Lotus Renault GP
Bruno Senna on the Abu Dhabi GP – “Abu Dhabi and Brazil were probably my best two races last season”
The penultimate race of the season was one of Bruno’s favourite tracks last year, and he can’t wait to return.
Vitaly Petrov on the Abu Dhabi GP – “I want to end the season on a high”
Vitaly returns to Abu Dhabi, a circuit now synonymous with the Russian due to his ability to keep a certain Spaniard away from the reaches of the world title last season.
Set-up guide - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Set-up Guide Abu Dhabi GP
There is no overriding focus for the engine as there are long straights where you need good top end power, but there are also a lot of slow speed corners where you need good engine response and driveability.
There are reasonable braking demands, especially into Turns 5, 8 and 11 which have quite high speed approaches to the low speed corners. Brake temperatures need to be monitored, as will brake wear – not likely to be an issue, but more attention is paid here than at other tracks.
The kerbs are more pronounced than at some other tracks, in particular Turns 8, 9 and through the last sector. A soft car which rides the kerbs well helps here, but it’s a trade-off between having a soft car which will ride over the kerbs and one which is stiff enough for the driver to have a sharp change of direction which is necessary for the chicanes (8-9 and 11-13).
The recent tracks - Suzuka, Korea, India - have been a high-medium downforce level whereas Yas Marina is more akin to a Monaco level of downforce - almost maximum because of the section between Turn 11 and 21, which is all very low speed with a lot of second gear corners.
The consecutive allocation of the medium and soft compound Pirelli tyres should not present too many issues, with both tyres likely to suit the circuit – opening up the potential strategy permutations.
Turn 2 is the crucial corner for determining how much front wing is used. More front wing is required here than for any other corner, so you need sufficient front wing for Turn 2 without causing too much detriment elsewhere.
Turn 1 is medium speed; around 130 kph leading into the high speed Turns 2 and 3 which should be flat out in qualifying.
Turn 2 is a defining corner for set-up. You need sufficient front wing to eradicate high speed understeer and this defines how much front wing is used as the other corners can all use less than this one.
Turn 5 has one of the bigger braking demands on the circuit, down from around 300 kph.
- Good engine pickup out of Turn 7 is vital to enter the longest straight of the track. Turn 7 is a second gear corner, taken at around 70 kph.
- The fastest part of the circuit, at the end of one of the longest straights in F1 with a maximum speed of around 320 kph.
- The kerbs are used aggressively through Turns 8-9 so a soft car helps with this.
- Another long straight with a top speed of over 300 kph which leads into a heavy braking zone for Turn 11.