Hamilton has won the last two Yas Marina races, Bottas has not finished on the podium since 2017 and three drivers make their first F1 race outing at the track. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
?? Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix five times previously, including in each of the last two seasons. He has finished in the top two in every year since 2014. In fact, his seventh place in 2013 and his retirements in 2009 and 2012 are the only times that Hamilton has not finished in the top two at the track. Hamilton has a highly impressive qualifying record here, with five poles. 2013, when he qualified fourth, is the only occasion that he has failed to start from the front row at the track. Given his high starting positions, it’s unsurprising that Hamilton has never gained more than one position from where he has started at the track. The only time he has lost positions from where he has started was in 2013. 2010 and 2013 are the only years that Hamilton has not led at least three laps of the event.
?? Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas has not finished on the podium at the Yas Marina Circuit since winning the event in 2017. He has one further podium appearance at the track – third place in 2014. There have been three occasions from his seven appearances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix that Bottas has failed to score. He finished outside of the points in 2013 and 2015, and retired from his final race with Williams in 2016. Bottas has qualified on the front row in all of the last three seasons – including pole position in 2017 – but started last in 2019 due to an engine penalty. 2013 and 2016 are the only seasons that he has failed to reach Q3 at the track. Last season – when he finished fourth having started twentieth – is the only time that Bottas has finished in a better position than where he has started at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
?? Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel won both of the first two Abu Dhabi Grands Prix and triumphed again in 2013. He’s yet to win the event with Ferrari, but has finished on the podium with the Scuderia three times at the track. His first lap retirement in 2011 is the only time that Vettel has failed to score at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while 2015 is the only occasion that he has not reached Q3 here. Vettel was also disqualified from the Saturday action in 2012. From his eleven appearances, Vettel has been out-qualified by his team-mate more regularly than not here. Aside from his DNF, 2019 marked the first time that Vettel has finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a worse position than where he started it from. He has led the second-most laps of any driver at the event, but has not led any laps at the Yas Marina Circuit since 2016.
?? Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc has scored on both appearances so far at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He finished seventh for Sauber in 2018, before going on to finish third for Ferrari last season. Leclerc has qualified in the top ten on both outings here, with a best qualifying result of fourth last year- which became third on the final grid. Leclerc has out-qualified his team-mate on both appearances. Before reaching F1, Leclerc raced at the Yas Marina Circuit in both GP3 and F2. 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.
?? Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen has finished on the podium in both of the last two Abu Dhabi Grands Prix. His best result came last year, as he finished as runner-up to Lewis Hamilton. The Dutchman has a 100% finishing record at the event, and has finished in the top five in all of the last four years. His sixteenth place in 2015 is his only non top five finish at the circuit. It’s also the only year that Verstappen has failed to reach Q3 here. He has qualified in the top six here in every year since 2016 and ended a three year streak of sixth place qualifying results with third in 2019. That later became second on the grid thanks to a penalty for Valtteri Bottas. Last season was the first time that Verstappen has out-qualified a team-mate at the Yas Marina Circuit. It was also the first time that he has finished in the same position as he has started at the event.
?? Alex Albon
Alex Albon finished sixth in last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He lost one position from where he started. Though he qualified sixth, he moved up to fifth on the final grid. Albon 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. In 2018, in F2, he finished fourteenth in the Feature Race and eighth in the Sprint Race.
?? Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz has scored in each of the last two seasons at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. After finishing eleventh in 2015, and then recording two consecutive DNFs in the next two years, Sainz finished sixth on his final outing with Renault in 2018. He finished tenth with McLaren last season. 2019 marked the first time that Sainz has qualified in the top ten at the track since his maiden season. He also recorded his best qualifying position last year, with seventh, and his best grid slot, with eighth. Sainz has not out-qualified a team-mate at the track since 2015, while 2018 is the only season that he has finished the race in a better position than where he started from.
?? Lando Norris
Lando Norris scored points on his first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix appearance in 2019 with an eighth place finish. He started where he finished, after qualifying ninth but moving up to eighth on the grid. Before F1, 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. That year, he finished fifth in the Feature Race and finished as runner-up on his final F2 appearance in the Sprint Race.
?? Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo’s best result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is fourth place, scored in 2014 and 2018. He has scored five times in his nine appearances at the track. He has retired twice, in 2011 and 2017. Ricciardo has qualified in the top ten at the track in all of the last seven seasons. His best qualifying result here is third, which he recorded in 2016. Last year’s eighth place was his worst result at the track since qualifying tenth at the 2013 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Ricciardo has never been out-qualified by a team-mate in all of his appearances at the track.
?? Esteban Ocon
From his three previous appearances at the Yas Marina Circuit, Esteban Ocon has scored once, with an eighth place finish in 2017. He finished thirteenth in 2016 and retired on his most recent outing in 2018. Ocon has reached Q3 here twice, qualifying in ninth in both 2017 and 2018 – the latter being the only time that he has out-qualified his team-mate at the circuit. In both races which he has finished at the track, Ocon has finished in a better position than where he started from.
?? Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez has scored in all of the last seven seasons at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He has a 100% finishing record at the Yas Marina Circuit, with 2011 and 2012 being the only seasons that he has failed to score a point at the track. Perez’s best result here is fifth place, which he scored in 2015. Despite his high points scoring rate, Perez has reached Q3 at the circuit only three times, most recently in 2017. His best qualifying result here is fourth, which he recorded in 2015. From his nine appearances, 2016 and 2018 are the only seasons that Perez has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the track
?? Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll has never scored at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. His best finish here so far is thirteenth with Williams in 2018. He recorded his first retirement at the event last year. Stroll recorded his best qualifying result at the circuit last year, with thirteenth place. It was the second time he’s progressed past Q1 at the circuit, having also done so in 2017. He’s yet to out-qualify a team-mate at the track.
?? Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat has scored twice and retired twice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He finished tenth in 2015 and ninth in 2019, and retired in both 2014 and 2016. The Russian has not reached Q3 at the track since 2015, and his best qualifying result here came with Toro Rosso in his debut season, when he lined up fifth on the grid (though he qualified seventh). Last season marked the first time that Kvyat has gained positions at the Yas Marina Circuit, gaining four spots from his starting place.
?? Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly is yet to score at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with a best finish of sixteenth in 2017. He finished eighteenth last season, and retired in 2018. Gasly has never reached Q3 at the Yas Marina Circuit. He progressed to Q2 for the first time last year, qualifying in twelfth. Of his three appearances, 2018 is the only occasion that he has been out-qualified at the track.
?? Kimi Raikkonen
Kimi Raikkonen scored his first win since his comeback to Formula 1 at the 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. In addition to his win, he also finished on the podium in 2015 with a third place finish. He has failed to score at the circuit in each of the last two seasons, recording a DNF on his final Ferrari appearance in 2018 and finishing only thirteenth last season. 2009, when he finished twelfth, and 2013, when he retired, are the only other seasons that Raikkonen has failed to score at the circuit. In 2019, Raikkonen was eliminated in Q1 at the track for the first time. Before that, he was on a streak of seven Q3 appearances here – though he was disqualified in 2013.
?? Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi finished sixteenth in the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He qualified in seventeenth and started sixteenth, finishing the race where he started it. 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 made appearances in Free Practice 1 in 2017 with Haas and with Sauber in 2018.
?? Pietro Fittipaldi
Standing in for Romain Grosjean, the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be Pietro Fittipaldi’s second Grand Prix appearance. He has previous F1 experience at Yas Marina, having taken part in the post-season test here with Haas in 2019.
?? Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen has scored only one point at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He finished tenth in 2018, but has finished outside of the points on three of his other appearances and retired from the event in 2016. Magnussen has never reached Q3 at the Yas Marina Circuit, and has a best qualifying result of eleventh with McLaren in 2014. 2016 is the only season that he has been eliminated in Q1. Last season marked only the second time that Magnussen has out-qualified his team-mate at the event.
?? George Russell
After qualifying in nineteenth and starting eighteenth, George Russell finished seventeenth on his first appearance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix last year. Prior to F1, in the four races in which he contested at the Yas Marina Circuit, Russell 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. In 2018, Russell secured the F2 title at the circuit with a win in the Feature Race. He went on to finish fourth in the Sprint Race on his final F2 appearance.
?? Nicholas Latifi
While this will be his first F1 outing at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Nicholas Latifi has raced in F1’s feeder series at the Yas Marina Circuit in all of the last six years. From the eleven races in which he partook in GP2 and F2, Latifi has scored five times, with two of those being podium finishes. He finished third in the 2017 Sprint Race and finished as runner-up on his final F2 appearance two years later.
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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. Now in its sixth 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 Motorsport Guides. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.