Abu Dhabi: As the checkered flag flies in Jeddah, putting Lewis Hamilton on par with Max Verstappen in their all-out battle, the attention of motorsport fans and media around the world turns to the Yas Marina circuit for which promises to be a bite. highlight of the 2021 Formula 1 season in Abu Dhabi.
For the first time in 13 years, drivers and teams will face unknown elements at the Yas Marina circuit, with the new track layout – shortened from 273 meters to 5.28 km – offering new challenges even to most experienced F1 veterans.
After an extensive reconfiguration program over the summer on three key bends at North Hairpin, Marsa Corner and around the W Hotel section, the shorter and faster lap will allow the cars to come closer and, by default, will give the drivers more opportunities to overtake in certain areas.
Pre-race simulations performed by a number of teams have shown that lap times can drop as much as 13 seconds in total – a significant decrease that is sure to come up with some surprises as teams adjust. to new lap times of about 1 minute and 23 seconds.
The teams will work hard to collect as much data as possible during the three practice sessions, ahead of Saturday’s qualifying, as they approach for the first time over 300 km / h of the revised and radical turn of the North hairpin and wheel-to-wheel racing. through the elevated Marsa Corner.
The new section of the hotel, with the reduced ‘Constantine effect’ that previously saw pilots regroup, has new turns that should reduce tire slip to keep pilots on the track, helping to maintain a tighter field. . Although overtaking is unlikely in this section, by staying closer to each other, the revised layout offers overtaking opportunities elsewhere around the lap.
As Sunday approaches, it is certain that the revised layout of the Yas Marina circuit will offer even more action than ever in what will be the most exciting final in recent years.