ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
YAS MARINA CIRCUIT - ABU DHABI
FP1: 13:30 - 14:30 / FP2: 17:00 - 18:00
FP3: 14:30 - 15:30 / QUALI: 18:00 - 19:00
convert to your time
FP1: 13:30 - 14:30 /
FP2: 17:00 - 18:00
FP3: 14:30 - 15:30 /
QUALI: 18:00 - 19:00
Abu Dhabi GP: all you need to know
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has carved out a special place for itself with its Middle Eastern flavour providing the backdrop to the F1 season finale every year. There have been ten Abu Dhabi GPs since it first appeared on the calendar in 2009.
Formula One has seen plenty of new circuits come and go over the past decade but few have made an impact as significant as Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina track. Ultra-modern in every way, in some ways it sets a standard for all newcomers to aspire to.
Constructed around a new marina on a man-made island, the circuit features air-conditioned garages, a pitlane exit through a tunnel and a track-spanning hotel with a roof that changes colour.
The track itself starts with a couple of high-speed corners before giving way to a second sector featuring two long straights. The last third is a tight and twisty section that demands good traction and braking stability.
F1, Abu Dhabi and the Yas island
It has something of a Middle Eastern Monaco about it, with all the yachts floating in the harbour backing onto the paddock. It’s definitely a good holiday destination, especially around race time when Europe is preparing for winter, because the temperatures are very pleasant in Abu Dhabi at that time.
There was a time when there was no Abu Dhabi Formula 1, but now it’s hard to imagine the sport without it. It’s an evocative sight, watching the cars take to the track as the sun begins to set and the floodlights come on with the race ending in the night time.
Just over ten years ago, there was no Yas Island. The project started in 2006 and cost around 40 billion dollars. The aim was to create an entertainment area, with shopping and tourism in a welcoming environment. In fact there are seven hotels, theme parks, golf course, a water park, a beach, a concert arena and of course, a Formula 1 track!
YAS MARINA CIRCUIT
The idea to create a state-of-the-art motor racing facility dates back to 2006. With it came the decision to build it on what is now the man-made Yas Island, which is also home to seven hotels, various theme parks, a huge shopping centre, a water park, a beach and a concert arena.
Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke, runs anti-clockwise and measures 5.28 kilometres. It is unique in that it is the only track that passes under a luxury hotel and boasts a pit lane that exits onto the track through a tunnel!
Missing Wild Card
Having tested a Red Bull Racing F1 car at Silverstone in 2008, multiple world rally champion Sebastien Loeb got a taste for it. There was even a plan for him to race for us in our Scuderia Toro Rosso incarnation in the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but his dream of joining the circus went unrealised as the Frenchman did not have the requisite points for a superlicense.