina circuit. Magnussen’s thirteenth place in 2017 is the lowest finishing position for one of their cars so far at the track.
Last season, Romain Grosjean qualified in ninth, becoming the first Haas driver to reach Q3 at the circuit. The Frenchman’s Q1 exit in 2017 is the only time a Haas car has been eliminated in the first part of qualifying at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Lewis Hamilton’s win at the 2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix remains McLaren’s only victory here so far. In 2010 and 2011, both Hamilton and Jenson Button finished on the podium, but the team haven’t finished on the podium since then, and haven’t finished in the top seven in any of the last four seasons. 2009 and 2015 are the only seasons where neither McLaren picked up points at the Yas Marina Circuit.
A McLaren qualified on the front for all of the first four Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, with Lewis Hamilton taking pole in 2009 and 2012. In the last four seasons, Fernando Alonso’s ninth place in qualifying in 2016 is the only time a McLaren driver has qualified in the top ten. While 2010, 2011 and 2012 are the only seasons where the team have reached Q3 with both cars, Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne in 2015 and 2018 respectively are the only McLaren drivers to have been eliminated in Q1.
Racing Point (Force India)
Force India have scored in every season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2011. Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon’s retirements in 2012 and 2018 are the only occasions since 2011 that a Force India driver has failed to score at the circuit. Their best finish here came in 2015, when Sergio Perez scored a fifth place finish.
Sergio Perez’s Q2 exit last season was the first time since 2014 that a Force India driver has failed to reach the final part of qualifying at the Yas Marina circuit. The Mexican has also supplied their best qualifying position here, with fourth in 2015.
Alfa Romeo (Sauber)
Last season, Charles Leclerc finished seventh for Sauber, marking their first points-scoring race at the track since 2012. Nick Heidfeld’s fifth place in the first race at the track in 2009 remains the team’s best result to date, while Kamui Kobayashi is the only other Sauber driver to have scored here, finishing tenth in 2011 and sixth in 2012. Marcus Ericsson’s retirement here in his final race with the team last season was Sauber’s first DNF at the circuit.
After two seasons of double Q1 eliminations, a Sauber driver qualified in the top ten last year, as Charles Leclerc recorded the eighth fastest time. 2009 remains the only year where both Sauber drivers have reached the final part of qualifying at the Yas Marina Circuit. 2018 was the first time since 2012 where neither Sauber was eliminated in Q1.
Toro Rosso have scored only four points at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and all three of their points-scoring races came within the first four races at the track. In the past six seasons, eleventh place for Carlos Sainz in 2015 has been their best result. The team also have the lowest finish rate of any current team at the circuit, having recorded six non-finishes – including a double DNF in 2016.
Toro Rosso have been eliminated in the first part of qualifying at all of the last three races at the Yas Marina Circuit. Daniil Kvyat’s fifth place in qualifying in 2014 is the only time that a Toro Rosso driver has qualified above tenth place at the circuit.
With a 2-3 finish, 2014 is the only season where Williams have recorded podium finishes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 2012 is the only other year where both of their cars have finished in the points, while 2018 marked the fifth time that the team walked away from the track point-less. Valtteri Bottas’ retirement here in 2016, on his final race appearance with Williams, is the only time the team have recorded a DNF at the track.
Last year, Williams recorded their first double Q1 elimination at the Yas Marina track. Before that, Rubens Barrichello, who failed to set a time in qualifying in 2011, was the only Williams driver who had been eliminated in Q1. The team’s best qualifying performance here is third, which both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas achieved in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Last year, their drivers could only qualify on the back row of the grid.
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.