Verstappen becomes the first driver to lead 1,000 laps in a year, Mercedes power scores for the 300th consecutive race and Tsunoda becomes the second Japanese driver to lead a Formula 1 race. Here are the facts and statistics from the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix!
VERSTAPPEN WINS THE 2023 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
Max Verstappen brought his record-breaking season to an end with his 19th victory of the year at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. This was the Dutchman’s 54th Grand Prix win, overtaking Sebastian Vettel for third in the list of most Formula 1 victories.
Winning 19 of the 22 races in 2023, Verstappen set a new record for the highest winning percentage in a single year. He won 86.36% of races this year – eclipsing Alberto Ascari’s former record of 75% from 1952.
This was Verstappen’s fourth consecutive win at the Yas Marina Circuit, extending the record for most consecutive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victories. Verstappen’s win also saw Red Bull set a new record of seven wins at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, surpassing Mercedes’ former record.
The 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was Verstappen’s seventh consecutive victory. This is only the sixth time that a driver has won seven successive races in F1. Verstappen is the first driver to achieve the feat twice in a single season.
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. He’s 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. He is 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.
Verstappen recorded the 30th fastest lap of his F1 career during the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, equalling Nigel Mansell for sixth on the list of most fastest laps in F1 history. It was his ninth fastest lap of the season, putting him one away from equalling the record of most fastest laps in a season, set by Michael Schumacher in 2004 and equalled by Kimi Raikkonen in both 2005 and 2008. Mika Hakkinen, in 2000, is the only other driver to have taken nine fastest laps in a year.
This was the ninth consecutive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix to be won from pole position.
ON THE PODIUM
Charles Leclerc and George Russell joined Max Verstappen on the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix podium. It was the first time the trio have shared the podium positions since the 2022 Italian Grand Prix.
Charles Leclerc recorded the 30th podium finish of his career, equalling Juan Pablo Montoya for 36th in the all-time list.
Leclerc finished as runner-up at consecutive races for the first time since the 2022 Italian and Singapore Grands Prix.
George 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.
With Russell finishing third in the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, 2023 becomes the first season since 2011 in which Mercedes did not win a race. It is also the first year since 2006 that no Mercedes-powered cars recorded a victory.
In better news for Mercedes, the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the 300th consecutive race in which a Mercedes-powered car scored a point. The manufacturer has scored in every race since the 2008 Chinese Grand Prix.
Russell recorded the first podium finish from fourth on the grid at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since 2014.
IN THE POINTS
With Lando Norris fifth and Oscar Piastri sixth, McLaren finished in the top six with both cars for the first time since the 2023 Qatar Grand Prix.
This was McLaren’s first double top six result at Yas Marina Circuit since the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Norris 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 equals Norris’ best result to date at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. He also finished fifth in 2020.
With eighth place, Yuki 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.
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’s ninth place finish saw him overtake Sebastian Vettel as the driver to have scored on the most occasions at Yas Marina Circuit. This was his 12th points-scoring visit to the track. During the race, Hamilton also overtook Vettel as the driver who has raced the most laps at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Hamilton gained two positions in 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.
With both Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll in the top ten, Aston Martin picked up points with both cars for a third consecutive race. It’s the first time the team has scored double points at three races in a row since the 2023 Spanish, Canadian and Austrian Grands Prix.
Seventh is Alonso’s best result at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since finishing fifth in 2013.
This was the second consecutive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in which Stroll scored a point.
THE OTHER FINISHERS
Esteban Ocon finished 12th in the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, finishing outside of the points in a race which he completed 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.
With Ocon 12th and Pierre Gasly 13th, the Enstone-based team failed to score at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix for the first time since 2019.
Williams failed to score at the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Alex Albon finishing 14th and Logan Sargeant 16th. Nevertheless, the team secured seventh place in the Constructors’ Championship, which is their best result since 2017.
14th is Albon’s worst Abu Dhabi Grand Prix result to date.
Valtteri 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. Team-mate Zhou Guanyu finished 17th, also recording the lowest finishing result in any race which he has completed.
Kevin 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.
2023 is the fifth consecutive season in which both Alfa Romeo and Haas failed to score at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, while it’s the sixth year in a row that Williams has failed to score at Yas Marina Circuit.
All 20 drivers were classified in the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix but not all finished, as Carlos 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 Lewis Hamilton and Kimi Raikkonen as the driver with the most retirements at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. All three drivers have now retired on three occasions at the circuit.