Track name: Yas Marina Circuit
Location: Abu Dhabi
First race: 2009
Total number of race laps: 55
Complete race distance: 305.355 kilometers (189.739 miles)
Circuit length: 5.554km/3.451 miles (7th longest of the season)
2015 winner: Nico Rosberg, 55 laps, 1:38:30.175
2015 pole position: Nico Rosberg, 1:40.237
2015 fastest lap: Lewis Hamilton, 1:44.517 (on lap 44)
Pit lane speed limit: 80 kph (50 mph)
Pitlane length: 360m/0.224 miles, estimated time loss 22s
Fastest corner: 260km/h (162mph), Turn Two
Slowest corner: 72km/h (45mph), Turn Seven
Distance to Turn One: 300m/0.186 miles
Longest straight: 1.2km/0.746 miles, on the approach to the Turn Eight
Key corner: Turn Seven, a non-descript left-hand hairpin. But for all its benign characteristics, the corner is crucial because the longest straight on the lap follows. You need a good exit to maximise what becomes the first DRS zone and one of the best overtaking opportunities on the lap
Top speed: 335km/h/208mph, on the approach to Turn Eight
Full throttle: 60 per cent
DRS zones: Two, on the approach to Turns Eight and 11
Fuel consumption: 1.81kg per lap, which is relatively high
ERS demands: Medium. There are several slow corners around the lap where ERS deployment is crucial at the exit. But there are lots of braking zones around the lap in which to regain energy under braking
Brake wear: High. There are 13 braking zones around the lap, which means 18 per cent of the lap is spent braking. Braking forces peak at 5.09g on the approach to Turn Eight
Gear changes: 68 per lap/3,740 per race
Grip levels: Medium
Smallest winning margin: 0.852s, in 2012. This was the infamous race won by Kimi Räikkönen, who announced over the radio, 'Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing!' Kimi inherited the lead from Lewis Hamilton after the McLaren driver retired with a fuel pump failure. A Safety Car with 13 laps remaining closed up the field and led to a thrilling dice between Räikkönen and Alonso.
The 5.554-kilometer (3.451-mile), 21-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 2009, with this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix serving as the venue’s eighth grand prix.
Sebastian Vettel holds the race lap record at Yas Marina Circuit (1:40.279), set in 2009 with Red Bull Racing.
Lewis Hamilton holds the qualifying lap record at the Yas Marina Circuit (1:38.434), set in 2011 with McLaren in Q2.
The Yas Marina Circuit is a showplace, and it should be considering it is widely believed to be the most expensive Formula One track ever built, with some estimates topping $1 billion. It is a purpose-built facility on a man-made island and it is one of the many new Formula One circuits designed by Hermann Tilke.
It is less than a decade old and it features a counter-clockwise layout that boasts a top speed of 325 kph (202 mph) and an average speed of 190 kph (118 mph). It has nine right turns and 12 left turns on a waterfront course that rivals Monaco and Singapore.
Its extravagance and uniqueness is best highlighted by these attributes: the pit lane exit passes underneath the circuit via a tunnel and the garages are air-conditioned.
Yas Marina has a powerful lighting system as it is the only twilight race on the calendar. It starts in daylight and finishes at night, presenting the drivers with the unique challenge of having to contend with bright sunshine at the start of the race and darkness later on.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the second F1 race in the Middle East, after Bahrain, but Abu Dhabi quickly established itself as a popular race with teams, drivers and spectators alike. The teams conduct a lot of testing at the track, with Pirelli staying on after the race to conduct some 2017 tyre testing at the end of November.
Did you know…
…that Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s fastest roller-coaster? Located inside Ferrari World, the Formula Rossa ride reaches 240 kph (150 mph) in less than five seconds and climbs to 52 meters (171 feet) to create 4.8Gs for its riders. And if emulating a drive in a Formula One car isn’t your thing, you can go downhill skiing despite Abu Dhabi’s average November temperature of 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates offers indoor, downhill skiing with 3,000 square meters of snow (32,292 square feet) and an 85-meter high (279 foot) mountain.
…that six of the 21 corners at the Yas Marina circuit are taken at less than 100km/h? Only Monaco and Singapore have more.
Drivers will need to watch out for…
…the changes in track temperature. The asphalt can cool by as much as 15 degrees during the race, once the sun has gone down. That can alter the balance of the car and make life tricky for the drivers. During the race, lows range from 18-20 degrees Celsius to highs of 26-27 degrees Celsius. Relative humidity ranges from 29 percent (dry) to 83 percent (humid), with a dew point varying from 10 degrees Celsius to 22 degrees Celsius. The dew point is rarely below 6 degrees or above 24 degrees. Typical wind speeds vary from 0-23 kph and rarely exceeding 55 kph
A lap around the Yas Marina Circuit…
Coming down into turn one, 90-degree corner, very nice entry starting the lap. You approach with full speed in turns two, three and four, which is almost flat out. Approaching into turn five, you enter with a lot of speed, going deep into the braking but, at the same time, optimizing the line into turn six and preparing everything for the hairpin in turn seven, which is one of the most important exits of all. Coming down into one of the longest straights of the track, down into turn eight, very high braking, it’s important to be very consistent between (turns) eight and nine, keeping a very nice balance. You always try to get the nice traction out of turn nine, which is always quite tricky. Coming down through turn 10 into turn 11 for the chicane, which is quite an interesting corner. You want to get the right apex at turn 11 because it’s important to then follow through (turns) 12 and 13. A very challenging corner is (turn) 14 because you have off-banking, which makes the car slide a bit. It’s quite tricky. You come flat out into turns 15 and 16 and you brake with a lot of lateral braking, which is usually quite important to set the brakes correctly. Turn 17 is a 90-degree corner, and (turns) 18 and 19 are a bit similar to (turn) 14 which is a bit off-banking, so it’s quite challenging to get the right grip. Very high-speed corner into (turn) 20, medium- to high-speed corner, which is important to have a good rhythm. Then you come into (turn) 21 with the tyres completely overheated and trying to get the right grip for the exit onto the start-finish line.