formula 1

Image via @HaasF1Team

Formula 1: Important numbers from the Abu Dhabi finale

Carlos Sainz scored the one point he needed for sixth, a four-point swing cost Lando Norris and Haas’ eight and 20 are more than just car numbers.

formula 1

Image via @HaasF1Team

Formula 1 bid farewell to the 2019 season with a meaningful late pass from Carlos Sainz, the fulfilment of a prophecy for Haas and the extension of Nico Hulkenberg’s unwanted record.

One if the magic number for Sainz

Carlos Sainz needed to out-score Pierre Gasly by just one point in Abu Dhabi to grab sixth place in the Drivers’ Championship.

Lance Stroll gave him a helping hand as he hit the Toro Rosso driver at the start, leading to a broken front wing, an early pit stop and a miserable afternoon for Gasly.

All Sainz had to do was finish inside the top ten.

He initially made life difficult for himself, chasing Nico Hulkenberg before opting for a second pit stop and fresh tyres to hunt down the German.

Stuck behind the Renault for several laps, Sainz made the pass on the very last lap to take 10th place on the day and sixth in the Drivers’ standings.

He became the first non-Mercedes, Ferrari or Red Bull driver to finish inside the top six since 2015.

Three new records for Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton not only won the season-ending race by a massive 16.7s over Max Verstappen, but he set three new records while doing on.

At the end of a season in which he became only the second driver in F1 history to win six World Champions, the applause continued to thunder down on Hamilton at the Yas Marina circuit.

Leading the grand prix from start to finish, Hamilton brought his tally of races led in 2019 up to 19. A new record. The only grands prix in which he didn’t lead a single lap were Australia and Italy.

Added to that he broke his own record for most points scored in a single season, beating last year’s 408 with a 413.

The Brit is now also on the only man to have scored points in every race of a season on two occasions. He did it in 2017 and again this year.

Four-point swing keeps Norris out of the top ten

Sergio Perez and Lando Norris went into the Yas Marina race separated by one point in the Racing Point driver’s favour. A spot inside the top ten was up for grabs.

Norris held the advantage for much of the race and led Perez into the final few laps, P7 to the Mexican driver’s P8.

If the positions had stayed as they were, Norris would have taken tenth place in the standings.

Perez, though, put in a pass that he has billed as “one of the best of my career” to take the position off the McLaren driver.

While Norris defended the inside line at Turn 11 on the final lap, Perez went the long way around the outside.

In doing so there was four-point swing with Perez securing a top ten finish by three points.

It’s #8 and 20 for Haas

Neither Haas driver scored a single point at the Yas Marina circuit but in doing so they made Formula 1 history.

Back in 1974 F1’s powers-that-be decided to introduce car numbers based on the position from the previous year’s championship. That was changed in 2014 when the drivers got to pick their own numbers.

Romain Grosjean chose #8, and Kevin Magnussen #20.

This season that became prophetic with their scoreless Abu Dhabi weekend, Grosjean finishing on eight points and Magnussen 20.

It is the first time in history that both team-mates’ points tally matched their car numbers.

13 and out for Scuderia Toro Rosso

Scuderia Toro Rosso is no more with the Faenza team officially becoming Scuderia Alpha Tauri in the wake of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

After 13 seasons in Formula 1 with one race win, one pole position, one fastest lap and three podiums, the Toro Rosso name it out of the game.

Earlier this year the team’s owner, Red Bull, asked permission from the FIA to change the team’s name to Scuderia Alpha Tauri – a Red Bull clothing brand.

That was officially confirmed in Abu Dhabi when the FIA released the provisional 2020 entry list.

50k fine for Ferrari’s fuel breach

Ferrari were slapped with a €50,000 (R811,254) fine by the FIA for contravening a Technical Directive relating to fuel amounts at the Abu Dhabi race.

At the beginning of this year, F1’s head of single-seater matters Nikolas Tombazis issued a Technical Directive to all the teams in which he ruled that they had to declare the amount of fuel in each car 40 minutes before the start of a grand prix.

The fuel amount had to include what will be used on the pre-race reconnaissance laps, the formation lap and the during the grand prix.

Leclerc’s SF90 was found to be 4.88kg out on Sunday.

The FIA announced a post-race investigation which the likes of Red Bull team boss Christian Horner stated would see the Monégasque driver disqualified after the race.

Instead, the stewards decided to fine Ferrari as it was an TD that was broken. Leclerc held onto his podium finish.

177 starts without a podium for Hulkenberg

Nico Hulkenberg hung up his Formula 1 helmet after 55 laps in Abu Dhabi, his career over – at least for now.

Sunday’s race was the German’s 177th start in Formula 1, and, unfortunately for him, meant his unwanted record once again increased.

Back at the 2017 Singapore Grand Prix, which he didn’t finish, Hulkenberg took over from Adrian Sutil as the driver with the most F1 career starts without a single podium finish.

P12 in Abu Dhabi, Hulkenberg not only failed to score in his final grand prix but also called it quits on a nine-year racing career without having ever tasted the podium champagne.