The polesitter has won all of the last eight Yas Marina races, 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
- Last 8 races won from pole
- No wins from further back than fourth
- 3rd has never won but has always scored
- 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||Top 10 Finish %|
The polesitter at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has gone on to win all of the last eight races. That’s quite a turn around from the first six races at Yas Marina Circuit, which the polesitter won only once.
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 few grid slots at Yas Marina which has 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 14th with car issues in 2014.
Sergio Perez’s third place in 2022 was a rare occasion on which the driver starting second has not finished in the top two at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The only other times the driver starting here has not finished in the top two were in 2012, when Mark Webber was eliminated in a mid-race collision, and in 2018, when Valtteri Bottas finished fifth.
This 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. The driver starting second has finished second at six of the last eight Abu Dhabi Grands Prix.
Third is one of two grid slots to have had a 100% finish rate at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and is the only one to have picked up points in every race at the track.
Though the driver starting here has never won the race, third on the grid has given ten podium finishes, the second most of any grid slot, with three runner-up finishes and six third place finishes.
The driver starting here has always scored points, with seventh place finishes for Fernando Alonso in 2010 and Lando Norris in 2021 being the lowest finishing position so far.
The driver starting from fourth has retired from three of the last six Abu Dhabi Grands Prix with mechanical failures. Daniel Ricciardo was out in 2017 with a hydraulics failure, Kimi Raikkonen lost power in 2018 and Sergio Perez suffered an oil pressure issue in 2021.
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 14 races here, there are only three in which the driver starting fifth has failed to score at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Those occasions were a 14th place finish for Nico Hulkenberg in 2013, a retirement for Daniil Kvyat in 2014 and a late race retirement for Lewis Hamilton in 2022.
There have been four podium finishes from this position, three third places in 2009, 2016 and 2021, plus the runner-up spot for Fernando Alonso in 2011.
Sixth on the grid at Yas Marina has never recorded a retirement. Valtteri Bottas’ 13th 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.
The position has provided two podium finishes: the runner-up spot for Fernando Alonso in 2012 and third place in 2018 for Max Verstappen. The driver starting sixth has finished sixth or better in the last three Yas Marina races.
In 2019, Daniel Ricciardo ended a six year streak of drivers scoring from seventh on the grid at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. 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, 2017 and 2022.
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. Yuki Tsunoda recorded a new best result from this grid slot in 2021, coming home in fourth place.
With eighth place in 2020, Pierre Gasly became the first driver to score having started ninth on the grid at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2017. The grid slot has scored in every race since then.
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. Points have been scored from this grid slot in only two of the last five seasons.
Six races have resulted in non-scores for the driver lining up tenth on the grid, with three of those being retirements in 2012, 2018 and 2022
The driver starting eleventh has scored seven times in the 14 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 four times in the last six seasons.
In 2021, Pierre Gasly recorded the best result from 12th on the grid to date with fifth place. It was the first time the grid slot scored since 2014.
Charles Leclerc’s 13th place in the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marked the first time that the driver starting 12th 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.
Until 2017, the driver starting 13th had never scored a point at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. But in both the 2018 and 2019 Yas Marina races, the driver starting 13th finished in the top ten. Kevin Magnussen finished tenth in 2018, while Daniil Kvyat finished ninth in 2019. Daniel Ricciardo gave this grid slot its third points-scoring race in 2022, finishing in ninth place.
There have been two retirements from 13th on the grid at Yas Marina Circuit, in 2012 and 2015.
There have been only two retirements from 14th on the grid at the Yas Marina Circuit. Jaime Alguersuari retired having started here in the very first race at the circuit, while Anotnio Giovinazzi retired in 2021.
There have been three points-scoring races for the 14th grid slot in Abu Dhabi. All three points-scoring races were eighth place finishes, for Bruno Senna in 2012, Sergio Perez in 2018 and Lance Stroll in 2022.
15th 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 14-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 three retirements from here: in 2010, 2014 and 2021.
Nine seasons have passed since the driver starting 17th has scored at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. During that time, there have been three retirements from this grid slot, in 2016, 2018 and 2021. The driver starting here has scored twice, with ninth place for Jaime Alguerasuari in 2010 and tenth for Adrian Sutil in 2013.
18th 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 18th on the grid, with every other race bar one ending with a finish below 11th place.
The only two retirements from this position were for Kevin Magnussen in 2016 and Kimi Raikkonen, on his final F1 outing, in 2021.
The driver starting from 19th at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has never scored a point. Alex Albon recorded the grid slot’s best result to date with 13th place in 2022. This position has recorded only two retirements – the latest being for Sergio Perez in 2020.
In 2019, Valtteri Bottas became the first driver to score points having started from 20th 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 13th. Twentieth has a low DNF rate, with Daniel Ricciardo’s retirement in his final race with HRT in 2011 and Nicholas Latifi’s retirement in his final race with Williams in 2022 being the only non-finishes 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.
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.