Abu Dhabi Grand Prix facts and stats

Alonso equalled his worst result for Renault in his last race for the team

Alonso equalled his worst result for Renault in his last race for the team

Red Bull completed their strong end to the season with a third consecutive win at Abu Dhabi.

But for the likes of Fernando Alonso and Kazuki Nakajima their final races with their teams didn’t go according to plan. Read on for the facts and stats from the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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.

Sebastian Vettel scored his fifth career win and his first victory not taken from pole position – he started second. Vettel also took his third fastest lap and Red Bull’s sixth.

Vettel’s team mate Mark Webber achieved his tenth career podium. His second place gave Red Bull their fourth one-two of the year, matching Brawn’s tally.

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.

The final race for BMW saw their cars finish fifth (Nick Heidfeld) and tenth (Robert Kubica).

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

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121 comments on Abu Dhabi Grand Prix facts and stats

  1. sumedh said on 3rd November 2009, 15:18

    First race since probably 1993 when he had 4 current or past WDCs starting the race. Alonso, Lewis, Button, Kimi.

    After 1993, We had just 4 WDCs for the next 12 years. MSC, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Mika Hakkinen. And none of them competed in a race together with all of them being WDCs.

    In the last 4 years, more drivers have scored 100 points or more and still lost the championship (MSC ’06, Lewis, Alonso ’07) than the number of drivers winning inspite of scoring less than 100 points (Lewis ’08, Jenson ’09)

    Jenson is WDC with the least number of career wins: just SEVEN. Previous record was Lewis with NINE.

    • stjoslin said on 3rd November 2009, 15:37

      fter 1993, We had just 4 WDCs for the next 12 years. MSC, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Mika Hakkinen. And none of them competed in a race together with all of them being WDCs.

      I might be wrong here but didn’t that happen in 1999. They were all racing back then. It was Hill’s last season though

    • DanThorn said on 3rd November 2009, 16:40

      Rosberg was WDC after only 1 win, or am I missing something?

      • sumedh said on 3rd November 2009, 17:08

        I meant career wins at the time of being WDC, not wins in a season.

        But as adz2193 pointed out, Keke Rosberg definitely holds that record.

        Jenson Button might have the record for the most number of seasons before becoming WDC. 2009 was his 9th season, I think, isn’t it?

        • sumedh said on 3rd November 2009, 17:12

          Oh no, that record is held by Nigel Mansell, who won in his 12th season.

          Button might be the 2nd on that list.

    • adz2193 said on 3rd November 2009, 16:43

      Jenson is WDC with the least number of career wins: just SEVEN. Previous record was Lewis with NINE.

      I read further up the page that Keke Rosberg was a Grand Prix winner just 5 times, and I know for a fact he took the championship with just 1 victory?

      • Chalky said on 3rd November 2009, 17:17

        Yes. Keke only had 5 wins and 1 of those was in his WDC year (1982).

        • Daniel said on 3rd November 2009, 18:23

          In fact it is Phil Hill the record holder for champion with least victories… 3 in total, the 3rd being 1961 Italian Grand Prix, the last race on his championship winning season, before the Indy 500, where he didn’t race…

          • Daniel said on 3rd November 2009, 18:26

            And Keke is record holder for career wins by the time he won the title, like many of you pointed out, with only one Grand Prix victory (1982 Swiss Grand Prix)…

          • along with Mike Hawthorn who only won 3 GP’s in his career, and his championship season was won with only 1 victory.

        • SaloolaS said on 3rd November 2009, 18:53

          Actually Keke won the last race I think (not sure) and he would be a champion if he was 2nd as well

    • GeeMac said on 4th November 2009, 5:37

      There were only 2 past or current WDC’s on the grid in 1993, Senna and Prost. Mansell was messing around on ovals in America in 1993…

    • sato113 said on 4th November 2009, 21:01

      and we could have 5 WDCs next year if the champ is decidede before the final round and the champ is a first timer.

  2. David A said on 3rd November 2009, 15:54

    Buemi scored a 7th and 8th in the first and last three races of the season, with no points in the 11 races inbetween.

  3. Hallard said on 3rd November 2009, 16:45

    I love this website.

  4. sumedh said on 3rd November 2009, 17:41

    I think this was my 50th race on F1Fanatic, I have been posting since around 3rd or 4th race of 2007.

    It is also the only race covered on this blog which had no significance to either of the drivers or constructor’s championships.

    Since, this blog wasn’t there in 2004. Was it?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 3rd November 2009, 22:28

      Nope, it started at the beginning of 2005.

    • mp4-19b said on 4th November 2009, 6:43

      It is also the only race covered on this blog which had no significance to either of the drivers or constructor’s championships.

      But the 2007 constructor championship was gifted to Ferrari by Max & FIA ;P. Think the decision to exclude McLaren from the classification took place in Spa. So this isn’t the first time.

      • mp4-19b said on 4th November 2009, 6:46

        Discovered this “Diamond” in 06 :) Been addicted ever since!

        • mp4-19b said on 4th November 2009, 6:48

          And of course the 05 races.Alonso won it with 2 races to spare.

          • BT52/B said on 4th November 2009, 12:52

            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.

            Weren’t there some races in the USA that were not named “United States GP” (Detroit GP, Dallas GP, Grand Prix of the West)? Also, wasn’t there a Pacific GP (although it was held in Japan)?

            Changing the subject but staying on stats: How long did Button take to win the win the title and where does he rank? By mu counts he is third behind Mansell and Andretti…

      • Brian Baum said on 5th November 2009, 5:50

        @mp4-19b:
        “But the 2007 constructor championship was gifted to Ferrari by Max & FIA”. No… McLaren were caught cheating and were punished. Get over it.

  5. Robert said on 3rd November 2009, 17:42

    This is the only race to have an identical podium to another race in the season, matching exactly with China.

    • SaloolaS said on 3rd November 2009, 18:56

      good notice

    • sato113 said on 4th November 2009, 21:04

      surely during 2007 there were two idential podiums? (coz of the ferrari/ mcalern dominance.)

      • Daniel said on 4th November 2009, 22:40

        I think Robert meant THIS season, 2009… Anyway, you got me thinking about identical podiums on past seasons, and I instantly reminded 2004, when Ferrari was annoyingly dominant, and Button’s BAR was clearly the best of the rest…

        There were identical podiums (1st – Schumacher, 2nd – Barrichello, 3rd – Button) in three Grand Prix: Bahrain, European and Canadian… the Italian Grand Prix also feature those three drivers, but with Rubens 1st and Michael 2nd…

        In 2007, there were two identical podiums: Australian and British Grand Prix, both with Raikkonen 1st, Alonso 2nd and Hamilton 3rd…

  6. one thing that caught my attention is the lack or poor strategy from Mclaren, it was at least the 2nd tym Hamilton lost the 1st place in the box after starting on pole. Is it normal?? They should b glad that refuelling is over, lol

  7. bruffdug said on 3rd November 2009, 19:18

    HI In the great scheme of things who really cares what it is called,I personally thought it was a damn good race all in.but the cost is mind boggling, I hope the poision dwarf does not want Silverstone to match that,history is important

  8. sato113 said on 3rd November 2009, 20:24

    anyone got a stat for the biggest gap in points between two team mates in a season???

    perhaps 2001 when Schumacher ended with a 58 point gap to Barichello?

    ROS and NAK had a pretty big gap too this year…

    • SaloolaS said on 3rd November 2009, 20:30

      94 – Schumacher and Verstappen. 92-10. But I’m not sure if Jos the boss drove in all GPs

      • Verstappen drove 10 races that year. If you count Lehto’s 1 point, Schumacher outclassed team-mates 92-11. In races together, the situation is 92-9 as Verstappen was fifth

        AFAIK Jacques Laffite (1981) has biggest point total when team-mates have failed to score. He had 44 points. Ralf Schumacher had 35 in 1999 so he beats Nico by half a point.

        In both those cases, team-mates had 7th or 8th places which weren’t point-scoring positions back then.

  9. Harv's said on 3rd November 2009, 23:07

    Over Hamiltons entire F1 career no one has score more points than him over the 3 years, he now has 256.
    No one has score more wins in those 3 years, or had more poles.

    And Hamilton has always finished below his starting position in the final race of the year so far.

  10. Prisoner Monkeys said on 3rd November 2009, 23:44

    I don’t know if it’s been mentioned yet, but by taking third place, Jenson Button became the only driver to score points in every race he finished (and if Grosjean hadn’t taken him out in Spa, he would have been the only driver to finish every race and score point in all seventeen).

  11. Hakki said on 4th November 2009, 0:16

    Hello Keith
    In Japan、Toyota announced that they will pull out F1!
    Let’s tall about this!

  12. Looks like it !

    Does this mean that Qadbak will now get a look in for the 2010 season? And why is it that the Concorde agreement is not legally binding on Toyota?

  13. Looks like it was the last race for Toyota as well…
    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80002

  14. devotee said on 4th November 2009, 10:04

    McLaren took the pole position in the last race of a season for the first time since 1993.

  15. A straightforward but interesting set of statistics that seems to have been missed, relating to Sebastian Vettel’s Fastest Lap, his third of the season: surprisingly, this was enough to win him the DHL Fastest Lap Trophy for the driver with the greatest number of fastest laps over the course of the season. Mark Webber also set three FLs, but Vettel set more second-fastest laps.

    An amazing 10 different drivers and 7 different teams set fastest laps in 2009. The breakdown, from DHL’s site:

    Fastest lap drivers:
    Sebastian Vettel 3
    Mark Webber 3
    Rubens Barrichello 2
    Fernando Alonso 2
    Jenson Button 2
    Felipe Massa 1
    Jarno Trulli 1
    Timo Glock 1
    Nico Rosberg 1
    Adrian Sutil 1

    Fastest lap Teams:
    Red Bull 6
    Brawn GP 4
    Renault 2
    Toyota 2
    Ferrari 1
    Williams 1
    Force India 1

    The winner of last year’s trophy, Kimi Raikkonen (who set 10 FLs in 2008), didn’t set a single fastest lap this year.

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