The 22-race 2023 FIA Formula One World Championship draws to a close this weekend at the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit. F1Technical’s senior writer Balázs Szabó picks out some vital facts, stats and trivia ahead of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Long history – Today’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the 15th 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 - The track has been resurfaced from the entry of Turn 6 to the exit of Turn 7 and from the entry of Turn 10 to the exit of Turn 11. All track lights panels have been replaced with the newest models and new pit exit lights have been installed.
Furthermore, the debris fence between Turn 2 and Turn 3 on the left-hand side has been upgraded to 3.5 metre in heigh, while the debris fence on the right-hand side at Marshal Post 4.5 has been extended by 16 metres.
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 and Max Verstappen are the second most successful drivers around the Yas Marina Circuit with three wins to their names. 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 occasions, all of which were recorded in the hybrid era. The energy drink-owned team also won six times, courtesy of Sebastian Vettel and Max Verstappen. Lotus and McLaren have won on a single occasion.
Stewards – Garry Connelly, Mathieu Remmerie, Vitantonio Liuzzi and Mohamed Alhsahimi will act as stewards at today’s Abu Dhabi 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 locations 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.