2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Preview

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Preview

The 2021 Formula One season finale takes place at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi

  • Toto Talks Abu Dhabi
  • Fact File: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
  • Stat Attack: Abu Dhabi and Beyond

Toto Talks Abu Dhabi

The final race will be intense, but it’s important to not get distracted, to just keep our heads down, our feet on the ground and bring the performance that we had last time out. We’re grateful to still be in this fight.

The fact that both championships will be decided at the season finale proves just how hard both sides have been challenging each other and pushing each other forward. It’s all or nothing for the season finale and that’s amazing for the sport, amazing for the fans and amazing for all of us, too.

We’re also relishing the challenges of racing in Abu Dhabi this weekend, at a circuit that has gone through quite a few changes since we last raced there. There are new sections of track to understand and that really is a step into the unknown for everyone. So, it’s going to be another exciting weekend!

Fact File: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

  • The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix debuted on the F1 calendar in 2009 and was the sport’s first-ever twilight race, with the start taking place at sunset.
  • Around 4,700 light fixtures are used to illuminate the Yas Marina Circuit for the twilight race and evening sessions.
  • The Yas Marina Circuit has undergone modifications ahead of the 2021 event, with changes to several sections of the track in a bid to improve overtaking. The lap length is now 5.281 km, compared to the old 5.554 km layout.
  • The old Turn 5/6 chicane has been removed, with drivers instead bypassing it and heading straight for the following harpin, which has also been widened.
  • The tight and twisty Turns 11, 12, 13 and 14 have been replaced with one long, banked corner, while the radius of Turns 17-20 have been opened up.
  • The fastest lap from the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend, on the old track layout, was a 1m35.246 by Max Verstappen. We expect the lap times on the new circuit layout to be around 10 seconds faster, and for the new track to improve overtaking potential when it comes to the braking and corner speed sequences.
  • With the reprofiled and modified sections of the track, there will be a new track surface. The mixture of old and new track surfaces will be a consideration for teams, as it will be challenging to find the sweet spot on both, so teams will have to prioritise optimising the car for the most important parts of the track.
  • Similar to Bahrain, Qatar and other races on an offset schedule to normal, FP1 and FP3 take place in the day, while FP2, qualifying and the race take place at night. Tyre and car behaviour is different in warmer daytime temperatures, so this is a consideration with the set-up and practice run plan.
  • The pit lane is the only one in F1 to feature a tunnel, with drivers passing under the circuit at the pit exit and re-joining on the left-hand side of Turn 2. It can prove tricky to see other cars when feeding back onto the track mid-corner.
  • The slowest corner on the track is Turn 6, which is taken at around 70 km/h. However, there's one corner that's even slower, but it doesn't feature on the normal lap: F1 cars take the left-hander at the pit lane exit at just 60 km/h.
  • The two DRS zones are located on consecutive straights, separated by a chicane, and also have their own individual detection points. This can create some fun battles, with drivers overtaking into Turn 6 having to then defend in the next DRS zone.
  • In terms of braking events, the new layout is less punishing and demanding on the brakes compared to the old circuit, with only five braking events now (whereas before, there were seven) and one “heavy” braking zone (instead of two). A “heavy” braking zone is one where the driver is braking for 0.4 seconds or longer, with 4G or more.
  • Only 64% of the lap time at the Yas Marina Circuit is spent at full throttle, on the lower end of the percentage scale in terms of 2021 F1 tracks. This is three percent higher than the old layout, though.
  • Some F1 teams will remain in Abu Dhabi for the post-season test, which takes place on the Tuesday and Wednesday. Two cars will be run at Yas Marina. The 2021 car can be used on only one of the days and must be driven by a young driver. And a mule car can be used over both days of the test. 

Stat Attack: Abu Dhabi and Beyond

2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Timetable

Session

Local Time

(GST)

Brackley

(GMT)

Stuttgart

(CET)

Practice 1 – Friday

13:30-14:30

09:30-10:30

10:30-11:30

Practice 2 – Friday

17:00-18:00

13:00-14:00

14:00-15:00

Practice 3 - Saturday

14:00-15:00

10:00-11:00

11:00-12:00

Qualifying - Saturday

17:00-18:00

13:00-14:00

14:00-15:00

Race - Sunday

17:00-19:00

13:00-15:00

14:00-16:00

 

Race Records – Mercedes F1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

 

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

DNF

Mercedes

11

6

12

6

12

3

2

Lewis

Hamilton

12

5

9

5

10

3

2

Valtteri

Bottas

8

1

3

1

3

1

1

MB Power

12

7

19

8

16

4

11

 

Technical Stats – Season to Date (Bahrain Pre-Season Test to Present)

 

Laps

Completed

Distance

Covered (km)

Corners

Taken

Gear

Changes

PETRONAS

Fuel Injections

Mercedes

6,310

31,612

101,540

288,283

252,400,000

Lewis

Hamilton

3,195

15,934

51,547

146,202

127,800,000

Valtteri

Bottas

3,115

15,678

49,993

142,081

124,600,000

MB Power

24,573

121,405

422,651

1,122,425

981,560,000

 

Mercedes-Benz in Formula One

 

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

1-2

Finishes

Front Row

Lockouts

Mercedes

(All Time)

248

124

263

135

249

94

58

80

Mercedes (Since 2010)

236

115

246

127

229

85

53

78

Lewis

Hamilton

287

103

181

103

172

59

N/A

N/A

Valtteri

Bottas

177

10

67

20

46

19

N/A

N/A

MB Power

518

212

542

220

434

191

90

117

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2021 Qatar Grand Prix, Friday - LAT Images
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2021 Qatar Grand Prix, Friday - LAT Images
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