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Abu Dhabi Achtergrond
26 Nov

Abu Dhabi GP

Yas Marina Circuit
  • Free practice 1 FP1 24 Nov 2023 -
  • Free practice 2 FP2 24 Nov 2023 -
  • Free practice 3 FP3 25 Nov 2023 -
  • Qualification Quali 25 Nov 2023 -
  • Race Race 26 Nov 2023 -


First held 2009
Laps 58
Circuit length 5.281 kilometres
Lap record 1:26.103 (2021)
Winner in 2022 Max Verstappen
Second in 2022 Charles Leclerc
Third in 2022 Sergio Perez


Winner 2022 Max Verstappen
Winner 2021 Max Verstappen
Winner 2020 Max Verstappen
Winner 2019 Lewis Hamilton
Winner 2018 Lewis Hamilton

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will once again close out the F1 season in 2023, a position it has regularly held since its introduction in 2009. The Yas Marina Circuit has seen more than one title decided at the venue, including Max Verstappen's championship win in 2021.

F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2023

Since making its debut on the calendar in 2009, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been the scene of several memorable moments in Formula 1.

The marina area harkens back to the walls of Monte Carlo, while part of the circuit actually passes under the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel. All of the grandstands are covered to protect spectators from the blistering desert sun – though the race itself is usually held at night – while the pit building features 40 air-conditioned garages to keep teams cool under the pressure to perform.

As for the racing, overtaking has proven to be difficult, with track position and a balanced car key to victory. Although the circuit features a 1.2km long straight between Turns 5 and 6, much of the track is composed of mostly medium or slow speed corners, which makes the Yas Marina venue a technical challenge for all the drivers on the grid.

Modifications were made to the circuit ahead of the 2021 race, resulting in a much shorter lap.


Plans to develop Yas Island were announced in 2006, in an attempt to make the location a tourist destination, and this included a particular focus placed on creating a race track. Work began on the venue in 2007, and the 5.5km ultramodern Yas Marina Circuit debuted in 2009, with several eye-catching facilities built on the man-made island.

Initially planned to be the 19th and final race of the 2009 Formula 1 season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was moved up by two weeks following the cancellation of the Canadian and French Grands Prix.

Jenson Button entered the weekend having already clinched the World Championship in Brazil, and Brawn GP had also been declared Constructors' Champions at the same event.

Lewis Hamilton started on pole but retired due to a brake failure, opening the door for Sebastian Vettel to lead a Red Bull 1-2 finish ahead of Mark Webber. Button rounded out the podium in third.

The event marked the final F1 appearances for Kazuki Nakajima and Giancarlo Fisichella, along with the Brawn GP, BMW Sauber and Toyota teams.

Abu Dhabi GP plays host to title decider

The following year saw the 2010 F1 World Championship decided at the Yas Marina Circuit for the first time.

Ferrari's Fernando Alonso entered the race as championship leader, eight and 15 points up on Red Bull duo Mark Webber and Vettel respectively. Hamilton was also mathematically still in contention, though the McLaren driver was 24 points behind the Spaniard.

Vettel started from pole ahead of Hamilton and Alonso, with the latter slow off the line. Early pit-stops for Webber and Alonso ultimately ended their title bids, with Vettel taking the chequered flag to become the youngest F1 World Champion at 23 years and 134 days. Hamilton and Button rounded out the podium for McLaren.

The race was the last for Bridgestone as the sole tyre supplier in Formula 1, with Pirelli taking over for the 2011 season, having last competed in the sport back in 1991.

Another F1 title decider in 2014

Kimi Raikkonen won the 2012 edition of the race, his first victory since making his F1 return after a two-year hiatus, while Vettel led every lap to take his third win in Abu Dhabi in 2013.

The 2014 race was the final round of the season, with the World Championship on the line. For the first time ever, double points were awarded for the event. The change wasn't well received in the months leading up to the Grand Prix, and the system turned out to be a one-off.

Hamilton topped the first two practice sessions, but it was teammate Nico Rosberg who finished with the fastest time in third practice and qualifying.

Needing only a second-place finish to win his second title, Hamilton took the chequered flag ahead of the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.

Hamilton loses out on F1 title in 2016

The 2016 Formula 1 World Championship came down to the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi, with Mercedes teammates Hamilton and Rosberg battling it out for the prize.

Rosberg entered the race with a 12-point lead over Hamilton, while Mercedes had already clinched the Constructors' Championship thanks to a 226 points lead over Red Bull.

Although Hamilton started from pole and eventually won the race, Rosberg's second-place finish was enough to clinch his maiden Drivers' Championship.

It would prove to be his only F1 title, as Rosberg announced his retirement from the sport one week later.

Hamilton's subsequent dominance in the years that followed meant that the championship was not decided in Abu Dhabi again until the 2021 event.

A dramatic end to the 2021 title battle

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix again closed the season in 2021, and also acted as the title-deciding race after a season-long duel between Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Both drivers arrived into the weekend on equal points, meaning that it was all to play for in the race.

Verstappen took pole, with Hamilton alongside him on the front row, but it was the Mercedes driver who ultimately got ahead and looked to be on course to win. However, this all changed when Nicholas Latifi crashed in the Williams with just a few laps remaining, which prompted the Safety Car to be called.

During this period, Verstappen pitted for a fresh set of Soft tyres, whilst Hamilton remained out on track on older, Hard tyres. Lapped cars were initially told that they could not unlap themselves, but it was then announced that the five lapped cars between Verstappen and Hamilton would be allowed to do so.

When the Safety Car came into the pits with one lap remaining, Verstappen was able to catch Hamilton and overtake him, handing the Dutchman the win as well as his debut World Championship.

The manner in which the final laps of the race unfolded proved controversial, and the FIA went on to state that they would carry out an investigation into the events. In the months that followed, Race Director Michael Masi departed his role.

Most successful F1 drivers and teams

Lewis Hamilton leads the way with five wins at the Yas Marina Circuit, while Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen are both three-time winners of the event. Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg and Valtteri Bottas have all won the Abu Dhabi GP on one occasion.

As far as constructors go, Mercedes have won the race seven times, with Red Bull second on six victories. Lotus and McLaren have won the Grand Prix once each.

The 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Unlike at the 2021 event, both championships had already been wrapped up by Verstappen and Red Bull when F1 arrived in Abu Dhabi for the 2022 season finale.

It proved to be a straightforward race victory for Verstappen from pole position, marking the Dutchman's record-breaking 15th win of the campaign.

Behind him, Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc remained in a battle for P2 in the championship. Despite pressure from Perez in the latter stages, it was ultimately Leclerc who held onto P2 in the race and subsequently sealed the position in the Drivers' standings.

The event marked Sebastian Vettel's last Grand Prix in Formula 1 after announcing his retirement earlier in the season, with the four-time World Champion claiming a final point in P10.

When is the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on the F1 calendar?

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is scheduled to take place on the weekend of 24-26 November, and will be the 23rd and final race of the Formula 1 season. The first two free practice sessions will be held on 24 November, with qualifying on Saturday 25 November at 14:00 GMT.

What time does the 2023 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix start?

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix starts on Sunday 26 November at 13:00 GMT. The race can be followed live on RacingNews365's live blog.

Timetable Abu Dhabi GP

Session Date Time
Free practice 1 Friday 24 November -
Free practice 2 Friday 24 November -
Free practice 3 Saturday 25 November -
Qualification Saturday 25 November -
Race Sunday 26 November -
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