As Vettel and Ricciardo bid a fond farewell to Formula 1, Yas Marina equals Adelaide as the circuit to have hosted the most curtain closers and Hamilton has his last opportunity to keep his win in every season streak going. Here are the milestones and records which could be broken at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
The 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the 1,079th World Championship race. It will be the 14th Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since the event was first held at Yas Marina Circuit in 2009.
This weekend, Yas Marina Circuit equals Adelaide as the circuit at which the most season-ending Formula 1 races have been held. This will be the 11th time that the season finale has been held in Abu Dhabi.
This will be the 11th time that the season finale has been held in the United Arab Emirates. After the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the country will be one season-closer away from equalling the United States as the country to have held the most season-ending races in Formula 1.
The 32nd lap of the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the 750th racing lap to take place at Yas Marina Circuit.
The 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the second F1 race held on November 20th. The only other race held on this date was the 1960 United States Grand Prix.
This will be only the second time, after 2021, that Formula 1 has hosted 22 races in a single year.
FOND F1 FAREWELLS
4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel brings his illustrious Formula 1 career to an end at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He’ll start his 299th and final Grand Prix this Sunday.
Daniel Ricciardo will line up on the grid for what could be the 232nd and final time. The Australian has started every race since the 2011 British Grand Prix, meaning the next race – the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix – will end the second longest streak of consecutive starts for a driver in Formula 1 history.
Pierre Gasly will make his final race appearance with the Red Bull junior team this weekend before moving to Alpine in 2023. Gasly has the most race starts with the Red Bull junior team. This will be his 96th and last race with the team across its history as Toro Rosso and AlphaTauri.
Fernando Alonso will make his final appearance with the Enstone-based team this weekend. Alonso has raced for the team in its Renault and Alpine guises and this will be his 149th and last start with them. He moves to Aston Martin in 2023.
Nicholas Latifi makes his final Formula 1 appearance at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Latifi will make his 61st and final start with Williams this weekend, the tenth most of any driver in the team’s history.
This could be Mick Schumacher’s final F1 appearance. It will be the German’s 43rd appearance with Haas.
THE F1 RECORDS TO BREAK
There have been four new Formula 1 polesitters in the 2022 season. Another new polesitter this weekend would see 2022 become the first season since 1968 to have as many as five new polesitters.
Should there be another new polesitter this weekend, it would be the tenth time in F1 history that there have been new polesitters at consecutive races. It last happened at the 1994 Belgian and Italian Grands Prix. Read more: Consecutive F1 races with new polesitters.
This is Lewis Hamilton’s last chance to maintain his record of having won at least one race in every season that he’s competed in. Victory for Hamilton will see him become the first driver in F1 history to have won a race in 16 different seasons, as well as the first to win in 16 consecutive seasons.
June 10th marked 15 years since Lewis Hamilton’s first F1 win at the 2007 Canadian Grand Prix. If Hamilton wins in Abu Dhabi, he’ll become only the second driver – after Kimi Raikkonen – with a gap of longer than 15 years between his first and last F1 wins.
If he takes pole position, sets the fastest lap and wins the race, Lewis Hamilton would become the second driver – after Michael Schumacher – to record 20 hat tricks in his F1 career.
Lewis Hamilton has finished as runner-up at each of the last three Grands Prix. Another second place this weekend would see him equal his own longest streak of most consecutive second place finishes. Hamilton has previously finished as runner-up at four races in a row between the 2007 Malaysian & Monaco Grands Prix and the 2015 Mexican & 2016 Australian Grands Prix.
George Russell took his first Grand Prix victory last time out. Should another new winner be crowned this weekend, it would be the first time there have been new winners at consecutive races since the 2006 Hungarian and Turkish Grands Prix.
If Russell takes another victory this weekend, he would become the 10th driver to take the first two wins of his F1 career at successive races. Alberto Ascari, Peter Collins, Bruce McLaren, Rene Arnoux, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill, Mika Hakkinen, Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc are the only drivers to have achieved this feat.
George Russell has set the fastest lap at all of the last three races. Should he set the fastest race lap time again in Abu Dhabi, he would become only the second driver in the last 30 years to take the fastest lap at four or more consecutive races. The only other driver to have done so in that time is Kimi Raikkonen, who set six fastest laps in a row between the 2008 Spanish & British Grands Prix and took four fastest laps in a row between the 2005 French & Hungarian Grands Prix.
Having set a personal best for most 1-2 finishes in a season at the Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull could record their sixth 1-2 result of the year at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It would be the 11th time that a team has recorded six 1-2 finishes in a year and Red Bull would be the fifth team to achieve the feat after Ferrari, McLaren, Williams and Mercedes.
Charles Leclerc could take his tenth pole of the season this weekend. It would be the 18th occasion on which a driver has taken ten poles in a single year. With Verstappen having already won this year’s championship, Leclerc could become only the fourth driver to take ten poles in a year and not win the title, after Ayrton Senna in 1989, Nico Rosberg in 2014 and Lewis Hamilton in 2016.
A pole position for Charles Leclerc would make him only the second Ferrari driver to take ten poles in a single season. Michael Schumacher is the only other Ferrari driver to achieve the feat, doing so in 2001.
Carlos Sainz has recorded six retirements so far this season. Should he retire again at any remaining race in 2022, he would become the first Ferrari driver to fail to cross the finish line seven times in a single season since Eddie Irvine in 1997.
If Sebastian Vettel scores a point this weekend, it will be his 219th points-scoring race. That would see him equal Kimi Raikkonen for fourth in the list of most Grands Prix in which a driver has scored during their career.
If the race is won by less than a second, 2022 will be the first season since 2017 to have had at least three races in which the win margin was under a second. The record for most races won by under a second in a single season is seven, in 2002.
A podium result for Bottas would see him equal Rubens Barrichello as the non-champion with the most podiums in F1.
Sebastian Vettel will become the third driver to record podium finishes in 15 different seasons if he finishes in the top three.
If three Mercedes-powered cars finish on the podium, Mercedes will equal Renault’s record tally of 17 podium lockouts for an engine manufacturer.
THE ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX RECORDS TO BREAK
If Max Verstappen wins the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, he would become the first driver to win the event in three consecutive seasons. Pole position would see him become the first driver to take three successive poles at Yas Marina Circuit.
Mercedes hold the record for most victories at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with six. While Mercedes could extend their record this weekend, Red Bull could also score their sixth win at the event. Similarly, Mercedes currently have six poles here compared to Red Bull’s five.
Lewis Hamilton could equal Sebastian Vettel’s record of four fastest laps at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix this weekend. Vettel himself could extend his record to five.
Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton can become the first drivers to have raced 700 laps at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Vettel needs to complete 37 laps of the race to do so, while Hamilton needs to complete 53 of the 58 laps.
Lewis Hamilton currently holds the record for most points-scoring races at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with eleven. He could extend that record, or Sebastian Vettel could equal his tally.
Sebastian Vettel has reached the chequered flag at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on 12 occasions. He could become the first driver to finish the event on 13 occasions, or his record could be equalled by Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.
If a German driver wins the race, the nation will equal Britain as the country with the most victories at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Carlos Sainz, Daniel Ricciardo, Lewis Hamilton and Sergio Perez could all equal Kimi Raikkonen’s record for most non-finishes at Yas Marina Circuit. Raikkonen recorded three retirements at the track. If Perez retires, he will be the first driver to record three consecutive non-finishes at the venue.
Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Yuki Tsunoda and Alex Albon currently hold a 100% Q3 appearance rate at the circuit. All five drivers will be hoping to remain in that group.
George Russell could equal Romain Grosjean’s record of four Q1 exits at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is he is eliminated in Q1 this weekend.
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.