2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix interactive data: lap charts, times and tyres

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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What played out on track may not, ultimately, be what decides the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The world championship decision appears to be heading to the International Court of Appeal as Mercedes fume over the handling of a late-race Safety Car period.

Lewis Hamilton held the upper hand until that point, thanks to a quick start which got his medium-tyres Mercedes ahead of the soft-shod Red Bull. He drew out a significant gap over the Red Bull while Verstappen’s tyres faded.

Although radio messages from drivers are sometimes a touch theatrical in describing the state of their tyres, there’s no question that by the time Verstappen pitted on lap 14 he was losing significant chunks of time as his softs cried enough.

Hamilton, on mediums, wasn’t. Nonetheless Mercedes, risking nothing, chose to pit him to cover off a two-stop strategy for Verstappen.

Team mate Valtteri Bottas showed how much longer Hamilton could have gone, running more than half the length of the grand prix before pitting. Bottas had made a poor start, losing a place to Yuki Tsunoda, but ultimately his stint shows that Hamilton could have stayed out to reinforce an overcut, rather than worrying about covering off a two-stop.

Sergio Perez, Lewis Hamilton , Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 2021
Perez put a brake on Hamilton’s progress
Given the championship situation, Mercedes decided not to risk this. Perhaps they would had let him go a little longer had they known Sergio Perez would cost him well over five seconds in a single lap.

Verstappen ended up pitting three times, taking advantage of VSC and Safety Car periods in the second half of the race, the latter ultimately proving deeply controversial. He wasn’t the only driver with an unexpected pit stop strategy – Lando Norris, as in Qatar, had to pit with a slow puncture. Moments before he would’ve been able to do so with relatively little impact, when the safety car came out.

Yuki Tsunoda had a very successful grand prix, as did AlphaTauri team mate Pierre Gasly. Gasly started outside the top 10 and finished fifth, while Tsunoda’s fourth place marks his best F1 result.

Third-place finisher Carlos Sainz Jnr also had an excellent race, ultimately benefitting from Sergio Perez’ late-race retirement to take the podium position – but his team mate Charles Leclerc did not, ending up falling down the order via an ill-timed pit stop after his lap times plummeted, struggling with scrubbed tyres from a lock-up after avoiding Verstappen rejoining from the pit lane.

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix lap chart

The positions of each driver on every lap. Click name to highlight, right-click to reset. Toggle drivers using controls below:

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race chart

The gaps between each driver on every lap compared to the leader’s average lap time. Very large gaps omitted. Scroll to zoom, drag to pan and right-click to reset. Toggle drivers using controls below:

Position change

DriverStart positionLap one position changeRace position change
Lewis Hamilton210
Valtteri Bottas6-20
Max Verstappen1-10
Sergio Perez41-11
Lando Norris3-2-4
Daniel Ricciardo100-2
Lance Stroll13-10
Sebastian Vettel1504
Esteban Ocon900
Fernando Alonso1103
Charles Leclerc71-3
Carlos Sainz Jnr512
Pierre Gasly1207
Yuki Tsunoda814
Kimi Raikkonen181
Antonio Giovinazzi141
Mick Schumacher1915
Nikita Mazepin20
George Russell17-2
Nicholas Latifi160

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix lap times

All the lap times by the drivers (in seconds, very slow laps excluded). Scroll to zoom, drag to pan and toggle drivers using the control below:

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix fastest laps

Each driver’s fastest lap:

RankDriverCarFastest lapGapOn lap
1Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’26.10339
2Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’26.4190.31651
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’26.6150.51243
4Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’26.7620.65958
5Valtteri BottasMercedes1’26.8620.75951
6Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’27.3421.23949
7Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’27.4961.39350
8Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’27.6071.50458
9Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’27.6181.51551
10Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’28.2492.14658
11Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’28.3032.20058
12Charles LeclercFerrari1’28.3382.23541
13Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’28.5672.46448
14Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’28.7232.62048
15Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’29.2933.19030
16Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’29.4423.33933
17Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’29.4573.35442
18Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’29.6983.59523
19George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’30.6474.54423

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tyre strategies

The tyre strategies for each driver:

Stint 1Stint 2Stint 3Stint 4
Max VerstappenC5 (13)C3 (23)C3 (17)C5 (5)
Lewis HamiltonC4 (14)C3 (44)
Carlos Sainz JnrC5 (19)C3 (39)
Yuki TsunodaC4 (23)C3 (30)C5 (5)
Pierre GaslyC3 (36)C4 (22)C5 (4)
Valtteri BottasC4 (30)C3 (28)
Lando NorrisC5 (17)C3 (31)C4 (10)
Fernando AlonsoC3 (36)C4 (22)
Esteban OconC5 (15)C3 (43)
Charles LeclercC5 (15)C3 (20)C4 (23)
Sebastian VettelC4 (23)C3 (35)
Daniel RicciardoC5 (18)C3 (34)C5 (5)
Lance StrollC4 (21)C3 (31)C5 (5)
Mick SchumacherC5 (10)C3 (42)C5 (5)
Sergio PerezC5 (21)C3 (15)C3 (17)C5 (2)
Nicholas LatifiC4 (28)C3 (22)
Antonio GiovinazziC4 (17)C3 (16)
George RussellC4 (26)
Kimi RaikkonenC4 (21)C3 (4)

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2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix pit stop times

How long each driver’s pit stops took:

DriverTeamPit stop timeGapOn lap
1Max VerstappenRed Bull21.15213
2Charles LeclercFerrari21.1730.02135
3Sebastian VettelAston Martin21.2210.06923
4Nicholas LatifiWilliams21.2410.08928
5Fernando AlonsoAlpine21.3040.15236
6Lando NorrisMcLaren21.3800.22817
7Sergio PerezRed Bull21.3850.23353
8Sergio PerezRed Bull21.4130.26136
9Daniel RicciardoMcLaren21.4490.29718
10Max VerstappenRed Bull21.4530.30153
11Sergio PerezRed Bull21.4710.31921
12Lewis HamiltonMercedes21.5950.44314
13Valtteri BottasMercedes21.6690.51730
14Esteban OconAlpine21.6770.52515
15Max VerstappenRed Bull21.8710.71936
16Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri21.9090.75753
17Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri21.9200.76854
18Daniel RicciardoMcLaren22.0560.90452
19Mick SchumacherHaas22.0700.91852
20Mick SchumacherHaas22.1240.97210
21Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri22.1330.98136
22Lando NorrisMcLaren22.1731.02148
23Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari22.2131.06119
24Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo22.2831.13117
25Lance StrollAston Martin22.2881.13621
26Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo22.3381.18621
27Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri22.4551.30323
28Charles LeclercFerrari22.4611.30915
29Lance StrollAston Martin22.6611.50952

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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13 comments on “2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix interactive data: lap charts, times and tyres”

  1. Any confirmation on the reason for Perez’s retirement from a podium position?
    Shame for Tsunoda that his best finish of his career to date will be largely forgotten given everything else going on. He did well to keep Bottas behind for so long.

    1. Verstappen and Red Bull are very lucky the reliability issue was with Perez’s car not his.

      Bottas’s old engine looked every bit as slow as Mercedes claimed when racing Leclerc and Norris. Interesting that he lost out to both Alpha Tauris on the last lap.

      Sainz can consider himself very unlucky not to have been given a chance to pick up the pieces from Hamilton and Verstappens scrap on the last lap.
      Would have been his one and only chance of a race win this season.
      Particularlyy as Hamilton would have backed Verstappen into him in normal circumstances. However Ferrari would have nothing to gain by appealing.

      1. I believe sainz got plenty this season, leclerc deserved a win (silverstone, monaco, but that was his own fault in part ofc, and also an interesting attempt in turkey).

      2. Conspiracy theory that Perez was running underfueled, being sacrificed for his role as blocker. When told to park the car ( for water/oil issues ), he replied that the car felt fine. Secondly, if all was legal, why not run the car into the ground, since it was for podium, and also the last race of the year. My impression is that the team never planned to have him finish. You ‘d think that he’d be more upset by losing third place, instead of stone faced, during post race interviews.

        1. someone or something
          13th December 2021, 8:58

          Like virtually all conspiracy theories, this one lacks brains. So, shame on you for peddling it.
          Pérez retired 3 laps from the end, so even if his tank were running dry at that stage, the fact that he completed 55 laps means that he could only have been underfuelled by a maximum of 6.5 kg, the equivalent of 0.1 seconds per lap or up to 6 seconds over a race distance.
          I hope I don’t need to spell out how little sense such a small-scale manipulation would make.

          Also, linking the retirement to concerns about legality is offensively stupid. If his car were really underfuelled, it would’ve stopped on the track, end of story. Nothing to be afraid of, no post-race scrutineering, nothing. Running out of fuel isn’t even illegal, you can just get thrown out ouf the results if you have too little fuel in the tank for a fuel sample. Seeing as you only need (about?) a kilo of fuel for that, there was either no risk of him seeing the chequered flag, or the amount of fuel he was supposedly (according to that rubbish theory) missing would again have to be so small as to be completely ineffective in terms of getting Pérez in Hamilton’s way.

          And lastly, Pérez’s impression that the car felt fine has absolutely nothing to do with a water or oil leak. That’s just how you’d expect the car to feel in such a situation. Everything seems fine until a threshold is reached where things start failing, and that’s when you grind to a halt. Experienced drivers can be sensitive to surprisingly many performance-relevant parameters, but this is simply not one of them.
          If anything, this is reminiscent of the prevention paradox: An authority (in this case the Red Bull pitwall) can see an issue coming and steps in to prevent it from taking full effect. As a result, those that don’t have the full picture can only see the intervention, but not the full extent of the issue that caused it.
          And that’s when the logically challenged chime in to claim that there was no issue, or that the issue was a different one than the authority says, and that the whole reason for the authority’s intervention was [conspiracy].

          Like I said, this is offensively stupid.

    2. Most likerly Perez was under fueled and running illegal an illegal car so he could do his role of swerving kamikaze blocks on Lewis as the car.
      He was forced to DNF so his car couldn’t be scrutinized post race.

      That’s my theory

      1. someone or something
        13th December 2021, 21:41

        I’d like to quote the eloquently worded quintessence of my assessment of the very same conspiracy theory from above:

        this is offensively stupid.

        For more information, see above.

  2. About time Masi’s fingers begin to show up on the lap chart.

  3. I wonder why Mercedes didn’t pit Lewis on end of lap 37 (the lap after Max pitted). The VSC was active until Hamilton was on the pit straight and had already started lap 38 (His lap 38 time is 1:30.xx, indicates at least 3.5-4 seconds of loss compared to his pre-VSC times).

    Had he stopped, his pit stop wouldn’t have been as cheap as Verstappen’s – which was a full VSC stop – but a part-VSC, part-SC stop. Hamilton had a 5.7 second buffer which could have been sufficient to nullify this part-VSC, part-SC stop. He would have come out may be just ahead of Max. I felt it was a no-brainer to pit after Max pitted.

    One must not forget that the 3 strategy options that Red Bull implemented – 1) keeping Checo out, 2) stop under VSC, 3) stop under SC (the last of which was ultimately successful) – were available only because Bottas wasn’t in the picture and Perez was. Had Bottas been around, Max couldn’t have pitted for hards so early which meant losing more time to Hamilton. The safe VSC and SC stop could perhaps have not been there if Bottas would be behind Max. Also, the lap 20 loss of 5 seconds that Hamilton had due to Perez closed off the lap 36 / lap 37 VSC pit window for Lewis.

    The team-mates made a huge huge difference today. Max owes this race to Checo.

    1. I agree about the teammate factor – Bottas was nowhere and it cost Mercedes strategically.

      I don’t think Mercedes had a safe gap to pit under VSC, and given their general persecution complex (as demonstrated by their shameful tantrum about the race end) they probably thought the VSC would be withdrawn as soon as Hamilton crossed the pit entry line, if they’d pitted him.

      1. or because LH had enough tyres to finish the race and didnt need to pit so didnt need to give up his advantage, seeing how when the SC came out at the end he was 12 secs ahead with max to still pass 3 back markers it was very unlikely max would have got a sniff, unless he was going to pull out some soft quali laps on tyres he was aleady struggling on?

        Its only because of the rules made on the last two laps of a race during a safety which meant those who had back markers in the way couldnt push to place better, unless your name was MV. That was also the only reason he even got with in a sniff of LH

    2. I also wonder if Hamilton could have pitted on lap 53 and possibly retained track position. He had a 12s lead, which we all know wasn’t enough normal racing conditions. But with the field slowing down because of the safety car, everyone on track had to slow down as well, somewhat negating the disadvantage of the pitlane speed limit.

  4. It is my belief that Perez was retired to get him out of the picture. After Latifi crashed and Max pitted for softs, the race order was HAM, PER, SAI, BOT, TSU, GAS, NOR, VER, etc.
    Red Bull were pressuring Masi to get a racing lap in before the finish and any cars between HAM and VER were a potential delay, even if unlapping was allowed.
    As it was, Masi reversed his edict that lapped cars could not unlap but only those between HAM and VER (odd). As a consequence that meant that VET, ALO and OCO were prevented from contesting the lower order points on the last lap as they now finished on their lap 57 when the chequered flag came out.
    It was a strange decision by Masi and a contraventiion of the rules governing tbe end of a Safety Car period.

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