Red Bull completed their strong end to the season with a third consecutive win at Abu Dhabi.
Lewis Hamilton set pole position for the 17th time in his career, matching Jackie Stewart’s tally. The only active driver with more is Alonso, who’s on 18.
But Hamilton wasn’t able to follow it up with another win. In fact, for the first time in his 52-race F1 career, Hamilton was forced to retire with a mechanical problem.
Kamui Kobayashi scored the first points of his career for sixth place in only his second start for Toyota. He is the 20th Japanese driver to start a Grand Prix and the seventh to score a point, joining Ukyo Katayama, Shinji Nakano, Aguri Suzuki, Takuma Sato and father-and-son Satoru and Kazuki Nakajima.
The younger Nakajima, however, became the only driver to start every race in 2009 without scoring a point. Team mate Nico Rosberg amassed 34.5.
Fernando Alonso finished his final race for Renault with his worst result for the team – 14th, which is also where he finished at Silverstone this year.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the first race at which both the drivers’ and constructors’ championship had already been decided since the 2004 Brazilian Grand Prix.
Unusually, this new addition to the calendar was not named after the country the race was held in (the United Arab Emirates) but its capital, Abu Dhabi. The UAE is the 28th different country in which a round of the world championship has been held, but the only one not to have given its name to the race.
The opposite is true of Luxembourg and San Marino, both of which have given their names to Grands Prix but never held a world championship round within their borders. Switzerland also did this in 1982, with a race at Dijon in France, but it held world champinoship races of its own from 1950 to 1954, after which motor racing was banned in the country following the Le Mans disaster of 1955.
Spotted any more interesting facts and stats? Post them in the comments.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix