Until 2020, Mercedes had won every Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the V6 hybrid era. Here’s everything you need to know about each team’s history at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
WINS: 6, POLES: 6, PODIUMS: 12
2020 RESULT: BOTTAS 2nd, HAMILTON 3rd
2020 marked the first Abu Dhabi Grand Prix of the V6 hybrid era which Mercedes failed to win. The team won every Yas Marina race between 2014 and 2020 scoring 1-2 finishes in 2015, 2016 and 2017. Though they did not win last year, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton both finished on the podium in second and third respectively. 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 eight seasons. Mercedes have recorded two DNFs here, both as results of crashes – Michael Schumacher was spun and hit by Vitantonio Liuzzi in 2010, while 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 any circuit, having set the two fastest qualifying times here in every season since 2014. They did so for a sixth time in 2019, but Valtteri Bottas was forced to start from the back following an engine penalty. 2020 was the first time since 2013 that Mercedes did not take pole here, with Bottas qualifying second and Lewis Hamilton third. 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.
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 did not win again when the hybrid era dawned. Last year, Max Verstappen recorded the team’s first win here since 2013, leading every lap of the race. Verstappen’s third place in 2018 marked the first time Red Bull finished on the podium at the track since their last 1-2 finish in 2013 and he followed that up by finishing as runner-up in 2019. The team have suffered three DNFs at Yas Marina 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 four poles in total at the track, with Max Verstappen’s pole last year their first since the team’s last front-row lock-out at the track in 2013. It was the second year in a row that Verstappen started from the front row here. After qualifying third in 2019, he started from the front row following a grid penalty for Valtteri Bottas.
WINS: 4, POLES: 4, PODIUMS: 9
2020 RESULT: VERSTAPPEN 1st, ALBON 4th
WINS: 1, POLES: 2, PODIUMS: 4
2020 RESULT: NORRIS 5th, SAINZ 6th
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. Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz finished in fifth and sixth last year – the team’s first finishes in the top seven since 2014. 2009 and 2015 are the only seasons where neither McLaren picked up points at the Yas Marina Circuit, while 2019 marked the first time that both McLaren drivers have scored points at the track since 2011.
A McLaren qualified on the front row for all of the first four Abu Dhabi Grands Prix, with Lewis Hamilton taking pole in 2009 and 2012. Between 2015 and 2018, Fernando Alonso’s ninth place in qualifying in 2016 was the only time a McLaren driver has qualified in the top ten. In both 2019 and 2020, both McLaren drivers reached Q3. Lando Norris’ fourth place in qualifying marked the team’s best qualifying result here since their last pole position. Other than the last two seasons, 2010, 2011 and 2012 are the only other seasons in which the team has reached Q3 with both cars. Fernando Alonso and Stoffel Vandoorne in 2015 and 2018 respectively are the only McLaren drivers to have been eliminated in Q1 at the circuit.
The Silverstone-based team have scored at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in every season since 2011. They have scored with both cars at Yas Marina Circuit on six occasions – but have recorded three retirements at the track in the last three years: Esteban Ocon in 2018, Lance Stroll in 2019 and Sergio Perez in 2020. Their best result here came under their Force India guise in 2015, when Perez scored a fifth place finish.
Perez is also responsible for the team’s best qualifying result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, having qualified fourth in 2015. 2014 is one of four occasions that both of Team Silverstone’s cars have reached Q3 at the event. It has not happened since 2017. Since 2010, Paul di Resta is the only one of their drivers to have been eliminated in Q1, doing so in 2013.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
2020 RESULT: STROLL 10th, PEREZ DNF
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
2020 RESULT: RICCIARDO 7TH, OCON 9TH
For the first time since 2010, both of the Enstone team’s cars scored at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The team has recorded one win here, with Kimi Raikkonen victorious for Lotus in 2012. Between 2012 and 2018, the team recorded one retirement at every Yas Marina race. During Renault’s comeback stint between 2016 and 2020, their best result here was sixth, scored in both 2017 and 2018. Renault’s only better result came back in 2010, when Robert Kubica finished fifth, just ahead of team-mate Vitaly Petrov.
Neither Renault driver reached Q3 at last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with both Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon eliminated in Q2. In 2019, the team recorded their first double Q3 appearance at the track since 2012. In 2012, Kimi Raikkonen recorded the Enstone team’s best qualifying result to date at the circuit with fourth on the grid.
Ferrari are yet to take a victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Between 2015 and 2019, one of their cars finished on the podium in every season. However, 2020 was the first year that the team failed to score at Yas Marina since the inaugural race here in 2009. The team’s best result here is second place. In 2018, Sebastian Vettel became the latest Ferrari driver to finish as runner-up at the Yas Marina Circuit, with Fernando Alonso having done so previously in 2011 and 2012. Kimi Raikkonen recorded Ferrari’s first and so far only 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, three of those occasions being in the past six years. Fernando Alonso’s Q2 exit in 2013 and Sebastian Vettel’s Q1 and Q2 exits in 2015 and 2020 respectively 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. 2020 marked the first time since 2014 that no Ferrari drivers qualified in the top five at the circuit.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 7
2020 RESULT: LECLERC 13th, VETTEL 14th
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
2020 RESULT: GASLY 8th, KVYAT 11th
The former Toro Rosso team have scored only ten points at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Four of those were scored by Pierre Gasly last year with his eighth place finish. Daniil Kvyat’s ninth place in 2019 was the first time a Red Bull junior driver had scored at the event since Daniel Ricciardo in 2012. Only the Enstone team has a lower finish rate at Yas Marina Circuit than the Red Bull junior team. They have recorded six non-finishes – including a double DNF in 2016.
For the first time since 2014, both Red Bull junior team drivers reached Q3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2020. Both drivers were out in Q1 in every season between 2016 and 2018. The team has reached Q2 with seven of their entries, but Daniil Kvyat is the only driver for this team to have qualified above tenth place. He recorded their best qualifying result at the circuit with fifth place in 2014 and went on to qualify in seventh place last year.
In 2018, Charles Leclerc finished seventh for Sauber at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, marking the team’s only points-scoring race at the track since 2012. Nick Heidfeld’s fifth place in the first race at the track in 2009 remains the former Sauber 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. The team are yet to score here under their Alfa Romeo guise. Marcus Ericsson’s retirement on his final appearance in 2018 is the only time that one of their cars has not finished the race.
The former Sauber team have suffered three double Q1 exits in the last five seasons, while 2018 is the only season that neither of their cars has been eliminated in Q1 in the last eight years. Since 2014, Charles Leclerc is the only Sauber driver to have reached Q3 here, doing so by qualifying eighth. 2009 remains the only year in which both Sauber drivers have reached the final part of qualifying at the Yas Marina Circuit.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
2020 RESULT: RAIKKONEN 12th, GIOVINAZZI 16th
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0
2020 RESULT: MAGNUSSEN 18th, FITTIPALDI 19th
After Ferrari and Sauber’s first retirements here in 2018, Haas are now the only current team with a 100% finish rate at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean finished ninth and Kevin Magnussen finished tenth in 2018, that being Haas’ only points scoring appearance so far at the Yas Marina circuit. Last season, Kevin Magnussen and Pietro Fittipaldi finished eighteenth and nineteenth – the team’s worst result at the circuit.
Romain Grosjean is the only Haas driver to have reached Q3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, doing so in 2018 and qualifying in seventh. The Frenchman’s Q1 exits in 2017 and 2019 were the only times until last year that a Haas car had been eliminated in the first part of qualifying at the Yas Marina Circuit. Both Magnussen and Fittipaldi were out in Q1 last year.
With a 2-3 finish, 2014 is the only season in which Williams have recorded podium finishes at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. With the 2014 race being a double points race – the only one in Formula 1’s history – Williams became the team to have scored the most points in a single race; a record which is unlikely to be broken any time soon. 2012 is the only other year where both of their cars have finished in the points, while 2020 marked the seventh 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.
Williams recorded a double Q1 exit for the third season in succession at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Rubens Barrichello, who failed to set a time in qualifying in 2011, was the only Williams driver who had been eliminated in Q1 before 2018. The team’s best qualifying performance here is third, which both Pastor Maldonado and Valtteri Bottas achieved in 2012 and 2014 respectively. George Russell’s eighteenth place in qualifying last year marked the first time a Williams driver did not qualify on the back row at Yas Marina Circuit since 2017.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 2
2020 RESULT: RUSSELL 15th, LATIFI 17th
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.