After a wet and wild Brazilian Grand Prix which saw Lewis Hamilton claim his ninth victory of the season and cut Mercedes team-mate and title leader Nico Rosberg’s advantage in the Driver’s Championship to 12 points, the final round of the 2016 FIA Formula 1 World Championship returns to the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates for the 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix which will see the two Silver Arrows drivers battle it out to become this year’s World Drivers Champion.
A look at the Yas Marina Circuit
The Yas Marina Circuit is a permanent racing circuit located on the stunning Yas Island, 30 minutes away from the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi. The circuit was designed by German designer Hermann Tilke. It is the second purposely built circuit for Formula One in the Middle East with the first being in Bahrain. The circuit twists through Yas Island off the Abu Dhabi coastline passing by the marina and through the iconic five-star, 499 room Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel designed by New York -based architects Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote Architecture, and winds its way through sand dunes, with several long straights and tight corners. The uniquely scenic waterfront marina-based development includes water and theme parks as well as residential areas, hotels and beaches. The track has five grandstand areas (Main Grandstand, West Grandstand, North Grandstand, South Grandstand and Marina Grandstand (aka Support)) and part of the pit lane exit runs underneath the circuit. It also features a team building behind the pits, Media Centre, Dragster Track, VIP Tower and the Ferrari World Theme Park. The circuit also features a powerful lighting system which ensures the transition from day to night racing action.
The cars hit top speeds of 320 kph and average speeds of 195 kph. As well as the waterside marina area, there are high-speed sections (including the longest straight on the F1 calendar), tight corners for overtaking, and sector three which resembles part of a twisty-style street circuit. Overall, its diverse elements come together to create one of the most demanding and longest circuits in the world.
The Yas Marina Circuit is 5.554km (3.451 miles) in length with 21 corners and runs in an anti-clockwise direction.
Race distance is 305.355km (189.739 miles) in length with 55 laps in total.
Sebastian Vettel holds the fastest lap record at the Yas Marina Circuit with a 1:40.279 set in 2009 in his Red Bull Racing Renault RB5.
Four-time World Champion Sebastian Vettel holds the record for most Abu Dhabi Grand Prix victories with three.
Red Bull Racing are the most successful constructor at the Yas Marina Circuit with three victories.
The Last Five Winners
2015: Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG F1. 2014: Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1. 2013: Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing. 2012: Kimi Raikkonen, Lotus F1 Team. 2011: Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes.
Pirelli will be bringing to the Yas Marina Circuit, the softest tyres in its range, purple-branded P-Zero Ultra Soft compounds, the red-marked P-Zero Super Soft tyres and the yellow-branded Soft rubber along with the green-branded Intermediate and blue-marked Full Wet tyre compounds in case of rain.
Mercedes team-mates and title contenders Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have both opted for the same strategy for the finale in Abu Dhabi with seven sets of the Ultra-Softs, four of the Softs and two of the Super Softs.
Red Bull have opted for a more conservative approach with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen both selecting six sets of the Ultra-Softs, five sets of the Softs and two sets of the Super Softs.
As in 2015, there will be two DRS Zones at the Yas Marina Circuit. The first detection point will be 40 metres after turn seven with the first activation zone 390 metres after turn seven. The second detection point will be 50 metres after turn nine with the second activation zone at turn 10.
Pitlane speed limits will be 80km/h during practice, qualifying and the race.
Defending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg returns to the Yas Marina Circuit on top of the driver’s standings with 367 points and holds a 12 point advantage over team-mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton who is second on 355 points and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo sits third on 246 points. The permutations to decide this year’s World Driver’s Championship are as follows:
For Nico Rosberg to win this year’s Championship
For Lewis Hamilton to win this year’s Championship
Rosberg wins the championship if he finishes anywhere on the podium – no matter where Lewis Hamilton does.
Hamilton needs to finish on the podium to be in with the chance of winning the championship.
|If Rosberg finishes fourth, fifth, or sixth then only a Hamilton victory can deny him the championship.||If Hamilton wins the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, he wins the championship if Rosberg finishes fourth or lower.|
|If Rosberg finishes seventh or eighth, he still secures the championship if Hamilton doesn’t finish in the top two.||If Hamilton finishes second, he wins the championship if Rosberg finishes seventh or lower.
|If Rosberg finishes ninth, tenth, or fails to score any points, then the German will still take the championship unless Hamilton finishes on the podium.||If Hamilton finishes third, he wins the championship if Rosberg finishes ninth or lower.|
|86% of possible outcomes give Rosberg the championship.||14 per cent of possible outcomes give Hamilton the championship.|
|If Hamilton finishes fourth and Rosberg fails to score any points, the two Mercedes drivers will tie on 367 points but Rosberg wins on count-back due to scoring more second places than the Briton.||If Hamilton finishes second and Rosberg seventh, the two Silver Arrows drivers will tie on 373 points but Hamilton wins on count-back due to scoring more third places than the German.|
In the Constructors Championship, Mercedes comes to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend with the title secured and on top with 722 points and over 276 points clear of nearest rival Red Bull Racing and Ferrari are a further 71 points behind the Milton-Keynes based outfit in third.
2016 World Driver’s Championship – Top 5
- Nico Rosberg – 367 Points.
- Lewis Hamilton – 355 Points.
- Daniel Ricciardo – 246 Points.
- Sebastian Vettel – 197 Points.
- Max Verstappen – 192 Points.
2016 World Constructors Championship Standings
- Mercedes AMG F1 – 722 Points.
- Red Bull Racing – 446 Points.
- Scuderia Ferrari – 375 Points.
- Force India F1 – 163 Points.
- Williams Martini Racing – 136 Points.
- McLaren-Honda F1 – 75 Points.
- Scuderia Toro Rosso – 63 Points.
- Haas F1 Team – 29 Points.
- Renault Sport F1 – 8 Points.
- Sauber F1 Team – 2 Points.
- Manor Racing Team – 1 Point.
The 2016 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend begins Friday November 25 with Free Practice 1 and 2, Free Practice 3 and Qualifying Saturday November 26 and the 55 lap Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Sunday November 27.
Written by Michael Terminello