Only the top four grid slots have recorded wins at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while the furthest back podium finish has been scored from the pit lane. Here’s everything you need to know about the history of each grid slot at the Yas Marina Circuit!
THE STATS IN BRIEF
- No wins from further back than fourth
- 3rd has never won
- 3rd and 6th have never retired
- 60% of pit lane starters have scored
- 19th has never scored
|Grid Slot||Last Win||Last Podium||Last Points||Last Non Finish||Best Result||Point Scoring %|
The polesitter at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has gone on to win all of the last six races – but the overall pole to win conversion rate is just under 60% at the circuit. That’s because before 2015, Sebastian Vettel’s win in 2010 was the only victory which came from pole position at the Yas Marina track. Mark Webber’s second place in 2013 is the only time the polesitter here has finished on the podium without winning the race. Pole is one of only two grid slots at the circuit which have recorded three non-finishes, with Lewis Hamilton recording two DNFs having started from pole in 2009 and 2012, and Vettel being eliminated on the first lap in 2011. Aside from that, Nico Rosberg is the only other driver to have failed to score from pole position at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The German finished fourteenth with car issues in 2014.
Valtteri Bottas’ fifth place in 2018 was a rare occasion on which the driver starting second failed to finish in the top two. The only other time that has happened was in 2012, when Mark Webber was eliminated in a mid-race collision. The grid slot is the only one other than pole to have provided multiple wins, with four victories in total, the most recent being for Lewis Hamilton in 2014.
Third is one of two grid slots to have had a 100% finish rate at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Though a driver starting here has never won the race, third on the grid has given nine podium finishes, the second most of any grid slot, with two runner-up finishes and six third place finishes. The driver starting here has always scored points, with Fernando Alonso’s seventh place in 2010 the lowest finishing position so far.
The driver starting from fourth has retired from two of the last four Abu Dhabi Grands Prix with mechanical failures. Daniel Ricciardo was out in 2017 with a hydraulics failure, while Kimi Raikkonen lost power in 2018, bringing his Ferrari career to a premature end. But Raikkonen has also enjoyed good times from this grid slot. Fourth on the grid provided the Finn with the first victory of his comeback stint in 2012, which is also the furthest back win at the circuit so far.
From the twelve races here, there are only two in which the driver starting fifth has failed to score at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Those occasions were a fourteenth place finish for Nico Hulkenberg in 2013 and a retirement for Daniil Kvyat in 2014. There have been three podium finishes from this position, two third places in 2009 and 2016, plus the runner-up spot for Fernando Alonso in 2011.
Sixth on the grid at Yas Marina has never recorded a retirement. The position has provided two podium finishes: the runner-up spot for Fernando Alonso in 2012 and third place in 2018 for Max Verstappen. Valtteri Bottas’ thirteenth place finish in 2015 is the only time that sixth on the grid has failed to score so far in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
In 2019, Daniel Ricciardo ended a six year streak of drivers scoring from seventh on the grid at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Daniil Kvyat also failed to score having started seventh last year. Before 2019, the last time a driver failed to score here was in 2012, when Nico Rosberg recorded the only retirement so far from seventh on the grid. No driver starting seventh has gained more than one position. The best finish from here is sixth, recorded in 2011 and 2017.
Michael Schumacher memorably retired from the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. His race ended with Vitantonio Liuzzi’s Force India parked on top of his Mercedes. That’s the only time a driver starting from eighth has retired from a race at this circuit. In every other year, the driver starting eighth has scored points. From those points-scoring races, there have been only four occasions that the driver starting here has finished in a worse position than where they lined up on the grid – including in each of the last two seasons.
With eighth place last year, Pierre Gasly became the first driver to score having started ninth on the grid at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2017. There have been two retirements from this grid slot, for Romain Grosjean in 2012 and Esteban Ocon in 2018. The best finish from this position is fourth place for Nico Rosberg in 2010.
There has been only one top five finish from tenth on the grid at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Fernando Alonso finishing fifth in 2013. There have been points scored from this grid slot in four of the last five seasons. Four races have resulted in non-scores for the driver lining up tenth on the grid, with two of those being retirements in 2012 and 2018.
The driver starting eleventh has scored six times in the twelve Abu Dhabi Grands Prix so far. The best result from this grid slot is fifth, recorded by Robert Kubica back in 2010. Valtteri Bottas’ retirement in 2016 is the only time that the driver starting here has failed to finish. The grid slot has scored three times in the last four seasons.
Charles Leclerc’s thirteenth place in the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marked the first time that the driver starting twelfth finished the Yas Marina race since 2015. Jenson Button retired with suspension issues from what was supposed to be his final Grand Prix in 2016, Carlos Sainz and Marcus Ericsson both had early ends to their seasons in 2017 and 2018, and in 2019 Lance Stroll was the only retirement of the race. There have been only three occasions that the driver starting here has picked up points, most recently in 2014.
Until 2017, the driver starting thirteenth had never scored a point at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But in both the 2018 and 2019 Yas Marina races, the driver starting thirteenth has finished in the top ten. Kevin Magnussen finished tenth in 2018, while Daniil Kvyat finished ninth in 2019. There have been two retirements from this grid slot, in 2012 and 2015.
There has been only one retirement from fourteenth on the grid at the Yas Marina Circuit, and that was for Jaime Alguersuari in the very first race here. While the driver starting here has finished on every occasion since, they have scored only twice. Both points-scoring races were eighth place finishes, for Bruno Senna in 2012 and Sergio Perez in 2018.
Fifteenth on the grid has not provided a points finish at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2015. In 2015, Sebastian Vettel recorded the best finish from this grid slot with fourth. Kamui Kobayashi’s sixth place in 2012 is the only other time that the driver starting here has scored, while Pastor Maldonado’s retirement in 2014 is the only occasion that the driver starting here has failed to finish.
Sixteenth on the grid has scored just two points in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix’s twelve year history. The driver starting here finished tenth in both 2011 and 2012, those being the only points-scoring races for this grid slot. There have been two retirements from here, in 2010 and 2014.
Seven seasons have passed since the driver starting seventeenth has scored at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. During that time, there have been two retirements from this grid slot, in 2016 and 2018. The driver starting here has scored twice, with ninth place for Jaime Alguerasuari in 2010 and tenth for Adrian Sutil in 2013.
Eighteenth on the grid has supplied a points finish only once at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean’s ninth place in 2015 are the only two points scored from this position. There has been little to write home about from eighteenth on the grid, with every other race bar one ending with a finish below eleventh place. The only retirement from this position was in 2016 for Kevin Magnussen.
The driver starting from nineteenth at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has never scored a point. While it has only recorded two non-finishes – the latest being for Sergio Perez in 2020 – the best finish so far from this position came in 2018, when Sergey Sirotkin finished fifteenth. Even then, the Russian was last of the classified finishers.
In 2019, Valtteri Bottas became the first driver to score points having started from twentieth on the grid at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He moved up through the order in the race to finish fourth, blitzing the grid slot’s previous best result of thirteenth. Twentieth has a low DNF rate, with Daniel Ricciardo’s retirement in his final race with HRT in 2011 the only non-finish from the slot so far.
There have been five pit lane starts at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and three of those have scored points. The pit lane provided the furthest back podium finish in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel finishing third after being excluded from qualifying in 2012. Meanwhile, both Red Bull drivers started from the pit lane in 2014 following an exclusion for illegal front wings. Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth in the race, while Vettel finished eighth. No one has retired having started from the pit lane at the Yas Marina Circuit.