Nov 22

Formula One teams Abu Dhabi Grand Prix preview

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Formula One preview

150x80-flagworldf1Today’s report from Formula One teams & drivers at Yas Marina circuit.



01 - Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – Preview

A thrilling 2017 Formula One season concludes with Round 20 from the Yas Marina Circuit

  • Toto Talks Abu Dhabi
  • Featured this Week: On Your Marks…
  • Stat Attack: Abu Dhabi and Beyond

Toto Talks Abu Dhabi

We head to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the 2017 season with the same hunger and fire in our stomach that we took to Melbourne over seven months ago. During that time, we have pushed ourselves to new limits, bounced back from painful defeats and conquered new and unexpected challenges. Spurred on by strong rivals, we had to dig deeper this year than ever before. And that battle made both titles the most satisfying yet. Our target was to become the first team to win championships across a major regulation change and we are proud to have achieved that.

But regardless of what stands in the trophy cabinets back at base, our focus is always on the next race and the next championship. Our goal in Abu Dhabi is quite simple: to give the best of ourselves, to extract the maximum from our “diva” in her final race – and to win. We saw promising pace in both Mexico and Brazil, both circuits where we had expected to struggle more than we did, and this is a positive sign of the progress we have made in understanding our difficulties this year. But we have not been on the top step of the podium since Austin and we are determined to change that in Abu Dhabi.

Yas Marina is a circuit that holds intense memories for the team, with two title showdowns in the past three seasons. We have claimed three consecutive wins and very much intend to make it four this year. The circuit offers a range of slow to medium speed corners that perhaps are not our car’s most natural habitat, but our recent steps forward give us confidence that we can perform strongly there. Valtteri is on an upward swing of form, with two podiums in the past two races; and Lewis will be aiming to finish this historic season on a high. This is a goal that we all share.

Featured this Week: On Your Marks…

There’s perhaps no better visualisation of Formula One as a team sport than in a pit stop, as the crews swarm around their cars, a blur of motion, teamwork and absolute precision in a split second. And this year, the Silver Arrows crew have proven themselves the best in the business, winning the DHL Fastest Pit Stop Award for the very first time.

The award, introduced in 2015, recognises the outstanding teamwork and performance of the most consistent crew in F1 over the course of a season. It’s an accolade for the unsung heroes who make those critically important, race-deciding stops happen.

This couldn’t have been achieved without a huge effort from the pit crew and a concerted push by the team to develop and improve its equipment and techniques over the last few years in the drive to have the most consistent stops in Formula One. What good is one stop at 2s, if the rest are at 3s? The perfect pit stop is not about chasing records – it’s about consistency.

Much of the groundwork that sealed the award was laid over the winter months, as the race team returned to work after the Christmas break. Practice for the new season started almost immediately, with three programmes of 20 practice stops per week to get them back in the groove.

The crew work through 15 stops a day from Thursday to Saturday of each race weekend, followed by five or more final equipment checks on a Sunday morning. With one race still to go, the team have completed an astonishing 891 practice stops this year so far.

That includes 70 practice nose changes – two of which have occurred in race scenarios. It took the crew just 9.1s to swap Lewis’ damaged nose and replace a punctured tyre in Mexico, as he set off after Vettel on his way to the title. Stacking cars – stopping both Lewis and Valtteri one after the other on the same lap – is another high-pressure moment, which has occurred five times this year for a total of 10 stops. Include a five-second penalty for Lewis in Bahrain and the headrest incident in Baku and that’s a lot of stops.

The quality of the competition in recent years has forced every single team to raise its game. If every team can regularly target a low 2s stop, there is extra pressure to be quick. It also pushes teams to develop. With the margins shrinking year by year, there is an increased emphasis on consistent, clean stops.

This has been the mission of the Mercedes crew for 2017. The team clocked a scorching 2.35s stop for Lewis at Spa – but it was the Williams crew that saw the fastest pit stop recorded this year, as they pulled off a 2.02s time for Felipe Massa at Silverstone.

Measured across 49 stops in 19 Grands Prix, the Silver Arrows have recorded the fastest pit lane time of the race an impressive nine times this year and the best stationary stop six times. But, most impressive of all, the team has achieved the best average time for both cars through the pits on 12 occasions over the course of the season. The team has ranked in the top three average times on 17 occasions, missing out just twice all year – specifically in China and Bahrain, which were both the result of equipment failure. In simple terms, no team was more consistent through the pit lane in 2017.

Taking DHL’s race stationary times, the Mercedes crew lead the pack with a median time of 2.7s and a mean of 2.55s across the year. Red Bull were the second fastest squad on average, with the team from Milton Keynes clocking a median time of 2.8s and a mean of 2.7s. Williams might have had the quickest single stationary stop of the year at Silverstone – but the median for all their stops over the season was 2.9s, with a mean of 2.75s leaving them third in the charts.

To demonstrate just how competitive the battle to be the best in the pit lane was this year, the median for all 10 teams ahead of the final round was 3.1s, with a mean time of 2.9s. Ferrari came in fourth, just shy of Red Bull. Haas edged Toro Rosso into P5 – but both teams were close to the overall average.

Remember, this is all achieved under the greatest of pressure. That is an ever-present in Formula One – but when your cars are running at the front, there’s everything to lose by getting it wrong. A botched pit stop is always news but a smooth stop is rarely given much attention – unless it serves to directly vault a car ahead of a rival. Even then, it’s a matter of expectation that the stop should be a good one.

In the pursuit of excellence, mistakes can happen – likewise equipment failures, as experienced by the team in China and Bahrain. Fortunately, the crew’s work is supported closely by the strategy department and Design Office. The front and rear jacks, for example, are designed in-house. And if one of them fails, such as it did in China, it’s taken just as seriously as a part on the car. Every single stop is a learning experience. Each member of the crew has an input into the process of the stop and they are all provided with constant feedback, led by data driven analysis from the strategy team.

Nowhere has this learning and evolution process been more evident than at two hugely contrasting races – the Italian and Singapore Grands Prix. Monza was a supreme team performance, as Lewis and Valtteri wrapped up a famous 1-2 at the home of the Scuderia, while in the pits the crew clocked the two quickest pit stop times in the box – a 2.33s and a 2.15s respectively.

In Singapore, under immense pressure to capitalise on the early accident that eliminated the two Ferraris, the Silver Arrows pit crew took just 2.27s to turn Lewis around as he pitted from the lead ahead of a prowling Daniel Ricciardo. Those Red Bull boys were fast – but the crew in black were faster and Lewis emerged once more with a lead he wouldn’t relinquish.

After a long season, this award is clearly the icing on the cake for the crew – especially those who have put the work in over the last few years to ensure the team has the most consistent stops in Formula One. It’s an accolade that everyone in the pit lane wants to win and, in such a competitive arena, those top five or six teams will all be gunning for the crown in 2018. Expect every crew to be pushing hard to shave another 0.2s off their average time over the winter months…

On your marks, boys!

Stat Attack: Abu Dhabi and Beyond

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Timetable

Session   Local Time (GST)   Brackley (GMT)   Stuttgart (CET)
Practice 1 (Friday)   13:00 – 14:30   09:00 – 10:30   10:00 – 11:30
Practice 2 (Friday)   17:00 – 18:30   13:00 – 14:30   14:00 – 15:30
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

Circuit Records – Silver Arrows at the Yas Marina Circuit

    Starts   Wins   Podium Places   Poles   Front Row   Fastest Laps   DNF
Silver Arrows   7   3   6   3   6   1   2
L. Hamilton   8   3   5   3   7   2   2
V. Bottas   4   0   1   0   0   0   1
MB Power   8   4   13   5   10   2   8

Technical Stats – Season to Date (Barcelona Pre-Season Test 1 to Present)

    Laps Completed   Distance Covered (km)   Corners Taken   Gear Changes   PETRONAS Fuel Injections
Silver Arrows   7,449   36,982   120,662   363,193   297,960,000
L. Hamilton   3,396   16,991   55,448   166,636   135,840,000
V. Bottas   3,815   18,949   61,853   186,085   152,600,000
MB Power   20,965   104,503   339,541   1,024,290   838,600,000

All-Time Records – Silver Arrows in Formula One

    Starts   Wins   Podium Places   Poles   Front Row   Fastest Laps   1-2 Wins   Front Row Lockouts
Silver Arrows   167   75   152   87   154   55   39   49
Lewis Hamilton   207   62   116   72   117   38   N/A   N/A
Valtteri Bottas   96   2   21   3   7   2   N/A   N/A
MB Power   437   161   419   170   334   150   64   85

source: mercedesamgf1.com2017 photo album

01 - Infiniti Red Bull Racing

Red Bull Racing

Ahead of the Abu Dhabi GP

Max Verstappen

“We will of course try and end the season with a strong result in Abu Dhabi. Last year was actually quite a good race after skipping a pit stop following a spin at Turn 1, it was hard to manage the tyres to the end of the race but we did it and finished fourth.

“I would say that my favourite part of the track is at Turns 2 and 3, the fast left, right. It’s also very cool driving underneath the hotel and racing in the darkness with all the lights. The final sector at Yas Marina is actually quite technical so you have to be really precise there, but it should also be our strongest part of the track. There are quite a few overtaking opportunities to make the race interesting, before the long straight at the hairpin and then at the end of the straight under braking for the next chicane section.

“Abu Dhabi is the last race on the calendar, but I don’t actually want the season to end. I’m really fired up at the moment and I just want to keep going. The nice thing will be to spend some time with friends and family over the winter break and then I will look ahead to January and get back in to training before it all starts again.”

Daniel Ricciardo

“Yas Marina has actually been one of my favourite tracks over the years. It’s been a bit like Suzuka for me though, a track that I’ve always enjoyed and gone well on but not quite reached the podium at. I broke that trend in Suzuka this year so hopefully I can do the same in Abu Dhabi.

“It’s a fun track to drive, I like the twilight thing and I guess because it’s the end of the season it’s even more enjoyable. We practice in the daylight but race at twilight which makes things more challenging. You generally don’t look too much into the sunlight sessions because in the evenings, when it counts, the track cools down and the car changes so much. I wouldn’t say they are wasted sessions but you do have to take them with a pinch of salt.

“When you have so much time away from the car in the off season it helps to sign off with a strong result as it makes you feel like you really deserve a break. I think we should have a strong car in Abu Dhabi. I said I want another win before the season is out and I think we have a decent chance of achieving that.”

Red Bull Music Academy heads to one of the most stunning music festivals on the planet for the third year running. Taking place in a seventeenth century palace, India’s three-day Magnetic Fields Festival celebrates the best in cutting-edge electronic music, with Four Tet, Actress, Machinedrum and more on a wide-ranging bill.
Red Bull Music Academy’s North Stage will host performances from caribou’s electronic pseudonym Daphni, Hessle Audio chief Ben UFO and UK jungle don Special Request, plus up-and-coming talent and Academy Alumni including Sassy J, Jayda G, Willow, Stalvart John and Sindhi Curry.

source: redbullracing.com2017 photo album

Scuderia Ferrari

Scuderia Ferrari

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – The adventure ends here

History and tall tales from a GP which was created to…be last

ABU DHABI – Once upon a time, this place was home to desert tribes, pirates, pearl fishers, dromedaries and date sellers. Today, we find skyscrapers, shopping malls, one of the highest incomes per capita in the world – even with the fluctuating price of oil – and, naturally, Yas Marina. Abu Dhabi is one of seven Arab Emirates and the circuit takes it’s name from the island – an artificial one – on which it is built. It is five and a half kilometres in length and boasts 21 corners, half of them crammed into the final sector, which is set against the backdrop of the spectacular Viceroy hotel. At night, it’s even more impressive thanks to its iridescent lighting. The Grand Prix has been on the calendar since 2009 and the organisers insisted on and indeed paid for having it run as the last round of the championship. Indeed, the 2014 edition, “Abu Double” if you will, was famous for being run for double points, with the idea of creating more suspense for the season finale. Like many of Hermann Tilke’s creations, the track runs anti-clockwise and the pit lane exit is pretty unusual. The fact that most of the F1 action takes place in the evening means that the first Friday session, held in the afternoon, runs in completely different conditions to the rest of the weekend. Drivers and engineers have to take this into account when it comes to deciding on car set-up. The track is not particularly conducive to overtaking, even though there are two heavy braking points at the ends of the main straights. The tyre compounds for this race will be the softest in the range, with the Scuderia Ferrari drivers banking on 10 sets of Ultrasoft, two of Supersoft and just one of Soft. On Sunday night it will be time to pack the suitcases, but not for everyone, as the following week sees two days of tyre testing. It’s the first step towards next season…

source: formula1.ferrari.com2017 photo album

Sahara Force India pink logo.jpg

Sahara Force India F1 Team

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix: Preview

Sahara Force India gets ready for this weekend’s season finale, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Vijay Mallya: “Whatever happens in Abu Dhabi this weekend, 2017 has already been our most successful season to date. I can’t stress just how proud I am of our achievements. Claiming fourth place in the World Championship for two consecutive years doesn’t happen by accident and I have to pay tribute to each and every one of the 400 staff who played their part in making it possible.

“With fourth place secure, it’s nice to end the season free from pressure. Of course, the focus is firmly on 2018 and we will continue experimenting with different things on the car this weekend. We will also continue running George Russell in Friday practice. We have usually been competitive in Abu Dhabi and it’s important to end the season well before the start of a busy winter finalising a new car for 2018.”

Sergio: “I enjoy driving at Yas Marina. It’s a track where we’ve been strong for the last few years and I would love to end the year on a high with a strong result. The final race is always a strange feeling because it’s your last opportunity to drive the VJM10 and you don’t know what next year will bring. We don’t have any pressure because fourth place in the championship is confirmed so I can focus on simply enjoying the experience and getting the best result possible.

“There are some interesting corner combinations at Yas Marina and it’s a track that is hard on braking, with a lot of emphasis on traction. There are overtaking opportunities at the end of the long straights so you often find yourself either attacking or defending, especially towards the end of the race.

“As a team we can be satisfied with our season. Finishing fourth is the best we could achieve and, on a personal level, finishing just behind the top six drivers makes me feel proud. We just need to make sure we deliver this weekend and end the season well.”

Esteban: “The Abu Dhabi weekend is always special and racing at night creates such a nice atmosphere. This season went by so quickly – it’s unbelievable to think we’re already at the final race of the season because it feels like yesterday that we were in Australia. It’s been a successful season and I hope we can finish it in style with a big result.

“I have great memories from Yas Marina: this is where I was crowned GP3 champion in 2015 and where I drove my first FP1 session in Formula One. I have done so much testing around there and I like the place. The two long straights are good opportunities to overtake: you can use the first to get really close to the car in front and make the move on the second. There are opportunities to shake the order up so the race can be quite exciting.

“After Abu Dhabi, it’s not really holidays. It’s back to training, back to the mountains for almost two months. I want to be ready for next season, when the cars are likely to go even faster. It’ll be nice to spend some time with family and friends around Christmas and New Year, but other than that, my focus is on getting ready physically and spending time at the factory.”

Sahara Force India’s Chief Race Engineer, Tom McCullough, looks ahead to the final race of the season in Yas Marina.

“The final race of the season takes us back to a more standard lap length of 5.554km and to sea level, a change after the high-altitude challenges of Mexico and Brazil. This anti-clockwise track produces one of the slowest lap times of the year, courtesy of the high number of corners – the majority of them being low-speed. The three sectors making up the lap are quite distinct: short sector one tests the medium to high-speed performance of the car, while sector two is dominated by long straights and low-speed corners. At the end of the lap, sector three is an intense series of low-speed corners. The Yas Marina circuit is a challenge for engineers too: it’s very hard on the brakes and the practice sessions take place early in the day, with higher track temperatures than those we experience during qualifying and race at twilight, meaning it’s important to assess the car requirements accurately. As in Brazil, having secured fourth place in the Constructors’ Championship, we will use Friday not only to prepare for the race, but also to help the development of next year’s car.”

source: forceindiaf1.com2017 photo album

Williams Martini Racing logo.jpg

Williams Martini Racing

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Preview

  • 24-26 NOVEMBER 2017
  • ROUND 20 OF 20

Round 20 of the 2017 Formula One World Championship sees us travel back to the Middle East for Formula One’s season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. The circuit features 55 anticlockwise laps around the Yas Island, and boasts one of the longest straights on the Formula One calendar at 1,233 metres. Known for its sequence of signature corners that pass under the Yas Viceroy hotel, the circuit also possesses a unique pit exit that emerges from beneath the track. A picturesque twilight race, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a firm favourite amongst photographers as it starts during daylight and ends under the floodlights, providing some of the best action shots of the season. The team has recorded several points-finishes, as well as podiums, in previous years and will be hoping to continue this level of success at the Championship’s curtain closer.

For Abu Dhabi, Pirelli has made available the soft, supersoft and ultrasoft tyres.

Paddy Lowe: Abu Dhabi is the final race to end a long season for all the teams and drivers. It is a fantastic destination for a Formula One race with a certain glamour and party atmosphere for the spectators and fans to enjoy. The Yas Marina itself is spectacular with both qualifying and the race happening at twilight which gives it an extra magical feel as we take to the track. The circuit rewards all-round car performance with a full range of cornering speeds and two long straights. This is Felipe’s final race with us, and his final in Formula One, so part of our focus will be on making sure he ends his Formula One career on a good note. It is also the final race of Lance’s rookie season so we want to support him in his ambition to end on a high before heading into the winter break.

Felipe Massa: Abu Dhabi is always a nice race and a place I always like to visit. The people go crazy for Formula One as well, so I hope to see the track completely full! There are so many parties and boats around the track, and so many people enjoying themselves and getting excited for the race. The track infrastructure is one of the best in the world too. For me, it will be quite an emotional weekend as it will be my final race with Williams as well as my final race in Formula One. I am looking forward to it and plan to enjoy every moment, to finish my Formula One career on a high note!

Lance Stroll: I went there last year just after I was confirmed as a Williams Martini Racing driver, and it was a great event. In my view, it is a wonderful place to finish off the season. It is in the desert and they really put on a show, so this will certainly be a fitting end to the season. The circuit itself wouldn’t be my favourite as it is very stop and go and doesn’t have a great flow to it but, despite that, the show is great and so good for the fans. One very interesting thing is the pit lane exit which is in a tunnel under the track, which is pretty different.

source: williamsf1.com2017 photo album

05 - McLaren Mercedes

McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team


2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – preview


Our official race previews are your guide for every lap of every race in 2017.
Hear from the team, drivers and management as we prepare for the 20th and final round of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship at Yas Marina Circuit.
Follow McLaren TEAMStream for all the build-up to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.



Circuit name Yas Marina Circuit

First race 2009

Previous winners

2016 Lewis Hamilton, 55 laps, 1:38:04.013s

2015 Nico Rosberg

2014 Lewis Hamilton

History lesson This is the ninth Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at Yas Marina Circuit. The track is a stunning venue for Formula 1, having cost £800m to build and it has several unique features. The pitlane exit passes underneath the track, the pit garages are air-conditioned and the circuit has the largest permanent lighting system in the world. This is the sixth time that Yas Marina has hosted F1’s season finale

City Abu Dhabi

Time zone GMT+4/CET+3

Population 950,000

How far? Abu Dhabi is 5,520km (3,430 miles) from the McLaren Technology Centre

Getting there As with all of the flyaway races, the pre-set up crew headed to Abu Dhabi 10 days before the race. The mechanics followed on Monday of this week and the race engineers on Tuesday

Surprising fact The average net worth of Abu Dhabi’s 420,000 indigenous citizens is US$17 million

Local speciality Traditional food in the UAE is spicy and meat-based. One of the most popular dishes is Shawarma, which is similar to a kebab. Mix chicken or lamb with garlic sauce, pickles, potatoes and tomatoes, and wrap it in an Arabic roti. To accentuate the rich Arabian tastes, it’s usually washed down with a strawberry and banana fruit drink

Weather You’re in the desert: it’s dry and hot. Daytime temperatures hover between 25 and 30 degrees Celsius at this time of year



Track length 5.554km/3.451 miles (seventh-longest track of the year – longest: Spa-Francorchamps, shortest: Monaco)

2016 pole position Lewis Hamilton, 1m38.755s

2016 fastest lap Sebastian Vettel, 1m43.729s (lap 43)

Lap record 1:40.279s (Sebastian Vettel, 2009)

Tyre choice Purple Ultrasoft, red Supersoft and yellow Soft – the 10th time this combination has been used in 2017

Distance to Turn One 300m/0.186 miles (longest of season: Mexico 800m/0.497 miles)

Longest straight 1.2km/0.746 miles, on the approach to Turn One (longest of the season: Baku, 2.1km/1.305 miles)

Top speed 320km/h/199mph, on the approach to Turn Eight (fastest of season: Monza, 360km/h/224mph)

Full throttle 63 per cent (highest of the season: Monza, 75 per cent)

Brakewear High. There are 13 braking zones around the lap, which means 18 per cent of the lap is spent braking

Fuel consumption 1.80kg per lap, which is relatively high

ERS demands Medium. Efficient ERS deployment is crucial at the exit of the slow corners, but there are plenty of opportunities to recoup the energy under braking

Gear changes 69 per lap/3,740 per race

Laps 55 laps

Start time 17:00hrs local/13:00hrs GMT/14:00hrs CET

Grid advantage Pole position is on the right-hand-side of the track, on the racing line. Turn One is a left-hander, but the increased traction away from the line should lead to an advantage by the braking zone

DRS There are two DRS zones, on the approaches to Turns Eight and 11

Don’t put the kettle on… Two pitstops has been the go-to pit strategy at Yas Marina Circuit. Hamilton won with two stops last year and Rosberg was victorious with two stops in 2015, both drivers pitting around laps 10 and 25. This year’s harder tyre compounds might make one pitstop possible, depending on the amount of degradation

Pitlane length/Pitstops 360m/0.224 miles (longest of the season: Silverstone, 457m/0.283 miles). It takes 22s to make a stop and drivers need to be careful not to crash in the tunnel at pit exit

Safety Car likelihood 40 per cent. If there is contact between cars, it’s often made at the chicanes, which are both low-speed. That results in relatively little debris and few Safety Cars

Watch out for… Sunset. Visibility can be tricky at Turns 14 and 19 when the sun is going down. It only lasts a handful of laps, but drivers need to be wary because there are blind spots
The drivers 

Fernando Alonso

  • #FA14  MCL32-05

“As another season comes to a close, Abu Dhabi is a fantastic circuit to visit to round off another year of racing. There’s a really unique atmosphere – the year feels like it has gone quickly, but equally there’s a feeling of finality and everybody in the team who has worked so hard all year is looking forward to the winter break. It means there’s huge anticipation from everyone to perform well in the final race of the season, and it usually gives us great racing and we see everyone giving everything they have to finish on a positive note.

“Yas Marina Circuit is a trickier one for us than Brazil. We had an unexpectedly good result at Interlagos, but we’re anticipating a tougher challenge in Abu Dhabi. Of course, the whole team wants to finish the season on a high, so we’re working hard to extract every last bit of performance out of the MCL32. Qualifying is crucial on this track because overtaking is tricky, so it’s important we get the set-up right as early as we can in the weekend.

“Racing on this circuit is a really special way to end the season – racing in twilight and then the dark, and in ever-evolving conditions makes it interesting for the drivers, and I’m sure this year’s cars will be super fun to drive around this track. I’m looking forward to it and I hope we can end the season with a strong result as a reward for all the efforts of the whole team this year.”

Stoffel Vandoorne

  • #SV2  MCL32-04

“It’s good to finish the season at a circuit I know well after a couple of new ones in the past few races. I’ve driven at Yas Marina Circuit a number of times – in testing and also in GP2, and I’ve won here twice, which are really special memories. I’m looking forward to tackling it again in a Formula 1 car – it’s a tricky, technical circuit, but rewarding, and because of its configuration it’s pretty difficult to overtake.

“Racing from day to night isn’t something I’ve experienced much of in Abu Dhabi because of the timings of the GP2 races, but driving as the sun goes down is really cool. I like racing on this circuit and there’s definitely a special feeling at this grand prix. It’s a strange mix between that ‘end-of-term’ feeling and a lot of anticipation about the weekend ahead, before everyone goes home for a break and then starts working on next year’s car.

“This year has been full of ups and downs for us. For me, I had a difficult start to the year, but as the season has progressed I’ve worked really hard with the team and feel that I’ve come into my own. I’m more comfortable in the cockpit now than ever before, and my rate of progression over the second half of the season has been very satisfying. It’s been a challenging year, but ultimately a rewarding one because I’ve learned a lot, and I can’t wait to see what next year will bring. We’ll be pushing hard this weekend to finish the year on a high.”

The management

Eric Boullier


“As we look ahead to the sun setting on the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and the 2017 season, I’m proud of the battles we’ve fought and the achievements we’ve made as team this year, despite the lack of results and their respective influence on the championship table. Every member of our team has worked tirelessly to improve our package, race by race, and this weekend will be no exception, as we strive to make the most of every session before the close of the season for the winter shutdown.

“We use every single opportunity on track to evaluate and improve our package and learn valuable lessons for next year, and this weekend will be just as important as ever. With the relative stability in the regulations between 2017 and ’18, it means a lot of the data we’ve gathered, especially over the last few races, will still stand us in good stead over the winter and help inform the all-important decisions we make on next year’s package.

“I know I can speak for the whole team when I say that each and every one of us embarks on our final grand prix weekend as McLaren Honda in Abu Dhabi with both optimism and respect. Every single person has worked incredibly hard over the past three years and remained committed through the highs and lows we’ve experienced together until the very last race. All of us will go into the weekend with exactly the same aim – to work hard and do everything we can to finish the season positively.”

Yusuke Hasegawa

Honda R&D Co. Ltd Head of F1 Project & Executive Chief Engineer

“With the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, we mark the end of a long and challenging 2017 Formula 1 season. The weekend is also significant as it is our final race as McLaren Honda. Despite this, everyone will be fully focussed on extracting the full potential from our package and continuing the momentum we have built over the last few races.

“Yas Marina is a unique track with a traditional racetrack and street-like circuit combined into one. This makes it challenging for the engineers to find the perfect set-up as each sector is very different, from low-speed 90-degree corners to full-throttle straights. Unlocking power and managing fuel will also be key.

“Finally, I am incredibly proud of how hard everyone in the team has worked this this season. I hope that we can end the year on a high, not just for them, but also for the McLaren Honda fans around the world that have supported us during the last three seasons.”

source: mclaren.com2017 photo album

Scuderia Toro Rosso logo

Scuderia Toro Rosso


Our drivers about Abu Dhabi…


“Wow, what a way to end a year… Abu Dhabi will mark the end of a very busy and surreal few months for me! This will be my fourth Formula 1 Grand Prix of my career and I have to say that I’ve been feeling more and more comfortable in the Toro Rosso F1 car if I compare it to the first time I drove it. I now feel right at home within the team too, which is always a nice feeling to have. Abu Dhabi is a track I have raced and tested on in other categories and I remain optimistic that I can score my first F1 point!”


“I’m really excited and looking forward to the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi! It’s a track I really like, especially because I have some really good memories from racing there last year, where I won the GP2 Series title. It’s a place that therefore means a lot to me, also because I was on pole position there for the last two GP2 seasons! It’s also a race that starts in day light but ends at nighttime under the floodlights, so it’s a bit different to usual and makes it even more special. The fireworks at the end of the race are also quite spectacular and I like it because they always try to create an amazing atmosphere… and they really manage!! I will give my very best; we need to really push and keep our sixth position in the Constructors’ Championship – it’s really important for the team and us drivers, as we want to make sure the team can develop the car as much as we’d like for next year. I will do my best and hopefully finish the season on a high in order to start with a strong baseline for 2018.”

source: scuderiatororosso.com2017 photo album

11 - Haas F1 Team

Haas F1 Team

Sophomores No More

Haas F1 Team’s Second Season Comes to Conclusion in F1 Finale at Abu Dhabi

Knowledge is power. The phrase is attributed to Sir Francis Bacon, an English philosopher and scientist from the late Renaissance period. Despite those words being more than 400 years old, they remain relevant.

For Haas F1 Team, those words ring especially true. The only American team competing in the FIA Formula One World Championship will finish its sophomore year in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Nov. 26 at Yas Marina Circuit. At minimum, they will have scored 18 more points than in 2016 when they became the first American Formula One team in 30 years.

That inaugural season netted 29 points, the most of any new team in this millennium. When Jaguar debuted in 2000 and when Toyota came on the scene in 2002, each entity managed only two point-paying finishes in their entire first seasons for a combined total of six points.

That Haas F1 Team has substantially bettered its points haul in 2017 while on the cusp of improving its constructors standing is due in large part to knowledge, specifically, the knowledge gained from participating at motorsports’ highest level for almost two years.

Eighth in the constructors standings with 47 points with still one race remaining, Haas F1 Team is just two points behind seventh-place Renault and six points arrears sixth-place Toro Rosso. A points-paying drive in Abu Dhabi could propel Haas F1 Team past these Formula One stalwarts and cap a solid sophomore season.

The organization’s second year will end when the checkered flag drops at the 5.554-kilometer (3.451-mile), 21-turn Yas Marina Circuit. Haas F1 Team will soon become rising juniors as they prepare for winter testing in late February and early March at Circuit de Barcelona – Catalunya before embarking on a 21-race campaign beginning with the March 25 Australian Grand Prix.

Preparation for 2018 began months ago when Haas F1 Team started developing its next-generation car while simultaneously running its 2017 car with drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

Despite the dual workload, Grosjean has scored 28 points and Magnussen has tallied 19 points, a haul punctuated by two double-points results – May 28 in the Monaco Grand Prix when Grosjean finished eighth and Magnussen came home 10th, and Oct. 8 in the Japanese Grand Prix when Magnussen took eighth and Grosjean crossed the stripe in ninth. Eleven times this season Haas F1 Team has come away with points, more than double its amount of point-paying finishes from 2016.

Talent combined with knowledge is responsible for this uptick in performance, and with the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix beckoning, Haas F1 Team aims to parlay this combination into points one more time.


Romain Grosjean, driver #8

Abu Dhabi is the season finale, and it’s also the finale of Haas F1 Team’s sophomore year. After having to race brand new racecars in back-to-back seasons under two sets of very different rules packages, how does this year compare to last year?

“It was much better. The car was faster, more fun to drive, more physical and more challenging, as well. Generally, the new generation of car was much more in line with what you’d expect for Formula One.”


Were there any key learnings from last year that you applied to this year?

“I think Formula One is one of those sports where you can’t train outside of racing. Every year is important, and every year brings more experience, so you get better and better.”


Regardless of the outcome in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team will have surpassed its point tally from 2016 by 18 points. Are points scored the surest, most tangible examples of progress, or are there other elements of progress not everyone is able to see from the outside?

“There’s much more than points. We’ve definitely made some good progress. We’re still behind what we could potentially do, that’s why the winter is going to be important for us to get everything ready for next season. When we started 2017, we were much stronger than at the start of 2016. I’m looking forward to seeing where we are in 2018 and making the big steps I believe we can.”


Prior to 2017, there were those who proclaimed that Haas F1 Team’s second season would be harder than its first. Was this accurate, or were the challenges just different?

“The second season is always going to be harder than the first one, but I think we’ve done very well. We started the year super strong. We then went down a little bit, which we need to address for the future. I think for as challenging a season as it was going to be, we’ve done super well.”


What were the team’s challenges this year?

“It was keeping the development rate going and understanding the new car. Clearly, we knew starting the season that the car from Melbourne would be fairly far from the one in Abu Dhabi. We just had to keep the development going and find the right areas to improve the car.”


What were the team’s strengths?

“There are a lot of them, but I think the atmosphere, and the team spirit we have, is the key to the team.”


The way Haas F1 Team is set up is unorthodox, at least by Formula One standards. Does the team’s success in its second year validate Haas F1 Team’s approach?

“I think so. Of course, we still haven’t reached our limitation with what we can do with our setup, because I’m sure we can be stronger and be up there. It works very well. There are a few adjustments to be made year-after-year, which Gene (Haas) and Guenther (Steiner) are doing. I’m sure the team can be very successful.”


While the drivers and constructors championships have been decided, the midfield battle is still very much alive heading into Abu Dhabi. Haas F1 Team is currently eighth in the constructors standings, with seventh just two points out and sixth only six points away. Is bettering your point standing still possible?

“Of course. As long as the last checkered flag isn’t down, you can always improve. We’re still very much in the match with the guys in front of us, and they’ve been struggling a little bit recently. We’re going to give it our all in Abu Dhabi and just play it like it’s the world championship.”


Is there a particular moment from this season that stands out the most for you?

“We’ve had some really good races. I’d say our double-points finish in Monaco was nice, and again in Japan, which was super good. The qualifying in Australia, also – we didn’t know what to expect and we got sixth.”


When the season starts, Abu Dhabi seems very far away, yet here we are. Has the season gone by quickly?

“It flies by. I remember going on the plane to Australia like it was yesterday. Once you’re into the season, it just goes. You don’t realize how fast it’s going.”


Yas Marina Circuit is a showplace. What makes it stand out on the Formula One schedule?

“It’s the show, the overall race view, the fact you start in the day and finish in the night, and the fact it’s been the finale for a few years now. It’s a very nice venue with superb facilities.”


With the race beginning in the late afternoon and ending at night, how much does the track change as the air and track temperatures cool and, in turn, how does that affect tire management?

“It does change a little bit, and that’s why FP2 is very important in Abu Dhabi. That’s the only session where you’re going to get the same conditions as qualifying and the race. You do need to work there. It does make a big difference if it’s sunny or dark.”


Yas Marina Circuit consists of three distinct sectors. How do you find a setup that suits all aspects of the track, or do you have to compromise in one section to take full advantage of another section?

“It’s always about compromise and finding the best setup to go faster. You just have to find where you can find the lap time. That’s the key. You’re never going to be perfect in every corner, but you can try to be as good as you can over the lap.”


Yas Marina is a smooth track and it seems that it takes a while for the track to rubber in. As the grip level increases over the duration of the race weekend, how do you determine where the limit is from Friday to Saturday to Sunday?

“The most difficult thing in Abu Dhabi are the conditions between FP1 and FP2. You only actually have one session that is representative of the race and qualifying, and that’s FP2. FP1 and FP3 are warm, therefore you have an hour-and-a-half to determine the best setup.”


Do you have any milestones or moments from your junior career that you enjoyed at Abu Dhabi?

“I won there in GT1 (in 2010 with Matech Competition). That was my first-ever GT World Championship start, and the first race with that team, and we won. It was a pretty good moment taking the win and leading the championship.”


What is your favorite part of Yas Marina Circuit?

“I quite like the first part with turns one, two and three. It can be fun.”


Describe a lap around Yas Marina Circuit.

“Straight line to the first corner – it comes pretty quickly – a 90-degree left-hand corner, normally in fourth gear. Turns two and three are then flat out. You go down the hill, braking into (turn) six – very tricky braking turning into six, then straight away into (turn) seven. You need to be well positioned for the hairpin going down the backstraight. It’s tricky to get the car to turn. Long straight line, big braking for the chicane, and again you need to be well positioned between the left- and right-hand side corners. Then it’s another straight line on to (turns) 11, 12 and 13. It’s a triple chicane and as soon as you exit that part you go flat out then brake for turn 14, which is a 90-degree left-hand side corner. Flat out again into (turns) 16 and 17, two right-hand side corners flat out. As soon as you go out of (turn) 17 you have to brake again for (turns) 18. (Turns) 19 and 20, you’re going under the hotel, with a tricky exit out of (turn) 20. The second-to-last-corner is good. It’s high speed in fourth or fifth gear. Then the last corner is very tricky. It’s very wide on the entry phase with the pit lane on the right-hand side. It’s not easy to find a line. Then you go as early as you can on the power to finish the lap.”


As you head into the offseason, how much “off” is there, or is that just a misnomer because preseason testing tends to arrive quickly?

“There’ll be a little bit of rest, but I’ve got a few challenges coming up. I’m doing a cross-country race, then another running race after the season’s done. I’ll keep myself busy. I love doing sport. I love playing with the kids and, of course, the baby is due in early January. That’s going to keep me on my toes. I will take some time off, and the diet will be a little less strict than it is during the season, but on the other hand, training is super important and I love it.”


As we look ahead to 2018, how helpful is that for the first time in two years, you’re able to develop a car based on the car you’ve raced this year?

“It’s going to be interesting and important for us to get it right. Now’s the time to sit down with all the engineers, make sure we’re all on the same page, and agree on what we want to do.


Kevin Magnussen, driver #20

Abu Dhabi is the season finale, and it’s also the finale of Haas F1 Team’s sophomore year. After racing for an established team in Renault last year and a still very young organization in Haas F1 Team this year, how does this season compare to last season?

“It’s been a really good season. In terms of results, we could’ve gotten more out of it. Performance has been there to score big points on a few occasions, but we’ve missed out due to bad luck or reliability issues. I think we could’ve had a little more to show with a bit more luck, but it’s been a really enjoyable season, and I’ve had the most fun racing that perhaps I’ve ever had.”


Regardless of the outcome in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team will have surpassed its point tally from 2016 by 18 points. Are points scored the surest, most tangible examples of progress, or are there other elements of progress not everyone is able to see from the outside?

“It’s hard for people to see what progress is being made from the outside. A lot of the stuff doesn’t pay off straight away. A lot of the stuff you improve and develop. It’s about the little steps, and when you do a thousand of them, you make progress and the benefits become visible. Each time you make a step, it’s not always visible. I can certainly see from the inside how we’re building up and improving. There’s still a long way to go and I’m happy I’m a part of it.” 


What were the team’s strengths?

“We’ve designed a strong car. The baseline of our car is very competitive. I think we just need to try and improve our understanding of the car and our operation of the car so we can extract the performance out of it in every condition, every temperature and every track. We’ve had a few places where we’ve been very strong and stood out a bit compared to the rest of the season. That tells me the design of the car is right, we just need to exploit it better.”


The way Haas F1 Team is set up is unorthodox, at least by Formula One standards. Does the team’s success in its second year validate Haas F1 Team’s approach?

“Yes, I believe it does.”


While the drivers and constructors championships have been decided, the midfield battle is still very much alive heading into Abu Dhabi. Haas F1 Team is currently eighth in the constructors standings, with seventh just two points out and sixth only six points away. Is bettering your point standing still possible?

“Yes, definitely. We have nothing to lose going into Abu Dhabi. We just have to go for it. It’s going to be exciting.”


Is there a particular moment from this season that stands out the most for you?

“It’s hard to pick out just one. Naturally, I would’ve liked to have had a few more good results. I think they were definitely in the cards, but just didn’t happen for different reasons.”


Yas Marina Circuit is a showplace. What makes it stand out on the Formula One schedule?

“It’s a very glamorous race to go to as a spectator. It’s obviously a race that goes into the night, which makes it more spectacular. It’s the finale of the season, so it’s always a special race no matter where that is, but I think Abu Dhabi does a good job hosting it.”


With the race beginning in the late afternoon and ending at night, how much does the track change as the air and track temperatures cool and, in turn, how does that affect tire management?

“In terms of the race, it’s not too bad. Setting up your car, working on the setup over the weekend, it’s difficult because all the sessions are in different temperatures. What you get in FP1 is never what you get in FP2. It’s never comparable, and it’s the same with FP3 in relation to qualifying. It’s a challenging event in terms of building up your weekend.”


Do you have any milestones or moments from your junior career that you enjoyed at Abu Dhabi?

“I’ve only ever raced at Abu Dhabi in Formula One. I had my first test in a Formula One car there back in 2012. That’s obviously a good memory.”


What is your favorite part of Yas Marina Circuit?

“I’d say sector one is enjoyable, but probably with this car it’s going to be quite easy flat, less challenging. That makes sector three the most challenging now.”


As you head into the offseason, how much “off” is there, or is that just a misnomer because preseason testing tends to arrive quickly?

“It’s the time of year where you actually work the hardest, at least in terms of your training. You don’t have any races to prepare for, so you can push yourself a bit more and really build up your fitness over the winter. Obviously, it’s nice to get a break from all the traveling, but it doesn’t take long before you start missing racing again.”


As we look ahead to 2018, how helpful is that for the first time in two years, you’re able to develop a car based on the car you’ve raced this year?

“It’s going to be interesting. It’s a good feeling going into the season with the team and an idea of a car that I know from a season already. I’m very much looking forward to that.”


Guenther Steiner, Team Principal

Abu Dhabi is the season finale, and it’s also the finale of Haas F1 Team’s sophomore year. After having to build brand new racecars in back-to-back seasons under two sets of very different rules packages, how does this year compare to last year?

“It was very similar. The first year we had to build a new car completely, and the team, but we had a little bit more time. This year, again, we had to do a completely new car – we already had the team built up – but we still had to optimize it. The intensity was almost the same, but when I think about our 2018 car, the intensity is the same again. I don’t think there’s a lot of change in whatever you’re doing in Formula One. Everything is always on the edge, everything goes to the last minute, and it’s all at the highest level.” 


Were there any key learnings from last year that you applied to this year, be it in car construction, personnel or even race weekend protocols?

“You need to better yourself in every little detail. There is not one big thing that I would say we would do completely different, but there are a lot of things you optimize with hindsight.”


Regardless of the outcome in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Haas F1 Team will have surpassed its point tally from 2016 by 18 points. Are points scored the surest, most tangible examples of progress, or are there other elements of progress not everyone is able to see from the outside?

“I think points tell something, but not everything. Even if we race the same teams, there are different levels of performance. I wouldn’t have said we’ve gotten better if we had less points, but looking in from the outside, I think we’ve made progress at all levels. We wanted to better our position, but at this moment in time we are equal, so sure we will try to get better in Abu Dhabi. I was hoping to better our end-of-season position by one spot.”


Prior to 2017, there were those who proclaimed that your second season would be harder than your first. Was this accurate, or were the challenges just different?

“The year-to-year challenges are different. We have to adapt as we do this. If you cannot keep up with the challenges, you shouldn’t be working in Formula One. The second year is always more difficult, but we knew this in year one. I think we successfully worked in year one so we didn’t fall back in year two.”


What were the team’s challenges this year?

“The challenge is just to optimize everything and find the weak spots where we can gain performance with the least amount of changes.”


What were the team’s strengths?

“We’ve been working together now for over a year – over two years with some people – so it’s just like we know each other better and we know what to expect. We know each other’s limits. That helps a lot when you do things. We’re well covered personnel-wise. We have enough people who are part of the team that we can lean on.”


The way Haas F1 Team is set up is unorthodox, at least by Formula One standards. Does the team’s success in its second year validate Haas F1 Team’s approach?

“It shows this is a model that is, at least, not wrong. If there is a better model out there – for sure, there is always something better – but our model works. What we set out to do, we’re doing.”


While the drivers and constructors championships have been decided, the midfield battle is still very much alive heading into Abu Dhabi. Haas F1 Team is currently eighth in the constructors standings, with seventh just two points out and sixth only six points away. Is bettering your point standing still possible?

“Absolutely. We will have a go at it. In Brazil, without the two accidents on lap one, I think we’d have had a good chance to get some points. Then again, we didn’t do it, so it’s just ‘if’ and ‘would’. We will, for sure, try hard in Abu Dhabi.”


Is there a particular moment from this season that stands out the most for you?

“I think finishing with two cars in the top-10 in Japan, where a lot of people had written us off already in the season. Finishing eighth and ninth wasn’t so bad.”


When the season starts, Abu Dhabi seems very far away, yet here we are. Has the season gone by quickly?

“Life has gone by quickly this year, not only the racing season. It’s an intense schedule. We do a lot of work and a lot of travel, and that’s not only for me, that’s for everybody on all the teams. Everybody puts in a lot of effort to put this show on the road. The season goes by quickly, and life goes by quickly.”


Yas Marina Circuit is a showplace. What makes it stand out on the Formula One schedule?

“First of all, it’s the last race of the season, so that makes it stand out a lot. As a facility, it’s very nice and the location is very cool. Being there is a nice end to the season. It’s warm while it’s cold everywhere else where the teams are based.”


With the race beginning in the late afternoon and ending at night, how much does the track change as the air and track temperatures cool and, in turn, how does that affect tire management?

“When you go into the race weekend, we know which practice sessions to count on, and the ones that don’t count toward the race, where the ambient and track temperatures are hotter than in the race. We just adapt to that.”


As you head into the offseason, how much “off” is there, or is that just a misnomer because preseason testing tends to arrive quickly?

“It arrives so quickly. Looking at my personal schedule, I’ve got just one weekend off between now and Christmas. The rest still involves traveling and doing things to get ready for next year. That’s part of the job. This season is nearly done, but 2018 really started three months ago. We just keep on going. I hope some of the race team, like the mechanics, who for sure work a lot harder than I do, can get a few weeks off so they’re ready to go for next year.”


As we look ahead to 2018, how different is next year’s car in terms of design with the addition of the halo?

“The addition of the halo is new to Formula One, but all the rest of the car stays very similar. The regulations have changed very little. Aesthetically, it’s almost nothing, except the halo and the sharkfin. I think it will look different, but we’ll get used to it pretty quick.”


What are the implications for the halo in terms of weight and the car’s overall aerodynamics?

“The weight of the halo is the same for everybody. On the aero development, it’s just one more part the aero group has to get into their development program to try and get the best out of it. It’s nothing too special. They’re used to the challenge. It’s just a new element introduced into their playing field. They will play with it to try to get it as efficient as they can.” 

The circuit

Yas Marina Circuit

  • Total number of race laps: 55
  • Complete race distance: 305.355 kilometers (189.739 miles)
  • Pit lane speed limit: 80 kph (50 mph)
  • This 5.554-kilometer (3.451-mile), 21-turn circuit has hosted Formula One since 2009, with last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix serving as the venue’s eighth grand prix.
  • Sebastian Vettel holds the race lap record at Yas Marina Circuit (1:40.279), set in 2009 with Red Bull.
  • Lewis Hamilton holds the qualifying lap record at the Yas Marina Circuit (1:38.434), set in 2011 with McLaren in Q2.
  • The Yas Marina Circuit is a showplace, and it should be considering it is widely believed to be the most expensive Formula One track ever built, with some estimates topping $1 billion. It is a purpose-built facility on a man-made island and it is one of the many new Formula One circuits designed by Hermann Tilke. It is less than a decade old and it features a counter-clockwise layout that boasts a top speed of 325 kph (202 mph) and an average speed of 190 kph (118 mph). It has nine right turns and 12 left turns on a waterfront course that rivals Monaco and Singapore. Its extravagance and uniqueness is best highlighted by these attributes: the pit lane exit passes underneath the circuit via a tunnel and the garages are air-conditioned. Yas Marina has a powerful lighting system, and it lays claim to holding Formula One’s first twilight race.
  • DYK? Abu Dhabi is home to the world’s fastest roller-coaster. Located inside Ferrari World (of course), the Formula Rossa ride reaches 240 kph (150 mph) in less than five seconds and climbs to 52 meters (171 feet) to create 4.8Gs for its riders. And if emulating a drive in a Formula One car isn’t your thing, you can go downhill skiing despite Abu Dhabi’s average November temperature of 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit). Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates offers indoor, downhill skiing with 3,000 square meters of snow (32,292 square feet) and an 85-meter high (279 foot) mountain.

During the course of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, lows will range from 22-23 degrees Celsius (72-74 degrees Fahrenheit) to highs of 28-29 degrees Celsius (83-85 degrees Fahrenheit). Relative humidity ranges from 29 percent (dry) to 83 percent (humid), with a dew point varying from 10 degrees Celsius/50 degrees Fahrenheit (very comfortable) to 22 degrees Celsius/71 degrees Fahrenheit (very muggy). The dew point is rarely below 6 degrees Celsius/43 degrees Fahrenheit (dry) or above 24 degrees Celsius/75 degrees Fahrenheit (very muggy). Typical wind speeds vary from 0-23 kph/0-14 mph (calm to moderate breeze), rarely exceeding 55 kph/34 mph (high wind).

Where the rubber meets the road

  • Pirelli is bringing three tire compounds to Abu Dhabi:
    • P Zero Yellow soft – less grip, less wear (used for long-race stints)
      • This is one of the most frequently used tires in Pirelli’s range, as it strikes a balance between performance and durability, with the accent on performance. It is still geared toward speed rather than long distances, but it remains capable of providing teams with a competitive advantage at the beginning of the race where cars are carrying a full fuel load, and at the end of the race where the fuel load is much lighter and the race effectively becomes a sprint. It is a high working-range compound.
    • P Zero Red supersoft – more grip, medium wear (used for shorter-race stints and for initial portion of qualifying)
      • This is the second softest tire in Pirelli’s range, and it is ideal for tight and twisting circuits, especially in cold weather, when maximum grip is needed. The supersofts warm up rapidly, which has made it a stalwart choice for qualifying. But with increased grip comes increased degradation. It is a low working-range compound.
    • P Zero Purple ultrasoft – highest amount of grip, highest amount of wear (used for qualifying and select race situations)
      • This is the softest tire in Pirelli’s range, with rapid warming and massive performance. It is best used on tight and twisting circuits that put a premium on mechanical grip. However, because it is so soft, it has a limited lifespan. It is a low working-range compound.
  • The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marks the 10th time these three compounds have been packaged together. Teams most recently ran this tire package in the Mexican Grand Prix Oct. 27-29 at Autódromo Hermanos Rodríguez in Mexico City. These same compounds were used for last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
  • The Yellow soft tire has been used in every grand prix this season. The Red supersoft tire has been used everywhere except the Spanish Grand Prix. The Purple ultrasoft has been used in the Australian Grand Prix, the Russian Grand Prix, the Monaco Grand Prix, the Canadian Grand Prix, the Austrian Grand Prix, the Belgian Grand Prix, the Singapore Grand Prix, the United States Grand Prix and the Mexican Grand Prix.
  • Two of the three available compounds must be used during the race. Teams are able to decide when they want to run which compound, adding an element of strategy to the race. A driver can also use all three sets of Pirelli tires in the race, if they so desire. (If there are wet track conditions, the Cinturato Blue full wet tire and the Cinturato Green intermediate tire will be made available.)
  • Pirelli provides each driver 13 sets of dry tires for the race weekend. Of those 13 sets, drivers and their teams can choose the specifications of 10 of those sets from the three compounds Pirelli selected. The remaining three sets are defined by Pirelli – two mandatory tire specifications for the race (one set of Yellow softs and one set of Red supersofts) and one mandatory specification for Q3 (one set of Purple ultrasofts). Haas F1 Team’s drivers have selected the following amounts:
    • Grosjean: two sets of Yellow softs, two sets of Red supersofts and nine sets of Purple ultrasofts

Magnussen: two sets of Yellow softs, two sets of Red supersofts and nine sets of Purple ultrasofts

source: haasf1team.com2017 photo album

Renault Sport Formula One Team logo

Renault Sport Formula One Team


Foreword from Renault Sport Racing Managing Director, Cyril Abiteboul

We go to Abu Dhabi aiming to finish this rollercoaster season on a high.

This race is almost a championship in itself as we are in a tight battle with Toro Rosso and Haas, and everything is still to play for. Either one of us could finish between sixth and eighth position so we are being very careful with our preparations. We will have to combine an approach that is at the same time attacking, as we need five points more than Toro Rosso to get sixth, but also conservative as we are just two points ahead of Haas.

We can be positive about our prospects. Abu Dhabi will be the fourth race Nico and Carlos have worked together and we have had two double Q3 performances. They work well together and push each other in the right direction, allowing us to point our development accurately and accelerate elements that add performance to the car. Whatever the result this weekend, we already have the confidence of a strong driver line-up next season.

Despite the importance of the weekend, we are also looking towards 2018 and notably the French GP. Given the high standard of the track and hospitality we will have a lot of VIPs from Renault and our partners at this event.

Snatch and grab

With sixth place in the Constructors’ Championship now the target, Chief Technical Officer Bob Bell discusses the team’s approach to the season finale at Yas Marina.

How do you reflect on Brazil?

It was a big disappointment as we wanted both cars in the points, higher up than the tenth and eleventh we achieved. This result was frustrating as both cars qualified in the top ten. One car crossed the finish line in the points, showing that the potential is there. Carlos had a first lap incident where he sustained a decent chunk of aerodynamic damage to his floor. This cost him performance in the race, where he had a trickier run than Nico to keep pace. We had a particular emphasis on reliability in Brazil as we wanted to be sure both cars finished, and this did have an impact on performance.

What is the approach for the final round?

We will look at the balance of risk and reward with the aim of maximising our chances of overhauling Toro Rosso for sixth in the Championship. We’ll fight for every point.

What’s the verdict from testing 2018 parts in Brazil?

Nico’s Power Unit had elements relevant to 2018 and we also assessed chassis concepts. From an evaluation point of view, we completed all the tests we wanted on Friday with some positive answers and feedback. We’ve made strong progress in this area.

What have been the key areas of progress for the team over the season to date?

The performance of the car and our ability to extract it has improved a lot over the season. What we’ve failed to do is take that performance and convert it into points on a Sunday afternoon. There is no doubt how quick the car is and there has been a clear upward trend throughout the season on our improvements. Our understanding of what we need to do to make the car better has developed a lot and that will continue into next year.

What’s the progression been like at Enstone?

We have recruited more people who have the necessary understanding as well as an increase in the number of younger personnel, who are learning the trade. There is momentum building in all areas and that has led to the progressive improvement in performance. We want to carry that on into winter and through into next year.

I get a great sense that the momentum in this team is building for the longer term and that’s what we’re interested in. Clinching sixth in the Constructors’ is important as this team wants to show progress en route to being successful and winning championships. It’s important to feel and build on this momentum.

Are you happy with what you’ve seen from the Nico-Carlos pairing?

Both are highly adept at giving us a clear direction to follow for the fundamental development path with the R.S.17. They see the same problems from slightly different angles, which is insightful. Carlos has settled in very quickly and works with his engineers very well. He’s been immediately on the pace. He’s a great team player and works well with Nico, they are both very mature. It’s key that they remain level-headed and keep progressing together. They are both clearly talented and very quick.


Final Countdown

A fired-up Nico Hülkenberg is ready to end his maiden season with the team on a bright note.

What is Yas Marina like to drive?

The circuit itself is quite amazing and the facilities are really impressive. It’s a long lap with a weird rhythm so it’s key to get comfortable with the change of flow. The corners are a lot different to each other so it’s vital to find a good balance, get accustomed to the conditions and master it. Abu Dhabi is a really fun place for a season finale. I’ve finished in the top seven three times in the last three years so I’m looking forward to it and ready to fight for some points.

How do you reflect on Brazil?

It’s certainly positive to pick up one point after such a frustrating run in recent months. In terms of pace, we weren’t as strong as we would like to be but we did the best we could. The Constructors’ Championship will go down to the wire for sixth in Abu Dhabi and I’m really relishing the challenge. The track should suit us better than Interlagos. It’s the season finale, there’s plenty at stake and that makes me very excited.

What’s been the story of your season?

This year has been about progress and development. I’ve got to know a new team, and one that has been developing strongly over the course of the year. We’ve made progress with the car and our performance. Of course, we’ve wanted more in terms of results, but I think we have put many things in place behind the scenes, which will enable us to fight for better positions in the future, and that’s always been the aim.

What’s your aim for the final Grand Prix of the season?

I head to Abu Dhabi hoping to score well. I want to kick back on Sunday night at Yas Marina with the team and celebrate a job well done.


Yabba Dhabi Do

Carlos Sainz will conclude his short and promising relationship with the R.S.17 as he heads out for his fourth time in Renault colours at the season finale.

What do you think of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?

I enjoy that this race is at night, I’ve done well under the lights this year so it would be nice to repeat that form. The atmosphere is always good in Abu Dhabi as it’s the last race of the year which makes it quite a special event. The facilities are incredible there and it’s pretty cool to start the race in sunlight and finish at night time, I like that!

What are your thoughts after Brazil?

I left Brazil with a positive mindset as I’m starting to feel at home in the car and we head to Abu Dhabi with confidence and an aim for points. It’s going to be a tight fight in the championship for sixth, but we are ready for the challenge.

How do you look back on your first three races with the team?

There’s been a lot to learn but I think we’ve been able to face the challenge in a positive manner. It’s been an education for me to come to a manufacturer team, and there’s been a lot to do because of joining mid-season. I’m still on a steep learning curve with the car so I hope for another step forward in Abu Dhabi.

What are your goals for the final race?

Of course, I want to qualify and finish in the top ten. We’ve definitely had strong positives from every Grand Prix so far and I want to continue that to finish the year with a smile on my face.  

RSA Round-Up

Second title for Lundgaard in rookie season

Renault Sport Academy Driver Christian Lundgaard stormed to a second Drivers’ title of the season as he claimed the Spanish F4 Championship in Estoril last weekend (10-12 November).

Christian – winner of the SMP F4 NEZ Championship earlier in the season – sealed the crown in style by taking victory in the final two races in the season finale at Estoril.

The Dane, in his rookie year in single-seat machinery, entered the final round with a slender three-point advantage over Alexander Smolyar who had mounted an impressive comeback during the second half of the season.

But Christian remained cool and took the title by 36 points following the two wins and a second in the opening race.

Marta García ended her first full season in Spanish F4 in ninth place in the championship. The Spanish teen capped off the campaign with eighth place in the final race in Portugal to finish on 67 points.

Christian Lundgaard: “The weekend in general was really good. It was nice to go into the final round with competition and pressure to win the championship, which was a real challenge. Our pace was there from the off, which really helped. Taking the Race 2 win was great and set me up for the Sunday. I knew what I had to do in Race 3 – just finish it – but I took the advantage, gave it a go and won the championship in style with a victory.

“I would like to say thanks to MP Motorsport for the amazing job all season. We had to battle for it, but we showed we were the best. Thanks to Renault Sport Academy as well for all the support which has been incredible.”

Marta García: “The final round was a difficult one for me as I didn’t quite have the pace of top five. I would have liked to finish the final round a little better, but things happened like this. I’ve had ups and downs during the season but learned a lot from it. I would like to thank my team MP Motorsport, Renault Sport Academy, and all the people who have supported me.”

Rowland and Latifi ready to finish on an Abu Dhabi high

Renault Sport Formula One Team Development Driver Oliver Rowland is aiming to clinch the runners-up spot in the Formula 2 Championship as the season draws to a close in Abu Dhabi on the Grand Prix weekend.

Oliver, driving for DAMS, has had an impressive season for the French team taking ten podiums across the season including a second and a third at the last round in Jerez. Those results mean he leads Artem Markelov by 12 points going into the final two races in the desert and the chase to be best of the rest behind series winner Charles Leclerc.

Test Driver Nicholas Latifi mathematically remains in contention to finish second in the championship but is 33 points adrift of team-mate Oliver in the standings. Nicholas has enjoyed an excellent season in Formula 2 with eight podiums to his name which included a win at Silverstone in July.

Oliver Rowland: “I’m really looking forward to the final round of the season in Abu Dhabi and I’m aiming to take second spot in the series. I had a good outing last time in Jerez with two podiums so it’s important to end the year on a high with two more. We’re still in the mix for the Teams’ title so Nicholas and I will be pushing hard to secure that.”

Nicholas Latifi: “It’s been quite a long break between our last race and the upcoming one in Abu Dhabi so I can’t wait to get back in the car. Mathematically I can still finish second in the championship so I’ll be pushing as hard as I can to have the best weekend possible and hopefully with a bit of luck things will fall into place for me. We are also still in the fight for the Teams’ Championship so I’m really hoping we can come out on top in that to reward the guys for all of their hard work and commitment during the season.”

Academy Focus…Jack Aitken

Renault Sport Academy Driver Jack Aitken goes into the GP3 season finale in Abu Dhabi looking to solidify his second place in the championship. It’s been a mixed second season for the 22-year-old British-Korean who has taken six podiums, including a victory in Hungary, in 2017.

In September, Jack tested a 2012 spec Renault V8 powered E20 Formula 1 car in Jerez as he continues his hard work to move up the motorsport ladder. The ART man discusses life as a racing driver, his future plans and what driving Formula 1 machinery feels like.

How did you get into motorsport?

I started when I was 7 years old, but I’d been watching Formula 1 a long time before that because my dad was into it. My mum is a bit of a petrol head as well so the whole family loves it. I began karting because I passed some exams and it was a present. I got into it and carried on.

What’s the dream in motorsport?

Winning many, many times in F1, I think! The overall goal is to win a world title.

Who are your motorsport heroes?

I have a lot of respect for people like Senna, Schumacher, Prost, Hamilton, but I don’t really think anyone is a hero or I don’t have any idols in that sense. People are normal, they all have their faults as well.

How would you describe 2017?

Difficult, in fairness. We have been fighting for the GP3 title but we’ve not won it which is unfortunate. We’ve still had a strong year and I need to take the positives from that and take those into next season.

What is your most memorable overtake?

It was quite a long time ago, in 2013, and it was a double overtake, two for one. I was racing in Formula Renault NEC at a soaking wet Zandvoort. After the fast right handers out the back there are two hairpins one after the other. Two cars in front of me, fighting each other. They came out of the first hairpin and there was a gap between the two so I overtook one, crossed over between the two where there was one car’s width, one car length, and then was on the inside and overtook the second car on the second hairpin. That secured me second in the championship at the time!

What is your standout moment of the season?

Taking pole at the very first race in Barcelona. Traditionally, in some of my past seasons, I’ve taken a little bit of time to get up to speed and I really worked hard to be ready for the first race. I turned up and took pole by a couple of tenths against some really tough guys and it was nice to start the season like that.

What were your impressions from the E20 Formula 1 test?

It was just awesome. In some ways it’s just like stepping up to any other car in the sense that it’s bigger and better and you just have to get used to it, but in other ways it’s clearly much more refined than anything I’ve ever driven. There’s a lot more detail with things like how the car rides and how it behaves. You’re not fighting it so much, it’s clearly giving you confidence and it’s just generally a very well-engineered machine. It was very impressive!

Track Notes:

Yas Marina has been hosting Grand Prix racing since 2009 and has featured the climax to five Formula 1 seasons. Drivers negotiate 21 corners in the desert with the race starting in daylight and finishing under the night sky. An underground pit lane as well as an on-track hotel are amongst the unique features it has to boast. Sector one is high-speed with sector two featuring two long straights with DRS overtaking opportunities. The final sector is technical with a number of right-angled turns.

T1: The first corner is medium speed – taken at around 150kph. Leading to the high-speed turns of two and three, both of which should be flat out in qualifying and only giving drivers something to think about when they have heavy fuel loads.

T2: A defining corner for set-up. This corner has the greatest need for front wing to eradicate understeer, which sets the wing level for the track.

T5-6: One of the bigger braking demands on the track, with drivers going from 300kph to 90kph for the left-right chicane.

T7: A second gear corner taken at around 70kph, strong engine pick-up is vital out of turn seven for a good entry onto the circuit’s longest straight, with the first of two DRS zones.

T8: With maximum speeds of around 330kph there is heavy braking down to second gear and around 80kph is required for turns 8-9. The kerbs are used aggressively through this combination so suspension compliance is beneficial and a good exit is critical.

Sector 3: After the long straights of the middle part of the lap, Sector 3 has a series of closely-spaced low and medium speed corners that stress the tyres, making the end of the lap tricky for the driver to manage.

T11: Another long straight sees the second DRS zone, with speeds well in excess of 300kph leading to another heavy braking zone for turn 11. The turn 11-13 sequence requires good change of direction from the car.

T15/16/17: A tricky, high-speed entry to Turn 17 where the drivers have to combine braking and cornering.

T18: A simple left-hander which goes under the chameleon-esque hotel feeding into another left-hander that is likely to see cars dancing with the wall.

T20: A medium/high speed corner leading to the last corner, from which it is a short burst to the finish line.

Power Unit Notes:

  • Yas Marina is a mid-range power track, but it is particularly hard on the ICE due to the long 1.2km back straight where the power unit will be at full throttle for 14secs.
  • Over 50% of the lap is spent at full throttle, with average speeds of 190kph, similar to the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve. Top speed will peak at over 330kph down the back straight between Turns 7 and 8. This may seem slow in comparison to the highs of Mexico and Brazil, but it’s just as impressive as the cars will be running medium to high downforce settings and the sea-level air is much denser than at high altitude.
  • Fuel consumption per km is the fifth highest of the season behind Melbourne, Montréal, Spielberg and Sochi. The first two sectors are relatively fuel efficient but the stops and starts of the final sector dramatically increase the consumption. It is increased further by the sea level altitude and running in the lower temperatures after sunset.


Soft – Sky Tower – By no means the tallest in the Abu Dhabi skyline, but is certainly one of the most eye-catching.

Supersoft – The Landmark – The second tallest in Abu Dhabi at 324m, this giant has a sense of hidden beauty.

Ultrasoft – Burj Mohammed Bin Rashid – Standing at 381m, this masterpiece is above all in the skyline pecking order.


In Numbers:

87 – The Emirate of Abu Dhabi makes up 87% of the United Arab Emirates’ total area.

74 – The Observation Deck is a restaurant located on the 74th floor of Tower 2 of the Emirates Towers.

499 – Number of rooms in the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel which bridges the circuit just after Turn 18.

385,000 – Number of camels in Abu Dhabi.


Our Season in Stats:

Laps Raced KM Raced Best Result Most Laps per position Top Racing Position Top 10 Finishes Q3 in Qualifying
Nico Hülkenberg 918 4,716 6th (Spain, Great Britain, Belgium) 133 in 12th125 in 8th

123 in 6th


2nd, 1 lap in Singapore 7 11
Jolyon Palmer 721 3,563 6th (Singapore) 146 in 14th107 in 12th


3rd, 1 lap in Singapore 1 2
Carlos Sainz 185 864 7th (USA) 43 in 11th27 in 17th

24 in 7th

5th, 1 lap in Mexico 1 3
R.S.17 1,824 9,143 6th 9 16

source: renaultsport.com2017 photo album

Sauber F1 Team logo

Sauber F1 Team

Preview – Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The Sauber F1 Team is heading to Abu Dhabi for the final race of the 2017 FIA Formula One season on the Yas Marina Circuit. After having made some progress in the last few races, the team is going into the season finale feeling positive.

Marcus Ericsson (car number 9):
“We are heading out to Abu Dhabi for the season finale. It is positive to see that we have been making some progress over the last few race weekends, and I will do everything to make sure that we continue to work in the right direction. Abu Dhabi is a great location, and a city rich with culture and tradition. The Yas Marina Circuit is a fun one, and the atmosphere and fans are always great there. It is usually a spectacular end to the season there, so I look forward to this race weekend.”

Pascal Wehrlein (car number 94):
“The Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi is a memorable one, especially due to the unique location of the track. The race starts at twilight, making it feel mystical. There is always a great show programme and there are many activities for fans that take place around the track. Although the championship has already been decided, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is always an exciting end to the season. For my part, I will invest all of my energy in doing the best possible job.”

Track facts:
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is a unique race, starting at sunset and finishing in the dark, which takes place on the Yas Marina Circuit. This track, surrounded by the desert sands, is quite spectacular in an exceptional setting with a stunning hotel that overlooks the flat circuit. Especially during Friday practice and the race, the temperatures will go in the opposite direction to those we usually experience. The first sector features a mix of mid to high-speed corners, the second one is about straight-line speed, braking and traction and the third sector looks like a street circuit and calls for grip and downforce.

Circuit Yas Marina Circuit / 5.554 km
Race distance 55 laps / 305.355 km
Schedule Qualifying 17:00 hrs local time (14:00 CET), Race 17:00 hrs local time (14:00 hrs CET)


Tyre choices:

Driver Marcus Ericsson Pascal Wehrlein
Soft 1 2
Supersoft 2 2
Ultrasoft 10 9


Driver information:

Marcus Ericsson Pascal Wehrlein
Born 02.09.1990 / Kumla (SE) 18.10.1994 / Sigmaringen (DE)
Marital status Single Single
Height / Weight 1,80 m / 70 kg 1,75 m / 63 kg
First GP Australia 2014 Australia 2016
GP started 75 38
Best race result 8th Australia (2015) 8th Spain (2017)
Best qualifying 10th Malaysia (2015), 10th China (2015),

10th Italy (2015)

12th Austria (2016)
Points 2017 0 (20th) 5 (18th)
Points in total 9 6
The Sauber F1 Team has 5 points to its tally and currently holds 10th place in the Constructors’ Championship.

source:  sauberf1team.com2017 photo album

Pirelli logo



  • Round 20 of 20
  • Yas Marina, 24-26 November 2017

The final round of this remarkable Formula 1 season

features the three softest tyres in Pirelli’s 2017 range – soft, supersoft and ultrasoft – before a two-day test on Tuesday and Wednesday after the grand prix gives all the teams their first taste of 2018 tyres.

The Yas Marina circuit is characterised by smooth asphalt, warm weather and a wide mix of corners, all of which have made it a popular venue for testing in the past. This year’s tyre nomination is unaltered compared to last season, but with higher cornering speeds thanks to the latest regulations and wider tyres, there is still a good chance that another all-time lap record will be broken this weekend.



  • Abu Dhabi is quite a varied track in terms of speeds and corners, so teams tend to run a compromise set-up with medium downforce.
  • As the grand prix starts in the lateafternoon and ends in the evening, tracktemperatures fall quite notably during therace.
  • Like Brazil, the track runs anti-clockwise.
  • Wear and degradation is reasonably contained on the smooth surface.
  • With plenty of acceleration and braking over the lap, traction is the main consideration.
  • Overtaking tends to be difficult at Yas Marina, so strategy and qualifying are especially key.
  • A two-stopper was the most popular strategy last year.



“The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tends to be a reasonably straightforward race held in consistent conditions, although with an unusual race format, as the start takes place in the afternoon and the finish is in the evening. This race is also important for next year as well: on Thursday, we will present the full range of 2018 Formula 1 tyres on the paddock, which the teams will then get the chance to test for the first time on Tuesday and Wednesday after the grand prix. The only exception is the intermediate and wet tyre: Abu Dhabi has never yet produced a wet race, so we’re going to have to wait until next year to see those in action”.



  • The scheduled 2018 tyre test with McLaren at Interlagos was cancelled amid security concerns: this reduces the total number of 2018 tyre testing days to 23.
  • Austrian rally driver Raimund Baumschlager clinched a record-breaking 14th national title, at the wheel of a Volkswagen Polo R WRC running on Pirelli tyres.


source: pirelli.com2017 photo album

Renault Sport logo

Renault Sport

coming soon

source: renaultsport.com