Abu Dhabi GP: Williams preview

Abu Dhabi's Hot Topics Will Yas Marina deliver on its promise? Will the driver market heat up in the desert? Who will take victory at the last race of the 2009 season? Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi Formula One is poised for its second event in...

Abu Dhabi's Hot Topics
Will Yas Marina deliver on its promise?
Will the driver market heat up in the desert?
Who will take victory at the last race of the 2009 season?

Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi

Formula One is poised for its second event in the Middle East -- and the new Yas Marina Circuit features a number of innovative features, including a five star hotel that straddles the track. On the ground, its 5.55 kilometres (run anti-clockwise) incorporate long straights leading into tight corners, to encourage overtaking, plus a series of fast sweeps that will contribute to average lap speeds approaching 200kph. Contemporary protocol dictates that two-stop strategies will almost certainly be the preferred tactic.

What the drivers say

What we did after Brazil

Kazuki "As it was my home race in Japan at the start of the month, I've pretty much spent the whole of October there. I then travelled straight to Brazil from Tokyo so, after the race last weekend, I finally went back home to Oxford after a full month away. It was nice to finally be home as it was a really busy trip. I've had a quiet week or so, catching up with friends and spending some time at the factory with my engineers."

Nico "I finally made it home after some technical issues with the plane to London on Sunday after the race and since then have had quite a busy week. On Thursday, I joined a karting day with some guests of Thomson Reuters before going to the factory on Friday to use the sim to prepare for Abu Dhabi. On Monday, I'm in Munich with Randstad and then I fly to Abu Dhabi. I'll arrive on Tuesday morning and have a day to get used to the heat and time difference before another appearance for RBS in Dubai on Wednesday."

About Abu Dhabi and the all new Yas Marina Circuit

Nico "I am really looking forward to going to Abu Dhabi. With the amount of time and effort that has gone into building it, I think it's going to be a fantastic venue with stunning facilities and a great experience for Formula One. I've heard it's a sell-out too so it should be a really exciting race weekend for the teams and the fans and a great way to end the year."

Kazuki "It's really exciting to be going to a brand new circuit. The organisers certainly look like they've put a lot of thought into developing the track and the facilities. It all looks very impressive and the perfect place to end the championship."

Abu Dhabi from a technical perspective

Kazuki "As we haven't driven the circuit yet, it's difficult to give an accurate breakdown of the track but our simulator has provided us with some really invaluable data. It looks like set-up will veer towards a medium to high downforce configuration to cope with the long straight (which will require good top speeds) and tight corners which we expect to see on a street circuit. Good grip levels for balance and to cope with the sand will also be crucial. One of the most interesting things for me is that we will drive under a hotel which I can't wait to experience."

Nico "Abu Dhabi is going to be a new experience for all of us so the simulator at Grove has been a real help and I'm pleased I had it at my disposal this week. There are some things like the bumps and kerbs that you can't completely replicate, but braking, oversteer and understeer are all very similar. It's definitely a big advantage having a sim like ours as I will be able to drive out of the pits on Friday and know the track pretty much straightaway. The one consideration I'll be interested to see play out is the fact that we will start the race in daylight and then move into the night time."

-credit: williams

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Teams Williams