Until 2020, Mercedes had won every Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the V6 hybrid era. Red Bull have won the last two races at Yas Marina Circuit. Here’s everything you need to know about each team’s history at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
WINS: 6, POLES: 6, PODIUMS: 13 | 2021 RESULT: HAMILTON 2nd, BOTTAS 6th
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 have not won in the past two seasons, Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton both finished on the podium in second and third respectively in 2020 and Hamilton finished as runner-up last year.
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 nine 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. Hamilton qualified on the front row again last year. 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.
WINS: 5, POLES: 5, PODIUMS: 10 | 2021 RESULT: VERSTAPPEN 1st, PEREZ DNF
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 until 2020. Max Verstappen has recorded victory here in the last two years, with his latest win securing him his first World Championship victory.
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. The team have suffered four DNFs at Yas Marina – their most recent being for Sergio Perez last season. 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 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, 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 five poles in total at the track, including in each of the last two seasons, with Max Verstappen’s 2020 pole first since the team’s last front-row lock-out at the track in 2013.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 8 | 2021 RESULT: SAINZ 3rd, LECLERC 10th
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. Both drivers scored last year, with Carlos Sainz recording the team’s eighth podium result at the track.
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 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 seven 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 is the only time since 2014 that no Ferrari drivers qualified in the top five at the circuit.
WINS: 1, POLES: 2, PODIUMS: 4 | 2021 RESULT: NORRIS 7th, RICCIARDO 12th
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 in 2020 – the team’s first finishes in the top seven since 2014. Norris scored again last year, finishing seventh. 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 qualified in the top ten.
In both 2019 and 2020, both McLaren drivers reached Q3. Lando Norris’ third place in qualifying last year marked the team’s best qualifying result here since their last pole position. Other than the last three 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.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2021 RESULT: ALONSO 8th, OCON 9th
For the first time since 2010, both of the Enstone team’s cars scored at the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Both drivers finished in the top ten again last year. 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.
In 2019, the Enstone team recorded their first double Q3 appearance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2012. In 2012, Kimi Raikkonen recorded the Enstone team’s best qualifying result to date at the circuit with fourth on the grid.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2021 RESULT: TSUNODA 4th, GASLY 5th
Prior to 2021, the former Toro Rosso team scored only ten points at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Four of those were scored by Pierre Gasly in 2020 with his eighth place finish, while 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. Last year, the team recorded a double top five result, with Yuki Tsunoda finishing fourth and Pierre Gasly finishing fifth.
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 nine of their entries, but – until last year – Daniil Kvyat was 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. Yuki Tsunoda qualified eighth last year.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2021 RESULT: VETTEL 11th, STROLL 13th
Aston Martin failed to score any points at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It was the first time that the Silverstone-based team failed to score at Yas Marina Circuit 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 four 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: 2 | 2021 RESULT: LATIFI DNF, RUSSELL DNF
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 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Last year, the team recorded their first double retirement at the track. Valtteri Bottas’ retirement here in 2016, on his final race appearance with Williams, is the only other time the team have recorded a DNF at the circuit.
Williams recorded a double Q1 exit for the fourth season in succession at the 2021 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.
WINS: 0, POLES: 0, PODIUMS: 0 | 2021 RESULT: GIOVINAZZI DNF, RAIKKONEN DNF
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. Until 2021, Marcus Ericsson’s retirement on his final appearance in 2018 was the only time that one of their cars has not finished the race. Last year, on their final appearances with the team, both Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Givoinazzi failed to reach the chequered flag.
The former Sauber team have suffered three double Q1 exits at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in the last six seasons, while 2018 is the only season in the past nine years that neither of their cars has been eliminated in Q1.
Since 2013, 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 | 2021 RESULT: SCHUMACHER 14th, MAZEPIN DNS
While Haas are yet to record a retirement at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, only one of their cars started the race here in 2021 after Nikita Mazepin tested positive for coronavirus. 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.
Romain Grosjean is the only Haas driver to have reached Q3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, doing so in 2018, qualifying in seventh. The Frenchman’s Q1 exits in 2017 and 2019 were the only times until last 2020 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 in 2020, while Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin locked out the back row last year.
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.