Taking place late in the year, sometimes as the final race of the calendar, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been the scene of some of the biggest moments in F1. In 2021, a nailbiting finish between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton took place. The high drama here pushed F1’s popularity on the map thus forever making the Abu Dhabi GP one of the iconic Formula 1 Grand Prix events.
The track was also recently modified ahead of the 2021 race, shortening the lap to 3.28 miles to further intensify the race to cap off the Formula One season.
- Course: Yas Marina Circuit, Yas Island.
- Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Course Length: 5.281 miles (5.281 kilometers)
- Distance: 58 laps, 190.253 miles (306.183 kilometers)
The Yas Marina Circuit is designed by the great Hermann Tilke, who helped create the likes of the Marina Bay Street Circuit in Singapore and the Fuji Speedway in Japan. It is located on Yas Island. It is the second Formula One course to be held in the Middle East, the first being in Bahrain.
The circuit has 16 turns as of 2022 and has five grandstand areas. It features a 0.7456-mile straight between Turns 5 and 6 with slow-speed corners that are perfect for overtaking maneuvers. Turns 10 through 12 is also tricky and drivers will have to brake hard despite plenty of momentum. It will be a point where leads change.
Abu Dhabi GP
Formula 1 odds to win 2022-23 Championship
Current F1 Standings- 2022 Season
History of Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
As one of the newest races in Formula One, there isn’t a lot of history with the Abu Dhabi GP. It arrived in F1 in 2007 via the Formula One Festival. In 2009, the inaugural grand Prix was a historic one as it was the first day-to-night race. Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull won this race the next year, which was a legendary moment for him.
Vettel clinched his first of four F1 Championships by winning the race while Mark Webber and championship leader Fernando Alonso finished out of the top five. This gave Vettel enough points to win the title as he became the youngest driver to win at 23 years old.
In 2012, Kimi Raikkonen won in what was the biggest upset then. The Lotus driver beat Vettel and Alonso after the former got disqualified from qualifying due to not having enough fuel to return to parc ferme. The win was the Finn’s first since returning to F1 after a three-year stint with the World Rally Championship.
The 2021 Abu Dhabi GP would perhaps go down as the most famous F1 race in recent history thanks partly to Netflix’s Drive to Survive series. As the final race of the season, this one determined the winner in the F1 standings. Verstappen narrowly beat Hamilton after some intense controversy.
Mercedes appealed on the grounds that Michael Masi, the Formula One director, incorrectly withdrew the safety car. They also alleged that Verstappen overtook Hamilton during the safety car while Masi allowed the cars in front of Verstappen to unlap themselves.
While the race results remained the same – Verstappen won his first ever Drivers Championship – Masi was removed from his position as director.
In the 12 events of the Abu Dhabi GP (as of 2022), it’s mostly champions that have won the race. From Vettel to Verstappen, every single winner has won the Formula One Drivers Championship at some point in their career. Hamilton holds the record for most wins on the course with five.