Track Quirks: Yas Marina's Underground Exit
Pit lanes come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes. Brazil, for example, boasts the longest in Formula 1, Monaco the shortest. But Abu Dhabi is home to perhaps the most unusual.
The pit lane at the Yas Marina Circuit is unlike any other on the Grand Prix calendar. While it has a perfectly normal entry, it is the exit that grabs attention, with drivers running underneath Turn 1 to rejoin the circuit.
Formed by a pair of tight corners – the first twisting left while the other swings right – the pit exit is another obstacle that drivers must navigate on what is already a tricky track to master. Battles can be won and lost in pit lane – and at the Yas Marina, it’s quite possible to make up additional time.
Essentially, commitment through this exit can pay dividends – but carrying too much speed can easily lead to a trip into the barriers. Despite a few close shaves, we are yet to see an error of this sort in Formula 1 – but it has happened in the junior categories, with Sean Gelael clattering the wall during a GP2 event here in 2015.
The grand finale of the 2019 Formula 1 season wouldn’t be complete without a challenge – and with this quirky element of the Yas Marina Circuit to contend with, the field will certainly need to keep their focus in the final race of the year.