The 22-race 2022 FIA Formula One World Championship draws to a close this weekend at the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit. F1Technical’s Balázs Szabó picks out some vital facts ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Long history – Today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the 14th FIA Formula One race at Abu Dhabi, all of which have taken place at the modern Yas Marina Circuit. The race first appeared on the calendar in 2009 and has been ever-present since. The race was the season-closing event with the exception of 2011, 2012 and 2013.
A relatively long circuit – The Yas Marina Circuit is a relatively long circuit with a length of 5.281km. Drivers will need to complete a total of 58 laps in order to cover the race distance of 306.183km. There is an offset of 115m between the start and the finish line.
Track changes - New debris fences have been installed between Turns 4 and 5 in front of the Yas Central pit lane, on the left in Turn 15 and on the island separating Turn 7 and Turn 16. New astroturf has been installed in the run-off at Turns 1, 4 and 7. On the right side of Turn 2 and on the left of Turn 10, the front row of Tecpro has been replaced with 2018 spec. Furthermore, all track surface paint has been reapplied with FIA homologated paint
Record – The lap record belongs to double world champion Max Verstappen who posted a time of 1m26.103 at the 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The three softest - Pirelli has nominated the three softest compounds in the range for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: C3 as the P Zero White hard, C4 as the P Zero Yellow medium and C5 as the P Zero Red soft.
Difficult for overtaking – The Yas Marina Circuit is notoriously difficult for overtaking. There will be two DRS zones to help drivers to execute an overtaking manoeuvre in today’s race. The first zone’s detection point will be 250m before Turn 5, with an activation point 210m after Turn 5. The second detection point is 50m after Turn 7 and the second activation point is located 165m after Turn 7.
The most successful – Lewis Hamilton holds the record for most wins at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. with five wins in total. Sebastian Vettel is the second most successful driver around the Yas Marina Circuit with three wins to his name. The last two races saw Max Verstappen secure the victory. The only other winners are Kimi Räikkönen, Valtteri Bottas and Nico Rosberg.
Only two teams – Mercedes and Red Bull are the only repeat winners at Abu Dhabi. The Anglo-German outfit has won on six occassions, all of which were recorded in the hybrid era. The energy drink-owned team won on five occasions, courtesy of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. Lotus and McLaren have won on a single occasion.
End of a thrilling career – This is the final F1 race for Sebastian Vettel. The four-time World Champion will retire following this weekend’s event. The German is set to start his 299th grand prix on Sunday. In the 15 years since his grand prix debut at the 2007 US Grand Prix he has won 53 times, putting him third on the list of all-time winners behind Hamilton (103) and Michael Schumacher (91)
Stewards – Garry Connelly, Felix Holter, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Mohamed Alhsahimi will act as stewards at today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Curfew – On Friday night team personnel of Red Bull and Alpine, who are associated with the operation of the car, were within the confines of the circuit during the twelve and a half hours period which commenced at 23:00 on 18 November, fifteen and a half hours before the scheduled start time of P3 and ends three hours before the scheduled start time of P3 at 11:30 on 19 November. However, with this being the first of two individual exceptions for both teams, no action was taken.
Penalties – Driving for the last time for McLaren, Daniel Ricciardo will serve a three-place grid penalty today after causing a first lap collision with Haas driver Kevin Magnussen at last weekend’s Sao Paulo Grand Prix.
Spectacular venue - Abu Dhabi has established itself as a tourist destination in its own right over the past years. The Ferrari World is one of the most thrilling location at the Yas Marina island. The Ferrari theme park offers unique experiences where spectators can feel the same acceleration as a Formula 1 driver feels off the grid thanks to a special rollercoaster ride.
Moreover, the Louvre Abu Dhabi has been opened recently which is a sister organisation to the celebrated art museum in Paris. The popular resort of Saadiyat Island offers some winter sun, sandy beaches and water sports at a time when Europe is shivering.