Verstappen ends the season with the second-largest points lead in F1 history, Ricciardo’s starting streak comes to an end and Alonso records his first ever retirement at Yas Marina Circuit. Here’s a statistic from every driver’s 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend!
🇳🇱 Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen took pole position for the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was the 20th pole position of Verstappen’s career, equalling Damon Hill and Valtteri Bottas for 14th in the all-time list of most poles. Verstappen became the first driver to take three consecutive pole positions at Yas Marina Circuit.
Verstappen recorded his 15th win of the 2022 season at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, extending his record of most victories in a single season. Verstappen ends the year having won 68.18% of this year’s Grands Prix – the fifth biggest winning percentage in a single year in Formula 1 history. Verstappen became only the sixth driver to record 35 Grand Prix victories. He is the first driver to reach that milestone since Lewis Hamilton at the 2015 Chinese Grand Prix.
Verstappen ended the season with a 146 point advantage in the Drivers’ Championship. It’s the second largest winning points margin in Formula 1 history, beaten only by Sebastian Vettel’s 155 point lead at the end of 2013.
🇲🇽 Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez qualified in second place, meaning Red Bull recorded their 25th front row lock-out. This was only the second time the team locked-out the front row in the V6 hybrid era. The last time they did so was at the 2018 Mexican Grand Prix. This was the first time Perez qualified in the top three at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Finishing in third place, Perez recorded his 26th podium finish. That saw him equal Ronnie Peterson and Eddie Irvine for 39th on the all-time list of most podiums. Perez’s podium marked the first time he finished in the top four at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as well as the first time he finished the Yas Marina race since 2019.
🇬🇧 Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton qualified in fifth place, ending his record-breaking run of 15 consecutive seasons with at least one pole position. Fifth place is Hamilton’s worst qualifying result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The only other time Hamilton qualified outside of the top three here was in 2013, when he qualified fourth.
Hamilton retired from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, recording his second retirement of the 2022 season. This was the first time that Hamilton did not finished on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium since 2013 and the first time he failed to finish at Yas Marina Circuit since 2012. Hamilton equalled Kimi Raikkonen as the driver to retire on the most occasions at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was Hamilton’s third retirement at the circuit.
Hamilton’s retirement brought to an end his unique record of having won at least one race in every Formula 1 season in which he has competed. With a win-less year in 2022, Hamilton equalled Michael Schumacher as the driver to have won in the most consecutive F1 seasons. Hamilton won a race in every year between 2007 and 2021, while Schumacher won in every year between 1992 and 2006.
🇬🇧 George Russell
George Russell qualified sixth, making it out of Q1 for the first time at Yas Marina Circuit. Russell finished fifth in the final race of the year. It ensured that he became only the third team-mate of Lewis Hamilton to out-score him over the course of a season. Jenson Button out-scored Hamilton by 43 points in 2011, Nico Rosberg out-scored Hamilton by five points in 2016 and Russell out-scored Hamilton by 35 points in 2022. Fifth place at Yas Marina marked Russell’s 19th top five finish of the 2022 season. This was the first time Russell has scored at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Every time he has finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Russell has gained one position from where he has started.
🇲🇨 Charles Leclerc
With third place, Charles Leclerc recorded his best Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying result to date. With second place in the race, Leclerc secured second in the Drivers’ Championship. This is the first time since 2018 that a Ferrari driver has finished in the top two in the end of year standings.
Leclerc finished on the podium for the first time since the Singapore Grand Prix. This was Leclerc’s 24th podium finish, equalling Stirling Moss, John Surtees and Alan Jones for 43rd on the all-time list of most top three results. This was Leclerc’s best Abu Dhabi Grand Prix result to date. His previous best result here was third place in 2019. Leclerc became the tenth driver to take multiple podium finishes at Yas Marina Circuit.
🇪🇸 Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz qualified in fourth place – his best Saturday result to date in Abu Dhabi. Sainz also finished fourth, recording a top five finish for the third consecutive race.
🇦🇺 Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo lined 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.
Ricciardo reached Q3 for the first time since the Italian Grand Prix. This was the second consecutive year in which Ricciardo qualified tenth for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He finished the race in ninth place, picking up points for the seventh time in 2022.
🇬🇧 Lando Norris
Lando Norris qualified in seventh place and is still yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Norris finished the race in sixth place, marking the first time that he has finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in a better position than where he started.
🇪🇸 Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso made his 149th and final appearance with the Enstone-based team at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. On Saturday, Alonso failed to reach Q3 for only the fourth time in 2022. He last missed out on Q3 at Zandvoort. Alonso has not reached Q3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2016.
Alonso was the first driver to retire from the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was his fourth retirement in the last seven races, as well as his first ever retirement at Yas Marina Circuit.
🇫🇷 Esteban Ocon
With seventh place, Esteban Ocon added another six points to his 2022 tally at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He became only the second driver, after Jenson Button in 2015, to score more points than Fernando Alonso during a season as team-mates.
🇫🇷 Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly will made his final race appearance with the Red Bull junior team before moving to Alpine in 2023. This was his 96th and last race with the team. Gasly was eliminated in Q1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the first time since 2018. It was also the first time since 2018 that a driver for the Red Bull junior team recorded a Q1 exit at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Gasly’s 17th place equalled his worst qualifying result at Yas Marina Circuit. He also qualified 17th at Yas Marina Circuit in 2017 and 2018.
For the third time in the last four races, Pierre Gasly finished 14th.
🇯🇵 Yuki Tsunoda
With both Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda finishing outside of the points, this was the first time since 2018 that neither driver for the Red Bull junior team scored at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
🇩🇪 Sebastian Vettel
4-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel brought his illustrious Formula 1 career to an end at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, starting his 299th and final Grand Prix. For the 228th and final time in his career, Vettel reached Q3. This was Vettel’s fifth Q3 appearance of the season and his first Q3 appearance at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2019.
In his final Grand Prix, Vettel picked up points for the 219th time. He equalled Kimi Raikkonen for fourth in the all-time list of most races in which a driver has scored. This was Vettel’s tenth points-scoring race of the 2022 season. Vettel crossed the finish line at Yas Marina Circuit for the 13th time, setting a new record for the most occasions on which a driver has finished the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He equalled Lewis Hamilton as the driver to have scored on the most occasions at the circuit and became the first driver to have raced 700 Grand Prix laps at the venue. This was the first time Vettel scored at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2019.
Vettel was voted Driver of the Day for the 23rd time. It was the third time he was awarded the accolade in 2022.
🇨🇦 Lance Stroll
With eighth place, Lance Stroll recorded his best Abu Dhabi Grand Prix qualifying result to date. He previously qualified ninth here three times. Stroll also finished eighth, recording his best Abu Dhabi Grand Prix result to date. He had previously has one points-scoring race at the track, having finished tenth in 2020.
🇹🇭 Alex Albon
For the first time in three Abu Dhabi Grand Prix appearances, Alex Albon failed to reach Q3. Albon came home in 13th place, failing to score at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the first time.
🇨🇦 Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi made his final Formula 1 appearance at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Latifi made his 61st and final start with Williams this weekend, the tenth most of any driver in the team’s history.
This was the 21st time from the 22 races in 2022 that Latifi was eliminated in Q1. The only time in the last 29 races that the Canadian was not out in Q1 was at the British Grand Prix, where he reached Q3.
For the second consecutive season, Latifi retired from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
🇫🇮 Valtteri Bottas
For the first time in his career, Valtteri Bottas was eliminated in Q1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was the second time in 2022 that Bottas has been out in Q1 at two successive races.
Finishing 15th, Bottas failed to score for the first time since the United States Grand Prix. This was the first time Bottas has failed to score at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since he retired from the 2016 race.
🇨🇳 Zhou Guanyu
With Valtteri Bottas out in Q1 and Zhou Guanyu qualifying 15th, this was the first time since 2019 that neither Alfa Romeo driver qualified in the top 14 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Zhou recorded his third 12th place finish in the last four Grands Prix.
🇩🇪 Mick Schumacher
Mick Schumacher made his 43rd and final start with the Haas team at the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Schumacher qualified 13th, recording the Haas team’s best qualifying result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2018, when both drivers qualified in the top 13.
🇩🇰 Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen recorded his first Q1 exit since the United States Grand Prix. Magnussen finished the race in 17th place, equalling his worst finishing position from races in which he has reached the chequered flag in 2022. This was Magnussen’s fourth 17th place finish of the 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.