F1 Experiences Features

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Fast Facts

Posted by Andrew Balfour on Nov 19, 2018 9:02:07 AM

Held at the state-of-the-art Yas Marina Circuit, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix celebrates its tenth anniversary this year. Learn more in Fast Facts!

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Yas Marina Circuit

Designed by Hermann Tilke and constructed at a reported cost of more than $1bn USD, Yas Marina Circuit is located on Yas Island, around 35km from downtown Abu Dhabi and close to the international airport. The massive Yas Island development, much of it built on reclaimed land, also features theme parks (Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, Warner Bros. World), the du Arena concert venue, shopping centres, hotels and a golf course.

Measuring 5.554km and featuring 21 turns, plus the longest straight on the current F1 calendar, the main Grand Prix circuit is just one of several circuit configurations available at Yas Marina. The advanced circuit design also features a tunnel in the pitlane exit and a run-off area that goes beneath the West Grandstand, while the Yas Hotel straddles the circuit between Turns 18-19. Yas Marina Circuit features five fully-covered grandstands and a total capacity for approximately 60,000 fans. The race regularly sells out, despite having some of the highest ticket prices on the current F1 calendar.

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Championship Showdowns

Due to it being the last race of the season for most of its existence, Yas Marina Circuit has hosted several Championship deciders over the years, most memorably in 2010. Fernando Alonso, Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton started the final race of the 2010 season with their Championship hopes alive, but it was the young Red Bull driver from Germany who won the race, snatching his first driver’s crown by just 4 points from Fernando Alonso. Watch the highlights here.

In 2014, double points were awarded for the final race of the season in Abu Dhabi for the first and only time. Lewis Hamilton won the race and the Championship as the title challenge of his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg ended with engine failure. The tide was turned two years later when Nico Rosberg claimed the drivers crown in Abu Dhabi after an intense, season-long battle with Hamilton, then almost immediately announced his retirement.

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Fast Facts

  • With three wins each, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have been the joint most successful drivers at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Mercedes is the most successful team, having won the last four races in succession.
  • Yas Marina Circuit is one of only five anti-clockwise tracks on the 2018 Formula 1 calendar.
  • In nine races to date, the pole sitter has only won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix on four occasions.
  • The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is Formula 1’s only twilight race. The race normally starts around 30 minutes before the sun sets, though the circuit’s floodlights are illuminated for the duration of the race.
  • Kimi Räikkönen scored a popular win for Lotus in the action-packed 2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. On his way to victory, an under-pressure Räikkönen responded to an update from his race engineer on radio by uttering the now-famous line, “Leave me alone, I know what I’m doing.”
  • “Can you repeat the question?” The 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix featured perhaps the longest ever question asked at an F1 driver press conference. Watch it here.

MISSED OUT THIS YEAR? JOIN US AT YAS MARINA IN 2019!

Topics: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Yas Marina Circuit

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