Friday, November 1, 2013

ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 2013

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was announced in early 2007 at the Abu Dhabi F1 Festival in the United Arab Emirates. The first race took place on November 1, 2009, held at the Hermann Tilke designed Yas Marina Circuit. On June 25, 2008 the FIA announced the provisional 2009 Formula One calendar including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the 19th and final race of the season on November 15. On November 5, 2008, however, it was announced that the race would be held as the season finale on November 1, two weeks before the initially planned date, as the 17th and final race.

The inaugural race was Formula One's first ever day-night race, starting at 17:00 local time. Floodlights used to illuminate the circuit were switched on from the start of the event to ensure a seamless transition from daylight to darkness. Subsequent Abu Dhabi Grands Prix have also been day-night races. The temperatures drop during the race and this has a bearing on tyre performance and thus race strategy.

Yas Marina is another Herman Tilke designed circuit with two long straights and some tight turns which take the track underneath the landmark Yas Hotel and around the marina. The Yas Marina Circuit features six corners below 100 kph – only Monaco, Singapore and Valencia have more.

TRACK CHARACTERISTICS

Track length : 5.554 kilometres
Race distance : 55 laps (305.355 kilometres)
Corners : 21 corners in total
Average speed : 197km/h
Aerodynamic setup : Med/High downforce
Top speed 320km/h (with DRS open) 307km/h without
Full throttle : 60% of the lap time (ave/high)
Total fuel needed for race distance : 151.25 kilos (ave/high)
Fuel consumption : 2.75 kg per lap (ave/high)
Brake wear : Medium
Number of braking events : 12
Time spent braking : 16% of the lap
Total time needed for a pit stop : 21.2 seconds
Fuel effect (cost in lap time per 10kg of fuel carried) : 0.4 seconds (ave/high)

WEATHER FORECAST

The forecast for the weekend is stable with temperatures in the low 30 degrees C. But as this is a dusk/night race it’s worth noting that the night time temperature is set to fall to 19 degrees C.

TYRES

Pirelli tyre choice for Abu Dhabi: Soft (yellow markings) and Medium (white markings). This combination was used in India last week, with mixed results as the soft tyre blistered on a number of cars and Pirelli issued guidance on maximum usage for both compounds, which Force India and Lotus ignored.

Abu Dhabi is unique in that the race starts at dusk and ends in the dark, so the track temperature falls as the race goes on and the teams have to factor this in. For teams looking to do longer runs at the end of the race, the temperature drop helps, so teams are encouraged to try some bold strategies to win. There are few high speed corners, but a number of low speed corners so wheelspin on corner exit is the thing to watch out for.

SAFETY CAR

There have been four races at Yas Marina Circuit, the 2009 and 2011 races did not feature a safety car, while the second one in 2010 featured five laps under the safety car after a crash at the start of the race.

However the 2012 edition featured two safety cars and these proved game changers for Sebastian Vettel, who was coming through the field after starting from the pit lane. The timing of the safety cars is crucial, particularly if they fall in the pit stop windows.

DRS

The Yas Marina circuit of Abu Dhabi will feature a slightly longer first DRS zone at this weekend’s Formula 1 Grand Prix. The DRS (Drag Reduction System) zones at Yas Marina are on the two back straights. The first zone has a detection point 40m before Turn 7, with activation 390m after Turn 7. This means that the DRS zone will be 80m longer than last year.


The second zone’s detection point is 50m after Turn 9 with activation at the apex of Turn 10. Additionally, speed bumps similar to those used around the first chicane at Monza have been installed two metres from the track edge around the outside of Turns 8 and 11.

CONCLUSION

This weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has many points of interest, despite the 2013 drivers’ and constructors’ championships already having been decided. There is a tight battle for second, third and fourth places in the constructors’ race between Mercedes, Ferrari and Lotus, which is worth a significant amount of money to the teams involved. Force India and Sauber are also fighting for sixth position.

So do we watch the race or not since the championship has already been decided? I'll watch it just because I've been to the inaugural race in 2009 and enjoyed it so the Abu Dhabi race holds a pretty special place in my heart.

If you enjoyed this posting, please do share it with your network so more people can enjoy it as well. Also, check out my t-shirt design for Kimi Raikkonen fans below (designs for other teams and drivers also available), click on image.


1 comment:

Aniik Kistor said...

Abu Dhabi is a city on the move. And one of the jewels in Abu Dhabi's crown is the new 5.55-kilometre Yas Marina Circuit, which on November 1, 2009, hosted the country's inaugural Grand Prix. It was also the first F1 twighlight race, with powerful lighting ensuring a seamless transition from day to night. Now in 2015 Abu Dhabi Grand is being held from 27-29 Nov, 2015 Watch F1 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX Online