Verstappen is crowned champion, AlphaTauri record their first double top five finish and Sainz finishes every race of the season. Here are the facts and statistics from the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
VERSTAPPEN IS WORLD CHAMPION
Max Verstappen won the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship with his victory at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He became the 34th World Champion and the first Dutch driver to win the title. The Netherlands is the fifteenth different nation to have a World Champion.
Verstappen is Formula 1’s fourth youngest champion. Only Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were younger when they won the title for the first time.
Verstappen is the first non-Mercedes driver to win the title in the V6 hybrid era as well as the first non British or German driver to win the title since Kimi Raikkonen in 2007.
Verstappen is the first driver to win the Drivers’ Championship in a Honda-powered car since Ayrton Senna won the title with McLaren in 1991. He’s the fourth driver to win the title with Honda, after Nelson Piquet, Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.
MERCEDES CROWNED CONSTRUCTORS’ CHAMPIONS
Mercedes won the Constructors’ Championship for an eighth season in a row. It’s the longest championship winning streak in F1 history. This is the first time since 2008 that the Drivers’ and Constructors’ Championships have been won by different teams.
VERSTAPPEN WINS IN ABU DHABI
Max Verstappen took victory by overtaking Lewis Hamilton on the final lap of the race. It’s the first time that the race win has been decided by a last lap overtake since the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix.
This was Verstappen’s 20th career win, which sees him equal Mika Hakkinen in the all-time list of most F1 victories.
This was Verstappen’s tenth victory of the year. It means he won as many races this season as he had done in his F1 career before 2021.
Red Bull recorded their 75th Grand Prix victory, becoming only the sixth team to reach that milestone.
With his 60th podium finish, Verstappen equalled Nelson Piquet in the all-time list of most podium finishes. He’s only the twelfth driver to record 60 podium results in his career.
ON THE PODIUM
With his eighteenth podium finish of the season, Max Verstappen set a new record for most podiums in a single season.
Having led 51 laps of the race, Lewis Hamilton is the first driver to have led 300 laps at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He also takes the outright record for most points-scoring appearances at the circuit. This was the eleventh occasion on which he has scored at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz secured fifth place in the Drivers’ Championship with his fourth podium finish of the year.
Sainz crossed the finish line for the 29th consecutive race at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It sees him equal Fernando Alonso for the sixth longest finishing streak in F1.
Sainz has finished every race this year. It’s only the tenth occasion on which a driver has finished every race in a season.
THE POINTS SCORERS
Yuki Tsunoda recorded the best result of his career to date with fourth place. It equalled the second-best result for a Japanese driver in Formula 1. It was the best result for a Japanese driver since Kamui Kobayashi’s third place finish at the 2012 Japanese Grand Prix.
Pierre Gasly finished in fifth place, recording his fifth top five finish of the season.
For the first time in their history, the Red Bull junior team finished with both cars in the top five.
The team’s previous best was a double top six finish at the 2019 German Grand Prix and the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix.
This was the first time that both of the Red Bull junior team’s cars have finished in the points at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
With eighth place, Fernando Alonso recorded his best Abu Dhabi Grand Prix result since finishing fifth in 2013.
A POINT-LESS RACE FOR ASTON MARTIN
Sebastian Vettel became the first driver to cross the finish line at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on twelve occasions.
With neither Vettel or Lance Stroll scoring, this was the first time that the Silverstone-based team failed to pick up points at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2010.
Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver to retire from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, bringing an end to his Formula 1 career. He became the first driver to record three DNFs at the event.
Antonio Giovinazzi had finished every race in the 2021 season until the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. On his final appearance, the Italian recorded his first retirement since the 2020 Russian Grand Prix.
With both Raikkonen and Giovinazzi retiring, this was the former Sauber team’s first double retirement since the 2018 British Grand Prix.
Sergio Perez retired from the race in the late stages. He’s the third driver to record consecutive DNFs at the track, after Pastor Maldonado and Carlos Sainz.
This was the first time Perez has retired at consecutive races since the 2014 Monaco and Canadian Grands Prix.
With both George Russell and Nicholas Latifi retiring from the race, this was Williams’ second double retirement of the year. Both drivers also retired from the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.
Having also retired from the last race, Russell recorded consecutive retirements for the second time in his career. He last retired from consecutive races at the 2019 Singapore and Russian Grands Prix.
This was both Alfa Romeo and Williams’ first double DNF at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The only other occasion on which a team has recorded a double retirement at this circuit was in 2016, when both Toro Rosso drivers failed to reach the end of the race.
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.