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.
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.
YAS MARINA CIRCUIT IN NUMBERS
|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|
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 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 has one of the bigger braking demands on the circuit, down from around 300 kph.
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.
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.
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.
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.