The 18th Formula One Grand Prix has come to United Arab Emirates which means the Asian F1 series is over. Being one of the most unique circuit, the circuit is built on Yas Marina Island, a 2500 hectares artificial island with the iconic Ferrari World. The circuit is designed to be like the Arabic version of Monaco and Singapore, a twisty circuit surrounded by amazing architectures like the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel.
Like a typical street circuit, there are 21 corners in one lap of Yas Marina Circuit but with two long straights for DRS activation. Generally, it is still a slow circuit as one lap takes about 1 minute 40 seconds, almost as slow as Singapore Marina Bay Street Circuit. The circuit has a number of potential overtaking spots, at Turn 5/6 before the hairpin at Turn 7, at Turn 8 at the end of long straight DRS zone and at Turn 11, also at the end of another long straight DRS zone. Grip level is generally high as the high grip surface material is being used. The circuit is well balanced and that’s why Yas Marina Circuit is chosen for testing. Pirelli has allocated P Zero Medium and Soft tyres for the race due to the twisty and high-downforce circuit. Many has regarded Yas Marina Circuit as a Red Bull Racing circuit since Red Bull F1 cars are considered to have the most downforce. A good mechanical balance is also very important here due to the rapid changing directions.
The race is first debuted in 2009 and has also won by Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton. As in Singapore, both drivers have a very good pace in a similar circuit. In India, both Red Bull and McLaren also locked out the front row in the qualifying session and race. So, we might see a similar front row lock out again in Abu Dhabi. Qualifying is more important here since overtaking is quite difficult in the race. With 3 more races to go in this season, Ferrari and McLaren are still challenging Red Bull in the constructors’ standings and we will see what improvements can both teams bring to Abu Dhabi.
Lap Record : 1:40.279 – Sebastian Vettel (2009)