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F1: Top 5 Races Of All-time at the Abu Dhabi GP

George Howson
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
207   //    Timeless

The 2012 race was stunning, but does it top our list?
The 2012 race was stunning, but does it top our list?

To say that the Yas Marina Circuit is a controversial track on the F1 calendar would be an understatement. The venue has hosted the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix ever since it joined the Formula 1 schedule back in 2009 but attracted immediate criticism for its seemingly endless tarmac run-offs which failed to punish driver errors and its potentially dangerous pit-lane exit.

However, despite this, there have been some action-packed and historic races in the United Arab Emirates over the years. From nail-biting title deciders to stunning drives through the field, it’s had it all, and here’s our top 5.

2011 - Surprise Winner

Lewis Hamilton had a poor season in 2011 (by his standards) but a win in Abu Dhabi was a highlight
Lewis Hamilton had a poor season in 2011 (by his standards) but a win in Abu Dhabi was a highlight

When Sebastian Vettel qualified on pole for the 2011 race, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the recently-crowned double world champion was going to walk away to yet another win. After all, he had been victorious in both the inaugural race in 2009 and the following year, not to mention how dominant he’d been that campaign, with 11 wins in the previous 17 rounds.

Vettel didn't make it much further than the first lap, though, as he suffered a puncture in Turn 2 and was unable to continue. Lewis Hamilton inherited the lead and was chased by Fernando Alonso, who had gotten around both Mark Webber and Jenson Button in the first corner.

Hamilton was largely untroubled throughout the race, despite Alonso's best efforts. The standout driver of the day was probably Kamui Kobayashi, who went from 16th to 10th by the finish, and the Sauber man scored the final point on that day. Webber and Button locked horns again throughout the race, not too dissimilarly to how they did in 2009, although this time it was the Brit who came out on top, and he claimed the final podium spot.

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George Howson
ANALYST
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