Abu Dhabi GP: Williams technical preview

Talking technical Car dynamics Average turn angle indicates the average angle of a circuit's corners expressed in degrees. The higher the average turn angle, the more acute the corners in the circuit's configuration and the greater propensity...

Talking technical

Car dynamics

Average turn angle indicates the average angle of a circuit's corners expressed in degrees. The higher the average turn angle, the more acute the corners in the circuit's configuration and the greater propensity for understeer to compromise lap time. Average turn angle at the Yas Marina circuit is 1000 - which is below average for the season. The circuit predominately features low speed corners which are linked by two long straights.

Based on simulation work, the end of straight (EOS) speed at the Yas Marina circuit is 300kp/h. The Abu Dhabi track ranks as having the 4th slowest EOS speed on the 2009 calendar, and this is one indicator of the wing level typically selected to optimise the downforce/drag ratio. Meanwhile, Yas Marina also has the 3rd slowest average lap speed of any of the tracks on the calendar.

Pitlane & refuelling strategy

The pitlane length and profile contribute to the determination of the optimum fuel strategy. The pitlane loss at Abu Dhabi is approximately 18.5 seconds, which is the 10th most penalising pitlane in the Championship. To complete a normalised distance of 5km around the Yas Marina circuit requires 2.43kg of fuel against an average of 2.42kg per 5km across all circuits this season, ranking the circuit as being averagely demanding in terms of fuel consumption.

Safety car

Another key contributor to the determination of race strategy is the likelihood of safety car deployments, which are influenced by weather considerations, the availability of clear run-off areas that allow racing to continue while recovery takes place and the circuit profile, especially the character of the entry and exit into turn one at the start of the race. The Yas Marina circuit is new for 2009. It has large run-off areas with additional tarmac sections laid outside the turns, so the circuit's character is unlikely to induce a safety car period.

Temperature, pressure & humidity

As an example, it is a long observed tradition that drivers arriving at Interlagos complain about a lack of grip and an absence of engine power. Having become acquainted with a baseline of engine and aerodynamic performance during the season, the climb to 750 metres above sea level for one of the final races can, courtesy of the reduction in air density, rob a Formula One car of engine power, aerodynamic performance and cooling. The losses can come close to double digit percentages and thus have a very real impact on car performance.

Air density is a factor of the prevailing ambient temperature, which varies most significantly by season, air pressure which is closely linked to altitude and, to a much smaller degree, by humidity. Thus if races are run at the same time each year, the factor that tends to have the greatest bearing on air density is elevation. Abu Dhabi is at sea level and therefore has the equal highest average pressure (1,013 mbar) of any race venue in the 2009 Championship. Engine power will be high due to the ambient pressure, although there will be a small reduction as a result of the high ambient temperatures.

-credit: williams

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Series Formula 1
Teams Williams