Verstappen wins with a last lap overtake, Sainz out-qualifies his team-mate in Abu Dhabi for the first time since 2015 and Tsunoda equals the second-best result for a Japanese driver. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend!
Lewis Hamilton suffered his first title defeat since 2016 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. After qualifying on the front row, Hamilton led the majority of the race until Max Verstappen overtook him on the final lap. It was the first time that the leading driver has been overtaken on the last lap of the race since Hamilton himself overtook Nico Rosberg on the last lap of the 2016 Austrian Grand Prix.
With sixth place in qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Valtteri Bottas ensured he never failed to reach Q3 in any of his 101 appearances with Mercedes. Sixth place is Bottas’ worst qualifying result in Abu Dhabi since he qualified eleventh with Williams here in 2016, which coincidentally is the last time he failed to reach Q3.
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 became 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. This was Verstappen’s 20th win, equalling Mika Hakkinen in the all-time list, as well as his 60th podium finish, equalling Nelson Piquet for twelfth in the all-time list.
Sergio Perez reached Q3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the first time since 2017. With fourth place, he equalled his best qualifying result at Yas Marina Circuit. He also qualified fourth here with Force India in 2015. Perez retired from the race in the late stages, becoming 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
Daniel Ricciardo finished in twelfth place for the third time in the last five races. In qualifying, he was out-qualified by Lando Norris. It’s only the second time that Ricciardo has been out-qualified by his team-mate at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Lando Norris qualified in third place, recording his best Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying result. It was the third time in 2021 that he has qualified in the top three. Norris finished the race in seventh place – his best result since the Turkish Grand Prix.
Sebastian Vettel became the first driver to cross the finish line at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on twelve occasions.
Lance Stroll out-qualified Sebastian Vettel for the first time since the Turkish Grand Prix.
With eighth place, Fernando Alonso recorded his best Abu Dhabi Grand Prix result since finishing fifth in 2013.
Esteban Ocon reached Q3 in Abu Dhabi for the first time since 2018. He qualified in ninth place for the fourth consecutive race.
Charles Leclerc finished in tenth place for the first time since the 2020 Bahrain Grand Prix. It’s his worst result since finishing fifteenth in Russia. This was the first time that Leclerc has been out-qualified by a team-mate at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz qualified fifth, recording his best Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying result to date. It was the first time Sainz has out-qualified his team-mate at Yas Marina Circuit since his maiden season in 2015. Sainz secured fifth place in the Drivers’ Championship with his fourth podium finish of the year. Crossing the finish line for the 29th consecutive race, he equalled 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.
Pierre Gasly qualified twelfth, equalling his worst conventional qualifying result of the season. He missed out on Q3 for only the fourth time in 2021, the first time it has happened since the Russian Grand Prix. He recovered to fifth place in the race, recording his fifth top five finish of the season.
For the first time in his F1 career, Yuki Tsunoda out-qualified his team-mate. This was the third race in a row at which Tsunoda has qualified in eighth place. In the race, 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.
On his final race weekend, Kimi Raikkonen qualified in eighteenth place. It was his third consecutive Q1 exit at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as his worst ever qualifying result at Yas Marina Circuit. 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.
In his final F1 qualifying session, Antonio Giovinazzi reached Q2 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for a second consecutive season. He qualified fourteenth, just as he did in 2020. 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 Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin out in Q1, Haas equalled Williams’ record for the most Q1 exits in a single season. Haas had 42 Q1 exits in 2021 from 22 races, while Williams were out in Q1 with both cars at all 21 races in 2019.
Nikita Mazepin qualified twentieth for the fourth race in a row. He failed to start the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix after being ruled out due to testing positive for coronavirus.
Despite being out-qualified in seventeenth place, George Russell recorded his best Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying result to date. On his final outing with the Williams team, 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.
Nicholas Latifi out-qualified George Russell in conventional qualifying for only the second time. With both 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.
Read more statistics from the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in our Post Race Statistics article!
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.