Nico Rosberg signed off a strong end to the 2015 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi with his sixth win of the season. Those aren’t the only numbers that make interesting reading though…
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– Nico Rosberg’s victory in Abu Dhabi stopped Lewis Hamilton securing his 44th victory in car #44 on the 44th UAE National Day. It did, however, mark the first time Rosberg has scored three victories on the bounce since he was crowned Formula BMW champion in 2002.
– Rosberg also signed off the 2015 F1 season with his six consecutive pole position, another personal F1 record. Should he also nab pole at the opening two races next season, he will equal the record set by Ayrton Senna (eight) between the 1988 Spanish Grand Prix and the 1989 United States GP.
– The German’s victory was the 14th of his F1 career, elevating him to joint 18th in the all-time list alongside F1 legends Emerson Fittipaldi, Graham Hill and Sir Jack Brabham. He still has quite a long way go through to emulate Hamilton who currently sits on 43. It’s a total that makes Hamilton not only the most successful British F1 driver in history (he lies 23 wins ahead of compatriot Nigel Mansell) but also places him 3rd on the all-time winners list behind only Michael Schumacher (91) and Alain Prost (51).
– Nico Rosberg joins only three other drivers as a winner of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Sebastien Vettel heads the list with three following victories in 2009, 2010 and 2013, Hamilton is close behind having taken the chequered flag in 2011 and 2014, while Kimi Raikkonen’s 2012 victory is the last to-date for the Lotus F1 Team.
– That by the way makes Germany the most successful nation at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, courtesy of four wins combined for Rosberg and Vettel and two for Red Bull Racing. Austria is just one behind on three, again courtesy of Vettel.
– The Mercedes victory also brought Red Bull Racing’s time as the only repeat victories in Abu Dhabi GP history to an end, following Hamilton’s victory last year. It also puts the German manufacturer 6th on F1’s all-time winners list, just six behind Red Bull.
– This wasn’t the only record Mercedes was vying for this weekend though. The team’s 16th race victory this season equals the record for most wins by a manufacturer in a single season, a record the team set last season. Second place for Hamilton means Mercedes also sets a new record for the highest number of 1-2 finishes in a season with 12. It also marked the 32nd podium for Mercedes in a single season, yet another record.
– Only 20 cars in the field this year means the record for the highest number of finishers at the flag was not going to be broken (21 in 2010 and 2013). Retirement for Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado though also means the record for fewest number of finishers in Abu Dhabi is secure at 17, courtesy of non-finishes for Nico Hulkenberg, Narain Karthikeyan, Hamilton, Mark Webber, Romain Grosjean, Charles Pic and Rosberg in 2012.
– Despite being a 32-time Grand Prix winner, Fernando Alonso has never finished higher than second in Abu Dhabi, courtesy of his runner-up spots in 2011 and 2012. To make matters worse, Alonso was also outscored by a teammate for the first time in his illustrious career, 11 points to 15. The ‘culprit’? Jenson Button, who incidentally pulled the same trick on Lewis Hamilton when they were McLaren teammates in 2011.
– Alonso’s clash with Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado on lap one spelled the end of a poor season for the Venezuelan: not only was Abu Dhabi the sixth time this year that his race has ended on the first lap, it also means Maldonado completed less kilometres this year (3827km) than anyone else bar Manor’s Roberto Mehri and Alexander Rossi, neither of whom raced the full season.
– Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap of the race in Abu Dhabi in 2015. His 1m 44.517s though lies some distance off the 1m 40.279s lap record Sebastian Vettel set back in 2009.
– Nico Rosberg’s run to the flag from pole position marks only the second time in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix history that the polesitter has gone on to win (the first being Sebastien Vettel in 2010).
– Kimi Raikkonen’s third place for Ferrari behind the two Mercedes drivers mean that only nine drivers have appeared on the podium during the event’s seven-year run: Rosberg, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Vettel, Jenson Button, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso, Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa.
– Raikkonen did at least have something to smile about (or his best interpretation at least): Abu Dhabi marked his third podium visit of the year and elevated him to 4th in the final standings, his best since finishing 3rd overall in 2012.
– ‘Just’ 65 races stand between this weekend and the 1000th official Grand Prix in Formula 1 history. Expect that in the early stages of 2018.
*Shots courtesy of David Benson