Renault Sport F1 look on upcoming Abu Dhabi GP

Yas Marina Circuit: three corners in detail

Turn 7 Yas Marina is considered a mid-range power track, although the power sensitivity is lessened by the high concentration of low to medium speed bends in the back part of the circuit round the Marina. Turn 7, the hairpin, is the slowest of the circuit and similar to the challenges of the Grand Hairpin in Monaco. The engine braking needs to be particularly effective for rear stability on entrance, but equally the response needs to be completely correct as the hairpin exit leads onto the long back straight. Any hesitation will compromise the entry to the straight and therefore the overall lap time.

Back straight (between Turns 7 and 8) Approximately 55% of the track is spent at full throttle, with average speeds of 190kph, similar to the demands of Montreal. The percentage is heightened by the two long straights, the longest of which is the 1.2km straight between turns 7 and 8. The RS27 will be at full throttle for 14secs here, reaching speeds of over 310kph. Calibration of gear ratios is crucial: seventh gear must be set relatively long to allow a competitive end of straight speed with DRS active. However the right-hand corners in the third sector require the gears to be closely spaced to achieve the required short bursts of acceleration between tight corners, so engine engineers will be forced to compromise somewhere along the line.

Jenson Button, McLaren
Jenson Button, McLaren

Photo by: XPB Images

Turn 21 The third part of the track from turn 11 through to the final turn 21 features mainly right hand corners that are taken in second or third gear. Turn 21 is a good example of a typical corner in this section. The average speed is low; just 160kph so the RS27 will be set up to give good driveability whilst being responsive for the short bursts of power between turns. Rear stability is the key here since tenths of a second can be won if the car is ‘nailed’ to the track in the slow speed turns.

Rémi Taffin, Renault Sport F1 head of track operations
Yas Marina is one of those tracks that require a neutral engine set-up. There are long straights but equally some tight, slow corners so the engine needs to be strong in all conditions rather than tailored to one particular parameter. The external factors of the track need careful consideration. Similar to India, the concentration of dust or grit in the atmosphere means we need to monitor the air filters and clean where necessary to avoid blockages. This is especially important when you take the high ambient temperatures into account. During the day we can see the ambient temperature rise to well over 30°C so cooling is critical – if the air ingested is reduced by just a fraction of a percentage it could well have an adverse effect on the engine cooling.

Another important factor to consider is the fuel consumption, which is one of the highest of the year per lap. The circuit is by nature very demanding on the consumption, particularly the stop-start of the final sector. The consumption rate is increased further by the sea level altitude, but an aspect we need to monitor is the changing temperatures between sessions. During the day when the temperatures are higher the fuel consumption is lower, but during the night sessions it increases. This nuance will be factored in for the race to avoid finishing with too much or too little fuel.

Notwithstanding these challenges, we are looking forward to this race. Even though the constructors’ and drivers’ championships are now secured there is everything to play for behind, and we would love to be able to help Lotus get second position in both. For Williams and Caterham there are still three more opportunities to get points on the board. To do this we’ll keep focussed and pushing right until Brazil.

Renault Sport F1

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Series F1
Article type Previews
Tags abu dhabi, remi taffin, renault, yas marina

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