Abu Dhabi reveal Yas Marina track changes

Jon Wilde
Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi F1 officials have revealed the exact changes being made to the Yas Marina track to spice up racing in this year’s grand prix.

It was confirmed earlier this week that modifications were afoot to try and boost the entertainment factor for fans at a circuit that has staged some F1 snoozefests since its introduction to the calendar in 2009.

None more so than the 2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix when Max Verstappen led from pole position and coasted to an easy victory for Red Bull.

Significant alterations will be made in three areas of the circuit:

Turn 7 (north hairpin) – the chicane is to be eliminated and the hairpin widened
Turns 11-14 (south marina) – the four sharp corners to be replaced by one long banked turn
Turns 17-20 (hotel section) – the radius of these four corners to be opened up to create a faster-flowing section of the track

Track officials say the widening of Turn 17 will improve overtaking opportunities, while the changes to Turn 20 will create a full-throttle corner allowing cars to follow closer together. The tweaks at the hotel section are designed to allow for closer racing which in turn should lead to additional overtaking opportunities.

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Saif Al Noaimi, acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, said: “As a venue, we are continually identifying ways in which we can evolve, keep our product offerings fresh and retain the support of our loyal fanbase.

“This programme, which represents a hugely important chapter in the Yas Marina circuit’s story, will involve work being carried out in three separate sections of the track, increasing the opportunity for drivers to overtake and amplifying the competitive nature of all motorsport events held at the venue.

“Work will take place over the summer, with completion expected well in advance of this year’s grand prix on December 12, and we look forward to showcasing our new-look track to motorsport fans both locally and internationally in the coming months.”

Ross Brawn, Formula 1’s motorsports managing director, added: “As host of the Formula 1 season finale since 2009, Yas Marina has established itself as one of the most popular venues for motorsport fans around the world to attend.

“We are fully supportive of the decision to make improvements to the track with the aim of enhancing the overall motorsport experience across the board, including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, for both competitors and spectators.

“Given its position as the final race in the Formula 1 season, it is always a special date on the calendar and with this year’s event set to be the first on the new-look track and the last race before we enter the new era of F1 in 2022, there is added incentive to look forward to the spectacle.”

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