WATCH: Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso skip attending the F1 racers’ dinner party ahead of Abu Dhabi GP 

A total of just 11 drivers were present at the annual driver's dinner meetup as Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso chose to skip the event.

WATCH: Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso skip attending the F1 racers’ dinner party ahead of Abu Dhabi GP 

F1 Drivers Dinner party at the Abu Dhabi GP (via X,@F1)

The drivers on the grid have crafted a tradition to meet up at a restaurant prior to the ultimate race of the season, the Abu Dhabi GP. Majority of the brightest drivers on the track have attended the dinner. However, other top-drivers like Max Verstappen, Fernando Alonso and others missed out on the traditional dinner.

In the image shared by Zhou Guanyu and posted by F1, it featured a total of 11 drivers. In his caption, Zhou Guanyu thanked the Alfa Romeo crew, his fans, and everyone offering continuous support. Additionally, the empty seat next to Lewis Hamilton could be a hint that someone was present before the picture was clicked.


The organizers did not see Max Verstappen, the reigning world champion, and Fernando Alonso, the oldest driver on the grid, at the traditional dinner party prior to the final race. There has been no official statement from the drivers about their absence at the meal. Ironically, the two drivers did attend the dinner party last year as it was on the occasion of Sebastian Vettel’s retirement from F1.

Additionally, the plates of the drivers were seen empty which suggested that the dinner was over and the drivers were ready to leave following the picture. Nevertheless, the attendance of the drivers was deficient as only 11 drivers were present and 9 others missed out on the annual occasion.

Other drivers who missed the Annual dinner party

In addition to Max Verstappen and Alonso, the other Red Bull driver Sergio Perez was also absent from the dinner party. Much like the other absentees, there was no clear indication as to why he was absent on the table. Additionally, The Papaya-squad drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri were also absent from the table for unknown reasons.

Annual Drivers Dinner in 2022 for including Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso.
Driver’s annual dinner prior to the 2022 Abu Dhabi GP where Max Verstappen and Fernando Alonso were present (via F1).

Further, the other drivers from the grid missing on the table were Esteban Ocon and Logan Sargeant. The two Haas drivers were also unseen at the table for yet another unknown reason. Despite the lack in attendance this year, Hamilton took out the drivers for the dinner the last time around and there was a table full of the drivers on the grid back in 2022. The tradition of the drivers meet up and dinner at the ultimate race of the season seems like a pretty happy and sweet gesture.

After enduring a long season of 22 or 24 races, the drivers inevitably feel tired and frustrated. This event appears to be a great opportunity for them to release some steam and build bonds with the other drivers who compete alongside them on the grid. Fans look forward to Max Verstappen and other drivers on the grid to attend the annual dinner tradition.

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