As Yas Marina becomes the circuit to have hosted the second-most season-ending races, Britain could be the first nation to record a 300th win and five drivers start their last race for their current teams. Here are the milestones and the records which could be broken at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
This will be the 1,035th F1 race. It’ll be the twelfth Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the twelfth race held at the Yas Marina Circuit.
This weekend, Yas Marina will surpass Watkins Glen as the circuit to have hosted the second-most season-closing races, with nine, behind only Adelaide (11). United Arab Emirates will also surpass Japan as the country to have held the third-most season finales (nine, behind USA on 12 and Australia on 11).
The 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marks Renault’s 400th Grand Prix start as a works team. It will also be their final start, at least for the time being, as the team will rebrand as Alpine in 2021. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be Daniel Ricciardo’s last race for the team, having joined at the start of 2019. If he starts this weekend’s race, Ricciardo will equal Vitaly Petrov as the driver to have started the eighth most races with Renault.
Sebastian Vettel will make his final start with Ferrari this weekend. He moves to Aston Martin in 2021. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be Vettel’s 118th start for the team. Only Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa have made more appearances for Ferrari. Also this weekend, Vettel will overtake Riccardo Patrese as the driver to have started the eighth most Grands Prix in F1 history. This will be Vettel’s 257th appearance. Patrese made 256 starts in his career, with his last appearance coming at the 1993 Australian Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz will start his 37th and final race with McLaren this weekend before moving to Ferrari in 2021. Sainz leaves McLaren having contested the seventeenth most races with the team from any of their drivers.
Sergio Perez took victory in the Sakhir Grand Prix – but this weekend may mark his final Formula 1 race. What is definite, is that this will be his final race for the Silverstone-based team, having joined Force India at the start of 2014.
Having won their first race last time out, Racing Point will make their final appearance this weekend, before rebranding as Aston Martin in 2021.
The 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is set to be Kevin Magnussen’s final Formula 1 appearance. He leaves Haas after this race, having been with the team since 2017. It may also be the final race for Daniil Kvyat. Both drivers made their debut at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. While this will be Magnussen’s 119th start, it will be Kvyat’s 110th. Unless he finishes on the podium, Magnussen will remain in a small group of drivers who took their only podium finish on their Grand Prix debut.
The 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will mark Haas’ 100th Grand Prix appearance. They will become only the tenth team in history to have entered 100 races without winning a Grand Prix, the fifth to have started 100 races without starting from pole position and the third to have started a century of races without appearing on the podium.
THE RECORDS TO BREAK
A win for a British driver would be the 300th Grand Prix win for the nation. Britain would be the first nation to reach the milestone.
If any driver who has not previously won a Grand Prix were to win the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this would be the first time that two drivers have taken their maiden victories in successive races since Jenson Button and Felipe Massa did so at the 2006 Hungarian and Turkish Grands Prix respectively.
Victory for Lewis Hamilton would be his twelfth Grand Prix win of 2020. That would be a new personal best for number of wins in a season.
If Lewis Hamilton leads thirteen laps of the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, he will overtake Michael Schumacher as the driver to have led the most laps in Formula 1 history.
If either Red Bull driver qualifies on the front row, the team would become the sixth to have had a car appear on the front row at 100 Grands Prix. So far, there have been 99 races where a Red Bull driver has appeared on the front row; most recently Max Verstappen at the Turkish Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel can equal Lewis Hamilton’s record of eight podium finishes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend. He can only do so if he finishes on the podium and Hamilton fails to finish in the top three.
While a win for Lewis Hamilton would make him the first driver to have taken three consecutive wins at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, a pole position would make him the first driver to have taken three consecutive poles at the track.
If Mercedes score one point in the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, they will become the first team to have scored 300 points at the Yas Marina Circuit, while a point for Ferrari would make them the third team to reach 200 points at the track.
A third place finish for Sebastian Vettel would see him become the driver to have finished in third place most frequently at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It’s a record which he currently shares with Jenson Button. Both have finished in third three times.
A top ten finish for Lewis Hamilton would see him equal Sebastian Vettel’s tally of points-scoring appearances at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Of course, that would only happen if Vettel fails to finish in the points. Vettel can extend his existing record to eleven points-scoring appearances.
A Q3 appearance for Sebastian Vettel would see him equal Lewis Hamilton as the driver to have qualified in the top ten on the most occasions at the Yas Marina Circuit. Hamilton himself could extend the record to twelve Q3 appearances.
Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Alexander Albon and Lando Norris will all be hoping to maintain their 100% Q3 appearance record at the Yas Marina Circuit. They’re currently in a group of seven drivers in that club, alongside Felipe Massa, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg.
Kevin Magnussen could equal Sergio Perez’s record tally of five Q2 exits at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend. Perez could extend the record to six Q2 exits.
If he finishes the race, Sebastian Vettel will set a new outright record for Abu Dhabi Grand Prix finishes. He currently shares the record with Fernando Alonso, both having finished the event ten times. If Vettel fails to finish, Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Pérez could equal the existing record.
If Nicholas Latifi fails to finish the race, he will be the third driver to join the 100% DNF club at the Yas Marina Circuit. The other drivers to have never finished on any appearance at the track are Jérôme d’Ambrosio and Narain Karthikeyan.
A fastest lap for Lewis Hamilton would see him equal Sebastian Vettel as the driver to have taken the most fastest laps at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Meanwhile, a fastest lap for a Ferrari or Mercedes driver would see them equal Red Bull as the team to have set the Sunday pace on the most occasions at the Yas Marina Circuit.
No driver has had more than two DNFs at the Yas Marina Circuit, but that could change this weekend. A non-finish for Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Daniil Kvyat, Kimi Räikkönen or Lewis Hamilton would see them become the first driver to have had three DNFs at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Meanwhile, a DNF for Lance Stroll would see him become the third driver to have recorded two consecutive DNFs at the track. Pastor Maldonado and Carlos Sainz are the other drivers to do so.
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.