Fasten yourself in for our final track guide of 2019!
Making its debut in the 2009 season, the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will mark the 10th time that Formula 1 has raced at the Yas Marina Circuit.
One of seven circuits on the 2019 calendar designed by Hermann Tilke, the track is formed by a sequence of 21 low, medium and high-speed corners that create one of the longer laps the season at 5.552km.
A lap around the Yas Marina Circuit commences with drivers accelerating out of Turn 21 on the approach to the first corner of the lap, peaking in seventh gear with the throttle pinned to the floor before braking for the left-hander.
After taking Turn 1 in fourth gear, Turns 2, 3 and 4 loom on exit. Thanks to the high-downforce aerodynamics of Formula 1’s current cars, this left-right-left sequence is taken flat out and completes sector one.
The start of the second sector is marked by a heavy braking zone, with drivers slowing only 75m before the apex of the left-hand Turn 5, switching from eighth gear to fourth before downshifting again for Turn 6 – a right-hander that requires a quick directional change.
Turn 7 is the slowest corner of the lap and a potential overtaking opportunity. This left-hand hairpin leads onto the back straight – the first DRS zone of the lap. With Turn 8 lying at the end of this mighty 1.2km-long stretch, it marks a key overtaking opportunity around the lap.
Turns 8 and 9 mirror Turns 5 and 6, with this left-right sequence leading onto a second straight and the second DRS zone of the lap. This sets up additional overtaking opportunities into Turn 11, with the detection line located just before the kink that is assigned as Turn 10.
It’s important to take a wide entry into the left-hander of Turn 11 to maximise speed through Turns 12 and 13 that lie on the exit. Upon completing this run through the left-right-left section that is the first obstacle of sector three, drivers then slow for Turn 14. An optimal run is essential through this left-hander, as it leads into the complex final phase of the lap.
The Turn 15, 16 and 17 sequence is one of the most tricky challenges of the lap, with drivers taking the right-hand kinks of 15 and 16 flat-out before braking hard for Turn 17 – carrying heavy lateral loads into the right-hander that have the power to destabilise the car. It’s very easy to make a mistake through here.
A pair of 90-degree corners [left and right] follow at Turns 18 and 19, with the penultimate corner of the lap [Turn 20] demanding a slight lift and downshift to maximise speed into Turn 21 – the final hurdle of the lap, with drivers taking this right-hander in fourth gear before crossing the finishing line.
A spectacular venue to complete a spectacular racing season – bring on the final battle of 2019 under the Yas Marina floodlights!