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Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix preview

Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix preview

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Published by Mike Pryson
Fast facts, course diagram, Formula One standings going into the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Fast facts, course diagram, Formula One standings going into the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

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Published by: Mike Pryson on Oct 30, 2013
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10/31/2013

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Race Preview 
2013 ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX
 1-3 NOVEMBER 2013
 After a decisive Indian Grand Prix, FormulaOne makes the short trip to the United ArabEmirates. The destination this week is theYas Marina Circuit, home to the Abu DhabiGrand Prix, the 17th round of the 2013 FIAFormula One World Championship.
F1’s only day/night rac
e presents aninteresting challenge to teams and driversalike, with each sector asking a different setof questions. Sector one features high-speedcornering, then, after the hairpin the two longback straights make for a high-speed, heavy-braking section demanding good traction outof the corners. Finally, Yas turns into a streetcircuit with a twisty, low-speed final sector,skirting the perimeter of the yacht basin anddiving under the Yas Viceroy hotel. Thedemands of each sector are far fromcomplimentary, making the best compromiseon set-up even more difficult to locate than isusually the case.Tyre wear may be less of a factor than wasthe case in India. While Pirelli is bringing thesame pairing of medium and soft compoundsto Yas, this circuit in the past has shownitself to induce less wear than BuddhInternational. The race does, however,introduce the quirk of a swiftly fallingtemperature gradient. The rapid transitionfrom day to night in the Gulf state means therace may finish with track temperatures 15°Clower than those experienced in the earlylaps.
CIRCUIT DATA YAS MARINA CIRCUITLength of lap:
5.554km
Lap record:
1:40.279
(Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing,2009)
Start/finish line offset:
0.115km
Total number of race laps:
55
Total race distance:
305.355km
Pitlane speed limits:
80km/h throughout the weekend.
CHANGES TO THE CIRCUITSINCE 2012
► Speed bumps similar to those
used around the first chicane atMonza have been installed twometres from the track edge aroundthe outside of Turns Eight and 11.
DRS ZONES
The DRS zones at Yas Marina areon the two back straights. The firstzone has a detection point 40mbefore Turn Seven, with activation390m after Turn Seven. The second
zone’s detection point is 50m after 
Turn Nine with activation at the apexof Turn 10.
 
 Despite both championships beingmathematically decided last week, the finalthree races of the season are far from deadrubbers. The battle for second place in the
Constructors’ Champio
nship is intense:thanks to a double-points finish in India,Mercedes moved marginally ahead of Ferrari, while Lotus also made ground.Meanwhile, at the back Marussia andCaterham are scrapping over the all-
important tenth spot. There’s much at stake
this weekend.
 
Abu Dhabi GP Fast Facts 
► Qualifyi
ng in pole position atYas Marina has been a poisonedchalice. The driver in P1 hasfailed to finish three out of the four  Abu Dhabi Grands Prix. In theinaugural race, Lewis Hamiltonretired with a brake problem, andagain in 2012 after losing fuelpressure. He went further thanSebastian Vettel who led awayfrom pole in 2011 only to suffer afirst corner puncture.
► Kimi Räikkönen’s victory fromfourth at last year’s Abu Dhabi
Grand Prix is the only occasionon which the race has been wonfrom behind the front row. Vettelwon from second place in 2009and from pole in 2010. Hamiltonwon from second in 2011.
► Räikkönen’s victory was the
first of his return to F1 after a two-year sabbatical. It was the 19thF1 win of his career and the firstvictory for the Enstone-based
team since Fernando Alonso’s
win at Fuji in the 2008 JapaneseGrand Prix. It was also the firstvictory for the Lotus name since Ayrton Senna triumphed in 1987on the streets of Detroit.
► Räikkönen’s previous grand
prix victory came on 30th August2009 at the Belgian Grand Prix,making his interval between
victories 1163 days. That’s less
than half the interval of record-holder Riccardo Patrese who went2403 days between wins at the1983 South African Grand Prixand 1990 San Marino Grand Prix.
► When he collects the Drivers’
Championship Trophy at the FIAGala Prize-Giving in December,Sebastian Vettel will draw levelwith Alain Prost as a four-timesWorld Champion. He now hasonly Juan Manuel Fangio (five)and Michael Schumacher (seven)in front of him. Like Fangio andSchumacher he will have thedistinction of four consecutivechampionships
 –
though neither of the latter pair managed the featwith their first four titles.
► By virtue of a fourth place for 
Jenson Button, McLaren set anew record for consecutive races
in the points at last year’s Abu
Dhabi Grand Prix. It was their 56th consecutive score, beatingthe record previously set byFerrari. The run, which started atthe 2010 Australian Grand Prix,eventually extended to 64 races,halting when Sergio Pérez andJenson Button finished 11th and12th at the 2013 Canadian GrandPrix. Ferrari can take the recordback this weekend: they pulledlevel in India thanks to Felipe
Massa’s fourth place, having
started their latest run at the 2010German Grand Prix.
► Last year McLaren, Lotus, Red
Bull, Toro Rosso, Sauber andCaterham stayed in Abu Dhabiafter the Grand Prix to conduct
the Young Drivers’ test. From the
14 drivers that took part, EstebanGutiérrez and Giedo van der Garde advanced to F1 race seatsfor 2013. Marussia race driver Max Chilton also made his debutin Abu Dhabi
 –
though heappeared in the first free practicesession of the race weekendrather than the test (in which the Anglo-Russian team were notparticipating).

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