The organisers of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix have revealed that the Yas Marina Circuit will undergo layout modifications in a bid to improve overtaking ahead of the 2021 Formula 1 season finale in December.
The Yas Marina Circuit made its debut in 2009, and has staged the season finale on many occasions since. Despite its fascinating complex, artificial lights and eye-catching hotel, it has received criticism over the years for failing to deliver exciting races. Last year’s season finale turned also into a procession with the track layout hardly offering overtaking opportunities.
The Abu Dhabi organisiers have today confirmed that the track will be reconfigured in time for this year’s race. There will be three key changes to the layout ahead of the 2021 race.
The chicane that consists of Turn 5 and 6 will be eliminated and the hairpin at Turn 7 will be widened. The quartett of Turns 11, 12, 13 and 14 will be removed and replaced by one long banked turn. Furthermore, the radius of four corners (Turns 17, 18, 19 and 20) will be opened up to create a faster flowing section of the track.
Saif Al Noaimi, Acting CEO, Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, said: “As a venue, we are continually identifying ways in which we can evolve, keep our product offerings fresh and retain the support of our loyal fanbase.
“This programme, which represents a hugely important chapter in the Yas Marina Circuit story, will involve work being carried out in three separate sections of the track, increasing the opportunity for drivers to overtake and amplifying the competitive nature of all motorsport events held at the venue.
“Work will take place over the summer, with completion expected well in advance of this year’s Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and we look forward to showcasing our new-look track to motorsport fans both locally and internationally in the coming months.”
Ross Brawn, Managing Director, Motorsports at Formula 1 added: “As host of the Formula 1 season-finale since 2009, Yas Marina Circuit has established itself as one of the most popular venues for motorsport fans around the world to attend.
"We are fully supportive of the decision to make improvements to the track, with the aim of enhancing the overall motorsport experience across the board, including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, for both competitors and spectators.
"Given its position as the final race in the Formula 1 season, it is always a special date on the calendar, and with this year’s event set to be the first on the new-look track and the last race before we enter the new era of F1 in 2022, there is added incentive to look forward to the spectacle.”