Lotus News Article

Formula One - Abu Dhabi GP Preview

Wednesday, October 31, 2012 - 16:15
"The layout is not dissimilar to Valencia and we went pretty well there”

Qualifying higher in Abu Dhabi will be key to bringing home more Championship points for the team, keeping up the pressure on McLaren for third place for the Constructors title.

Following on from a frustrating race in India, Kimi Räikkönen has re-signed his contract with the team for 2013 and is looking forward to tackling the bright lights of Abu Dhabi.

Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi, 717

F1,Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi Räikkönen

The facilities are second to none at Abu Dhabi. The track layout makes it really challenging for overtaking. You really have to qualify well to be on the top, and to get a strong result from there.  Having an evening race with a mixture of day and night makes a different challenge from circuits that we see anywhere else. We start with the sun and finish with the lights. It’s different, interesting and spectacular too.  The car is good, and if we manage to qualify higher, then I think we would be in a good position to be able to take the most from the next few races.

I have been very happy with the team; how they work, how they approach the races and how they invest in developing the car. I think with the progress behind the scenes at Enstone we could be fighting for the podium even more often next year and also be able to make a stronger challenge for the Championship.

Romain Grosjean

Romain Grosjean

Abu Dhabi is another exotic destination. The track is not used very much during the year which means we know we’re going to get low grip there at the start of the weekend.

The track looks very nice on TV and there are many second gear corners which should suit the E20.  I’m looking forward to it!

We’re getting some new parts in Abu Dhabi which we are looking forward to and everything we find now that works on the car we can use for next year.

Eric Boullier, Lotus F1 Team

Eric Boullier - Team Principal

I think we have some interesting developments coming for Abu Dhabi which should allow us to have more speed and even better performance from the car. Ideally this should put us in a position to have a more successful qualifying and definitely also help us in the race itself.

I’m very happy that Kimi is staying with us, as we were expecting. It is nice to see that Kimi has found a home here and is happy to develop and progress with the team. It is also rewarding for us to have a World Champion like Kimi committing to us and helping the team to achieve its goal of being a top team next year.

YAS MARINA CIRCUIT IN NUMBERS

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Preview

3.7 Highest g-force experienced for 2 seconds at T3
17% of the lap spent braking
52 Gear changes per lap
55 Total straight per lap (%)
59% of lap at full throttle
75 Lowest apex speed (kmh) at T7
280 Highest apex speed (kmh) at T4
300 Distance in metres from start line to first corner
320 Top speed (kmh)
1000 Longest full throttle burst (metres) between T7 and T8

On Track

Yas Marina, Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Track, MapTurn 1

Turn 1 is medium speed, around 130 kph, leading into the high speed Turns 2 and 3 which should be flat out in qualifying and only something for the drivers to think about when they are on heavy fuel loads.

Turn 2

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

Turn 5 has one of the bigger braking demands on the circuit, down from around 300 kph.

Turn 7

Good engine pickup out of Turn 7 is vital for to enter the longest straight of the track. Turn 7 is a second gear corner, taken at around 70 kph.

Turns 8 – 9

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. It’s followed by heavy braking down to second gear and around 80 kph. The kerbs are used aggressively through Turns 8-9 so a soft car is beneficial here.

Approaching Turn 11

Another long straight with a top speed of over 300 kph which leads into a heavy braking zone for Turn 11. Turns 11-13 need a good change of direction from the car.

Turns 11 – 21

Between Turns 11 and 21 is all very low speed with a lot of second gear corners, very reminiscent of a street course without actually being a street course.