Preview: Abu Dhabi set for F1 2017 swansong
23 November 2017 – The 2017 Formula 1 campaign comes to a conclusion this weekend with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit. GPUpdate.net previews this weekend's event and provides the key statistics.
Yas Marina, located on the man-made Yas Island, was opened in 2009, just two years after construction of the landscape first began, and set new standards in Formula 1.
"It's a straight line to the first corner – it comes pretty quickly – a 90-degree left-hand corner, normally in fourth gear," explains Haas' Romain Grosjean.
"Turns 2 and 3 are then flat out. You go down the hill, braking into Turn 6 – very tricky braking turning into 6, then straight away into T7.
"You need to be well positioned for the hairpin going down the back straight. It's tricky to get the car to turn.
"There's a long straight line, big braking for the chicane, and again you need to be well positioned between the left- and right-hand side corners.
"Then it's another straight line on to 11, 12 and 13. It's a triple chicane and as soon as you exit that part you go flat out then brake for Turn 14, which is a 90-degree left-hand side corner.
"You're flat out again into 16 and 17, two right-hand side corners flat out. As soon as you go out of 17 you have to brake again for 18. Turns 19 and 20, you're going under the hotel, with a tricky exit out of 20.
"The second-to-last-corner is good. It's high speed in fourth or fifth gear. Then the last corner is very tricky. It's very wide on the entry phase with the pit lane on the right-hand side. It's not easy to find a line. Then you go as early as you can on the power to finish the lap."
Formula 1 arrives in Abu Dhabi with both titles already wrapped up, and most of the leading positions settled, thus creating an end-of-school feeling.
Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen had shared victories since the summer holidays, but Sebastian Vettel broke the streak last time out in Brazil, ending Ferrari's win drought.
Further down the field, the retiring Felipe Massa all but sealed fifth place in the standings for Williams, with the main focus on the scrap for sixth.
Toro Rosso, Renault and Haas are split by just six points, with each position providing lucrative financial rewards, not to mention prestige.
McLaren holds a solid ninth position, as it prepares for its final event with Honda, while Sauber remains adrift at the rear of the pack.
Current grid at the Abu Dhabi GP:
Vettel and Hamilton have been the primary contenders at the Yas Marina Circuit since the venue's arrival, each winning on three occasions.
Hamilton was victorious for McLaren in 2011, won again in 2014 – taking the title in the process – and took honours last year, though missed out on the championship to Nico Rosberg.
Rosberg (in 2015) and Kimi Räikkönen (in 2012) are the only other drivers to have tasted victory at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Repeat Abu Dhabi GP winners:
3 Sebastian Vettel (2009, 2010, 2013)
3 Lewis Hamilton (2011, 2014, 2016)
Race date: November 26, 2017
Circuit opened: 2009
First Grand Prix: 2009
Lap record: 1:40.279 (Sebastian Vettel, 2009)
Circuit length: 5.554 km (3.451 mi)
Race distance: 305.355 km (189.739 mi)
2017 timetable (GMT +4):
Friday 24 November
Practice 1 13:00-14:30 local time
Practice 2 17:00-18:30 local time
Saturday 25 November
Practice 3 14:00-15:00 local time
Qualifying 17:00 local time
Sunday 26 November
Race 17:00 local time
Additional on-track events:
Zone 1 - Between Turns 7 and 8
Zone 2 – Between Turns 10 and 11
Ultra Soft / Super Soft / Soft
Pitlane speed limits:
80 km/h (49.7 mph) for the entire event
Fuel usage: 1.91kg per lap
Top speed: 331km/h (205.6 mph)
Full throttle: 57 per cent of lap
Gear changes: 68 per lap
Friday – Partly cloudy, high 27°C / low 21°C
Saturday – Sunny, high 26°C / low 20°C
Sunday – Sunny, high 26°C / low 20°C