Abu Dhabi hosts the 18th round of the 2012 Formula One World Championship with teams making the short trip from India to the Yas Marina Circuit. F1’s only day/night race has been a great success in its three previous runnings, with the organisers entertaining the crowd with a good selection of support races and other attractions. Inside the F1 paddock, the Yas Marina Circuit has developed a good reputation – both for its compact arrangement and convivial atmosphere but also with the quality of its garage and circuit facilities, which have been instrumental in it becoming a venue for the young drivers’ test which will take place in the days following the Grand Prix.
YMC has three very different sectors. High-speed turns dominate the start of the lap, down to the chicane and hairpin at Turn Seven. After that, the middle part of the lap has two very long straights separated by a heavy braking zone into a slow-speed chicane. The end of the lap around the harbour has been deliberately designed to mimic Monaco, and like that circuit is mostly slow speed and highly technical.
YMC demands a little bit of everything in terms of set-up. It has the second-longest straight in F1 so demands good top speed; it features heavy braking and a varied selection of cornering speeds requiring good traction and high downforce. It suggests a wider array of set-up options, though compared to the last three races it does not place such a premium on high-speed cornering ability.
Famously the 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix saw Sebastian Vettel crowned after a tense season finale into which he went lying third in a championship, 15 points behind Fernando Alonso and seven behind Mark Webber. The finishing order in India last week ensured the Drivers’ Championship cannot be claimed at Yas this year – but Red Bull go into the race with a good chance of taking the Constructors’ Championship.
YAS MARINA CIRCUIT
Length of lap:
(Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing, 2009)
Start line/finish line offset:
0.115km Total number of race laps:
55 Total race distance:
305.355km Pitlane speed limits:
60km/h during practice and qualifying, 100km/h during the race
Changes to the circuit since 2011
► Higher kerbs, similar to those on the apex of turns eight and nine, have been installed on the apexes of turns five, six, 12, 13, 14, 18 and 19..
Abu Dhabi GP
► Abu Dhabi is unique on the F1 calendar being a (scheduled) twilight race. Beyond the aesthetic impact of a race which starts in sunshine and finished under artificial light, the primary effect on racing is that track temperatures typically fall as the race progresses – which presents an unusual variable for tyre strategists to consider.
► When the lights are turned on, Yas Marina becomes the largest lit permanent sports venue in the world. Unlike some other sports where lighting will be switched on as required during a day/night event, for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the lights are on from the start of the later sessions to ensure a consistent level of illumination for the drivers.
► Unique among F1 circuits, Yas Marina features a run-off area that extends under a permanent spectator viewing area. Cars approaching Turn Eight brake from above 300kph down to less than 100kph and for those that don’t managed this successfully, the escape road extends out under the West Grandstand.
► The Yas Viceroy hotel, under which the track passes, is very difficult to miss. Its distinctive illumination is the product of 5,389 pivoting LED panels.
► Sebastian Vettel’s victory in India last week was his fourth in succession. He previously managed that feat between the Brazilian Grand Prix of 2010 and the Malaysian Grand Prix of 2011. Of the current field, Jenson Button won four in a row between the Bahrain and Turkish Grands Prix of 2009. Fernando Alonso managed four straight wins in 2006 and Michael Schumacher had a run of seven (and another of five) in 2004, six across 2000/1 and four in 2002 and 1994. Discounting the Indy500, Alberto Ascari managed nine straight wins across 1952/3.
► Vettel has now led grands prix for 205 consecutive laps, taking the lead of the Singapore Grand Prix on lap 23 and leading from the end of lap one to the chequered flag in Japan, Korea and India. He is exactly 100 laps behind Ascari’s all-time record.
► Fourth and fifth in India saw McLaren score points for the 55th consecutive race, equalling the record held by Ferrari. McLaren’s run started at the 2010 Australian Grand Prix. A top-ten finish at Yas Marina will see it set a new benchmark.
► Renault recorded their 150th victory as an engine supplier in India. They have 35 victories in the back of Renault’s own cars; 64 with Williams; 12 with Benetton; 5 with Lotus and now 34 with Red Bull.
► Red Bull can win the Formula One Constructors’ Championship this weekend. They currently lead Ferrari by 91 points and McLaren by 101. They need to leave Abu Dhabi with a lead of 86 points (or 87 points if McLaren win the race) to be confirmed as champions. Of the many permutations possible, the minimum result Red Bull need to be guaranteed the Championship is first/eighth or second/third.
Abu Dhabi GP
FIA WORLD COUNCIL MEMBER; HONORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SWEDISH AUTOMOBILE SPORT FEDERATION
Swede Lars Österlind is a highly experienced FIA steward, who has officiated at more than 100 grands prix and a similar number of World Rally Championship rounds. A social sciences graduate and lifelong motor sport enthusiast, Österlind was President of the Swedish Rally Commission from 1978-1982, then President of the Swedish Automobile Sport Federation from 1982-1996. He became honorary president in 1996 and has been a member of the FIA World Council since 1984. Outside motor sport Österlind has specialised in management, working as a management consultant and pursuing his own business interests. He is also experienced in local government at city council level.
SEC. GENERAL OF THE ACCR (AUTOCLUB OF THE CZECH REPUBLIC); WORLD MOTOR SPORT COUNCIL MEMBER
Radovan Novak has been actively involved in motorsport since 1963 and rose to become Secretary General of the ACCR in 1990. Since 1991 he has held the role of President of the FIA Central Europe Zone and over the past two decades he has acted as a steward and observer in WRC and ERC rallies, EC autocross and rallycross events and WTCC and GT races. He has been a Formula One steward since 1994. From 1994 to 2006, he was a member of the FIA Off-road Commission and was made a member of the World Motor Sport Council in 1998. In 2000 he became a member of the Sport Commission at the Ministry of Sport of the Czech Republic. An avid racer and co-driver, Radovan Novak has won a number of Czech rallying events.
FORMER FORMULA ONE DRIVER AND WORLD SPORTSCAR CHAMPION
Derek Warwick makes his second appearance in four races, having been FIA driver steward in Japan. Warwick raced in 146 grands prix, from 1981 to 1993, for Toleman, Renault, Brabham, Arrows and Lotus. He scored 71 points and achieved four podium finishes, with two fastest laps. He was World Sportscar Champion in 1992, driving for Peugeot. He also won Le Mans in the same year. Warwick raced Jaguar sportscars in 1986 and 1991. Warwick competed in the British Touring Car Championship in 1995, 1997 and 1998, as well as making one more appearance at the Le Mans in 1996, driving for the Courage Competition team.
Abu Dhabi GP
Abu Dhabi GP
Abu Dhabi GP
Formula One Timetable
& FIA Media Schedule
Practice Session 1
Practice Session 2
Practice Session 3
Followed by unilateral and
Followed by unilateral and
ADDITIONAL MEDIA OPPORTUNITIES
All drivers eliminated in Q1 or Q2 are available for media interviews immediately after the end of each session, as are drivers who participated in Q3, but who are not required for the post-qualifying press conference. The TV pen area is located inside the paddock near the press conference room entrance.
Any driver retiring before the end of the race will be made available at each team’s garage/hospitality.
In addition, during the race every team will make available at least one senior spokesperson for interview by officially accredited TV crews. A list of those nominated will be made available in the media centre.