• Rhonan Colquhoun

F1: Changes to improve overtaking at Abu Dhabi granted

The Yas Marina Circuit, which has been on the F1 calendar since 2009, will under-go changes ahead of this season's finale in a bid to improve overtaking opportunites and to make the race more appealing.


24/06/21


Since it's debut in 2009, the circuit in Abu Dhabi has been heavily criticised for producing dull and uneventful races. Recently, the circuit has played host to the season finale with Nioc Rosberg securing his one and only title as the battle between himself and team-mate Lewis Hamilton went down to the wire in 2016.


The 21 turn circuit features two long straights in which drivers are able to make use of the DRS to catch and pass rivals but that still wasn't enough to keep fans interested as the rest of the circuit provides no real opportunites.

FLY OVER: Planes fly over the start/finish straight as the drivers on the grid prepare to start the last race of the season in 2020


The circuit, created by legendary track designer Hermann Tilke, has been criticised by many pundits and journalists as well as drivers with McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo in support of track changes prior to this announcement.


So, for this year's race, three big changes will be made to the circuit.

  • Eliminating the chicane and widening the hairpin at Turn 7

  • Removing the four sharp corners at Turns 11, 12, 13 and 14 to be replaced by one long banked turn

  • Opening up the radius of four corners (Turns 17, 18, 19 and 20) to create a faster flowing section of the track.

The track changes are due to get under-way in the next few montsh in preperation for the race on the 12th of December.

F1's Managing Director, Ross Brawn said: "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."

Whether these changes will permantely stay for future races, it yet to be seen but it'll depend on whether this year's race is an improvement.

A FINISH LIKE NO OTHER: The inagural race in 2009 was the sport's first day-night race and it has remained like that since with floodlights used to illuminate the circuit


In the hybrid era, the circuit had been a Mercedes strong-hold as the team won every race from 2014 right through to 2019. However, Red Bull's Max Verstappen was able to break the winning-streak and win from Pole Position last year.


Hamilton is the most successful driver round the Yas Marina circuit with five wins under his belt while Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel has won this race three times in the past.



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