On 1 November 2009, Abu Dhabi hosted the UAE’s inaugural Grand Prix at the purpose-built and pristine Yas Marina Circuit, which was also the first Formula 1 twilight race, with powerful lighting ensuring a seamless transition from day to night.
The ninth edition of the race is also the final race in the 2017 Formula 1 World Championship. The venue has been a title decider on a number of occasions, most recently last year when Nico Rosberg pipped Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton to the title.
This year the drivers’ and constructors’ titles are done and dusted, thus the race is in effect a ‘dead rubber’ but there are still battles to be fought and prestige at stake.
Here are the Reuters compiled facts and statistics for the race:
- Lap distance: 5.554km. Total distance: 305.355km (55 laps)
- 2016 pole: Lewis Hamilton (Britain), Mercedes, One minute 38.755 seconds
- 2016 winner: Hamilton
- Race lap record: 1:40.279 (Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull, 2009)
- Start time: 1300 GMT (1700 local)
World Championship Titles
- Mercedes have clinched their fourth constructors’ championship in a row and Lewis Hamilton his fourth drivers’ crown.
- Hamilton has 62 victories from 207 races and is second in the all-time list behind Schumacher (91). Sebastian Vettel has 47. Mercedes have won 11-of-19 races this season.
- Ferrari have won 229 races since 1950, McLaren 182, Williams 114, Mercedes 75 and Red Bull 55. Former champions McLaren and Williams have not won since 2012.
- Hamilton has won nine times this season, Vettel five. Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen two each and Daniel Ricciardo once.
- Hamilton has an all-time record 72 career poles. Vettel took his tally to 50 in Mexico last month.
- Mercedes have been on pole 14 times in 19 races: Hamilton 11 times and Bottas three.
- Vettel has had four poles this season and his Ferrari teammate Kimi Raikkonen one.
- Hamilton has 116 podiums and is second on the all-time list behind Schumacher (155). Vettel has 98, Raikkonen 90.
- Hamilton has 12 podiums this season, Vettel and Bottas 12 each. Ricciardo has had nine, the most he has ever scored in a single campaign, and Raikkonen seven.
- Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson is the only driver yet to score this season of those who have started every race.
- Hamilton has 24 scoring finishes in a row, the longest such run of his career. Raikkonen holds the record of 27.
- Hamilton is the only driver to have finished every race so far this season.
- Vettel is 22 points clear of Bottas and assured of second place overall in the championship unless the Finn wins and the Ferrari driver fails to score.
- That will be the first time in the V6 turbo era (2014 onwards) that Mercedes have not finished one-two in the championship.
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
- Ferrari have yet to win in Abu Dhabi, a circuit next door to a Ferrari World theme park.
- The sport’s first day-to-night race is in its ninth edition this year. Cars hit top speeds of 320kph with an average of around 195kph on an anti-clockwise layout.
- Three of the current drivers have won in Abu Dhabi: Vettel (2009, 2010 and 2013), Hamilton (2011, 2014, 2016), Raikkonen (2012).
- Three of eight races to date at Yas Marina have been won from pole position: Vettel in 2010, when he became the youngest champion at 23, Nico Rosberg in 2015 and Hamilton last year.
- Hamilton has been on pole three times in Abu Dhabi, Vettel twice.
- Only once has the winner not started on the front row — Raikkonen from fourth in 2012 with Lotus.
- Massa will be competing in his last grand prix.
- Sunday will be the last race of the McLaren-Honda partnership.
- It is also set to be the last F1 race without the halo head protection device.