Verstappen signs off in style at Yas Marina, Tsunoda becomes the second Japanese driver to lead an F1 race and Norris continues his 100% points rate in Abu Dhabi. Here’s a statistic from each driver’s 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend!
🇳🇱 Max VERSTAPPEN
Max Verstappen secured pole position for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, becoming the sixth driver to have take pole at 12 or more races in a single season and extending the record for most consecutive poles at Yas Marina Circuit to four.
On Sunday, Verstappen secured a record-extending fourth consecutive win at the track, a record-breaking 19th victory of the year and the 54th Grand Prix win of his career, overtaking Sebastian Vettel for third in the list of most Formula 1 victories. His win saw him set a new record for the highest winning percentage in a single year. He won 86.36% of races in 2023 – eclipsing Alberto Ascari’s former record of 75% from 1952.
The 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was Verstappen’s seventh consecutive victory, making it only the sixth time that a driver won seven successive races in F1. Verstappen became the first driver to achieve the feat twice in a single season.
Completing every lap of the race, Verstappen became the third driver to have raced every single lap in a Formula 1 season. The only other drivers to have done so are Michael Schumacher in 2002 and Lewis Hamilton in 2019. He’s also the tenth driver to complete every race in a season; the first driver to do so since Carlos Sainz in 2021.
Leading 52 laps of the race, Verstappen took his total of laps led for the 2023 season to 1,003 and became the first driver to have led over 1,000 Grand Prix laps in a single season. The previous record for most laps led in a year was 739, for Sebastian Vettel in 2011.
Verstappen’s podium finish was the 100th top three result for a Dutch driver in Formula 1. Verstappen has taken 98 of the Netherlands’ podiums in F1, while his father Jos Verstappen has taken two.
Crossing the finish line for the ninth time at Yas Marina Circuit, Verstappen overtook Felipe Massa as the driver to have made the most Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starts without recording a retirement.
🇲🇽 Sergio PEREZ
Sergio Perez qualified ninth at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, his worst qualifying result at Yas Marina Circuit from his three appearances as a Red Bull driver. Perez finished second on the road but was demoted to fourth following a five-second time penalty. Fourth is his second-best-ever result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
🇲🇨 Charles LECLERC
On the weekend that he overtook Rubens Barrichello for fifth in the list of most starts with Ferrari, Charles Leclerc gave the team their first ever front row qualification at Yas Marina Circuit. He qualified on the front row for a fifth consecutive race, having last done so between the 2022 Dutch and United States Grands Prix.
Leclerc’s Q3 appearance at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix made Ferrari the first team to record 600 Q3 appearances since the knockout system was introduced in 2006. Leclerc maintained his 100% Q3 appearance record in Abu Dhabi.
On Sunday, Leclerc recorded the 30th podium finish of his career, equalling Juan Pablo Montoya for 36th in the all-time list. He finished as runner-up at consecutive races for the first time since the 2022 Italian and Singapore Grands Prix.
🇪🇸 Carlos SAINZ
Carlos Sainz failed to secure a spot in Q2 at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, recording his first Q1 exit since the 2019 Brazilian Grand Prix – the race at which he secured his maiden podium finish with McLaren. Sainz became the third Ferrari driver to record a Q1 exit at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, after Giancarlo Fisichella in 2009 and Sebastian Vettel in 2015. This was Sainz’s second Q1 exit at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – his first since 2016.
All 20 drivers were classified in the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but not all finished, as Sainz pulled into the pit lane at the end of the penultimate lap. He was classified 18th in the final order. It was his third non-finish of the year. Sainz is only the second Ferrari driver, after Kimi Raikkonen in 2018, to record a non-finish at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sainz equalled Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton as the driver with the most retirements at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this being his third DNF at the event.
🇬🇧 Lewis HAMILTON
At the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton eqaulled Graham Hill as the British driver with the second-longest Formula 1 career. Race day marked 16 years, 8 months and 8 days since Hamilton’s first appearance at the 2007 Australian Grand Prix – the same amount of time between Hill’s first and last appearances at the 1958 Monaco Grand Prix and the 1975 Brazilian Grand Prix.
For the first time in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix history, Lewis Hamilton failed to reach Q3. Hamilton became only the second Mercedes driver to fail to qualify in the top ten at Yas Marina Circuit, after Michael Schumacher who qualified 13th in 2012. Having also failed to reach Q3 at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, this was the first time Hamilton missed out on Q3 at two consecutive races since the 2014 German and Hungarian Grands Prix.
One race after Fernando Alonso became the first driver to finish 300 Grands Prix in their career, Lewis Hamilton reached the same milestone at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Hamilton also became the only driver to have started every Formula 1 race held to date at Yas Marina Circuit.
His ninth place finish saw him overtake Sebastian Vettel as the driver to have scored on the most occasions at Yas Marina Circuit. This was Hamilton’s 12th points-scoring visit to the track. During the race, he also overtook Vettel as the driver who has raced the most laps at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton gained two positions during the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the first time he has gained a position from where he started at Yas Marina Circuit since 2017 and the first time he has ever gained multiple positions at the track.
🇬🇧 George RUSSELL
George Russell qualified fourth for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, recording his best qualifying result to date at the circuit. On Sunday, Russell recorded his second podium result of the year – his first since finishing third at the Spanish Grand Prix. Russell has gained one position in all four races which he has finished to date at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Russell recorded the first podium finish from fourth on the grid at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2014.
🇫🇷 Esteban OCON
Qualifying 12th, Esteban Ocon failed to reach Q3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the first time since 2020. Ocon finished where he started in the race, completing a race outside of the points for the first time since the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix. This was the first time Ocon failed to score in Abu Dhabi since his retirement in 2018.
🇫🇷 Pierre GASLY
Pierre Gasly qualified tenth for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It equalled his best qualifying result at Yas Marina Circuit, having also qualified tenth in 2020.
🇬🇧 Lando NORRIS
Lando Norris maintained his 100% Q3 appearance rate at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but was out-qualified by a team-mate at Yas Marina Circuit for the first time. Norris also maintained his 100% finishing record at the track, becoming only the second driver – after Felipe Massa – to score points on all of his first five Abu Dhabi Grand Prix appearances. Fifth place equalled Norris’ best result to date at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He also finished fifth in 2020.
🇦🇺 Oscar PIASTRI
Oscar Piastri joined Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris, Felipe Massa, Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg as a member of the 100% Q3 appearance rate club at Yas Marina Circuit. Piastri qualified in third place for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while Norris set the fifth fastest time. It’s the first time that Norris has been out-qualified by a team-mate at Yas Marina Circuit.
🇫🇮 Valtteri BOTTAS
Valtteri Bottas qualified 18th for the second time in the last three races, equalling his second-worst qualifying result of the year. 2023 is the second year in a row that Bottas qualified 18th at Yas Marina Circuit. In the race, Bottas finished 19th for the second time this year, after the Spanish Grand Prix, equalling the lowest finishing position in a race which he has completed.
🇨🇳 ZHOU Guanyu
Zhou Guanyu qualified 19th for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, recording his seventh back row qualification of the season. He finished 17th and – like his team-mate – recorded the lowest finishing result in any race which he has completed.
🇪🇸 Fernando ALONSO
For the first time since 2016, Fernando Alonso reached Q3 at Yas Marina Circuit. Seventh is Alonso’s best qualifying result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since qualifying sixth in 2012. Alonso became the first driver for the Silverstone-based team to qualify in the top seven at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since Nico Hulkenberg qualified seventh in 2016. Alonso went on to finish the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in seventh place – his best result at the event since finishing fifth in 2013.
🇨🇦 Lance STROLL
Finishing in tenth place, this was the second consecutive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in which Lance Stroll scored a point. It was Stroll’s third points-scoring appearance from seven Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starts.
🇩🇰 Kevin MAGNUSSEN
Kevin Magnussen set the 17th fastest time in Q1 at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, recording his fourth Q1 exit at Yas Marina Circuit. He equalled Romain Grosjean as the driver with the most Q1 exits at the track. Magnussen’s Q1 exit made 2023 the fifth consecutive season in which a Haas driver failed to reach Q2 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
In the race, Magnussen finished 20th for the first time in his career, meaning that 1st, 3rd and 4th are now the only positions in the top 20 in which he is yet to finish during his Formula 1 career.
🇩🇪 Nico HULKENBERG
Nico Hulkenberg made his first Q3 appearance since the Singapore Grand Prix at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was his sixth successive appearance at Yas Marina Circuit in which he qualified in the top ten. It was only the second time that a Haas driver reached Q3 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean was the last Haas driver to do so, in 2018.
🇯🇵 Yuki TSUNODA
Yuki Tsunoda qualified sixth for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, recording the best qualifying result of his career to date. This was Tsunoda’s first Q3 appearance since the Japanese Grand Prix. He is yet to be out-qualified by a team-mate at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sixth is the best qualifying result for the Red Bull junior team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since Daniil Kvyat qualified fourth with Toro Rosso in 2014.
With eighth place in the race, Tsunoda equalled his best result of the 2023 season. He also finished eighth in the 2023 United States Grand Prix. Tsunoda led five laps of the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, making this only the second F1 race in history which a Japanese driver has led. The only other Japanese driver to have done so is Takuma Sato, who led two laps in the 2004 European Grand Prix. Tsunoda’s efforts saw him voted Driver Of The Day for the first time in his Formula 1 career.
🇦🇺 Daniel RICCIARDO
Daniel Ricciardo qualified 15th for the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, missing out on Q3 at Yas Marina Circuit for only the fourth time in his 13 appearances at the event.
🇹🇭 Alex ALBON
Alex Albon out-qualified Logan Sargeant at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, ensuring he out-qualified his team-mate at every race in 2023. Albon is the first driver to out-qualify his team-mate at every round in a single season since Max Verstappen out-qualified Albon at every race in 2020. Albon became the first Williams driver to reach Q2 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2017. He finished 14th in the race, which was his worst Abu Dhabi Grand Prix result to date.
🇺🇸 Logan SARGEANT
Logan Sargeant failed to set a lap time in Q1 after both of his lap times were deleted for exceeding track limits, therefore qualifying last for the eighth time in his rookie season. He became the first driver to be out-qualified by his team-mate at every race in a single season since Alex Ablon at Red Bull in 2020.