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Key Stats: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The curtain falls on the F1 season this weekend in Abu Dhabi, in what will be its first GP. Webber dominated last time out in Brazil but the early indicators go against him this weekend.

Jensen Button


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Key Stats: Abu Dhabi Grand Pix

  • With one race remaining drivers qualifying in both fifth and eighth have an unblemished finishing record, completing all this seasons GPs. Fifth placed qualifiers have scored points in 14/16 races, finishing on the podium on four occasions and averaging 4.3 points per race. The pole sitter has finished 15 of the 16 races (Alonso retired in Hungary) finishing in the top three 13 times and at the top of the podium in nine.
  • Only nine of the 80 top five qualifiers this season have failed to finish, with 60% of the top three qualifiers finishing on the podium.
  • A Q2 qualifier has scored points in 13 of 16 races this season. The driver starting in 10th has scored points in only four of the last 12 races.
  • No one driver has qualified in the top-10 for every GP this season. Up until last weekend, Sebastian Vettel had been the only driver to have started top-10 in every race so far, but a rain affected qualifying session saw him fail to make it through Q1. Both Vettel and Rubens Barrichello have made the last qualifying session in 15 of the 16 races so far this season. Nick Heidfeld has gone out in Q2 56% of the time (the most often). Fernando Alonso has out-qualified his team-mate in all but one race and Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg and Sebastien Buemi in all but three.
  • Of the regular Q2 and Q3 qualifiers, newly crowned World Champion Jenson Button has the best record of any driver for improving on or equalling their qualifying position come Sunday, doing so in 13/16 races. Mark Webber has done so in 12/16 races. Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli have the worst record with a 7/16 record.
  • Jenson Button won six of the years first seven GPs, but has won none since. In the nine subsequent races, there have been five different winners but no successive winners.
  • The year’s World Champion has won nine of the last 20 final GP’s of the season and finished top three on 12 occasions. With an already crowned champion, winning five of the 11 GPs in this sample and retiring in four.
  • In the last 20 seasons, there are only five instances of the winner of the last GP having won the preceding race, though on 15 occasions  the victor in the final race was top three in the previous race (Webber, Kubica and Hamilton) – with 17/20 finishing previously in the top four (thus including Vettel).
  • In five of the last six seasons, the champion has not finished as strongly as his rivals (first once, second three times and third twice) during the last six GPs of the season. In the last five races Button (17pts) is only the fifth best driver, with Vettel (27pts), Raikkonen (24pts), Hamilton (22pts) and Barrichello (18pts) ahead of him.
  • The winner of the final race has only once in the last 20 seasons come from a driver outside the top five in the last-six GP table. In the last six seasons, only once has the finale been won by the best driver in this period, with half coming from the fourth best driver.
  • Nick Heidfeld went 41 races without a retirement between June 2007, when he retired at Indianapolis and race day 14 in Singapore, but has since retired in two of his last three races.
  • Of the drivers who have participated in at least 85% of the races Timo Glock is the only driver yet to retire this season. With Glock injured for Abu Dhabi, Lewis Hamilton, Giancarlo Fisichella, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello have all retired just once (Hamilton was disqualified after the Australian GP but did complete).
  • Jaime Alguersuari has had a torrid start to his F1 career and despite improvements in qualifying he has failed to finish four of his last five GPs, finishing last of the runners at Interlagos last time out.
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