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Staggering 27-year F1 streak BROKEN at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Staggering 27-year F1 streak BROKEN at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

F1 News

Staggering 27-year F1 streak BROKEN at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Staggering 27-year F1 streak BROKEN at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw a long-standing Formula 1 record broken as FP1 played host to the first session in 27 years without a champion on the track.

With Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso on the sidelines in the first practice session, it meant that there were no champions on the circuit for the first time since the 1996 French Grand Prix.

Michael Schumacher failed to start the 1996 French Grand Prix due to a mechanical issue

There had been a champion scheduled to race that day in 1996, but Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher suffered an engine failure on the formation lap – preventing him from taking the start.

While Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve and Mika Hakkinen all raced too, they were not yet F1 champions.

READ MORE: Christian Horner: The Red Bull giant and ‘Drive to Survive’ star

Future talent looms

The next four championships were won by the trio before Schumacher went on a historic streak of dominance with Ferrari.

FP1 gave teams the opportunity to test young drivers in their cars – ones that could go on to become champions much like Hill, Villeneuve and Hakkinen.

Jack Doohan tests the Alpine A523 during FP1 for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Frederik Vesti, who drove for Mercedes and is vying for the F2 title this weekend, could be the next of the young drivers who tested on Friday to make their way onto the grid with an opening at Williams still up for grabs.

He won Saturday's F2 sprint race - his sixth victory of the season, which massively boosts his chances at a drive and championship.

READ MORE: F1 Team Principals: Who are the men in charge in 2023?

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