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Yas Marina circuit not suited for F1 cars - Hamilton

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Yas Marina circuit not suited for F1 cars - Hamilton
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Co-author: Ben Anderson

Lewis Hamilton says the lack of overtaking in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix shows the Yas Marina track does not suit Formula 1 cars in its current configuration.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08 leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08 leads Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H and Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz F1 W08
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG F1 W08, Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H, Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari SF70H, Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13

Hamilton pursued his victorious Mercedes F1 teammate Valtteri Bottas throughout the race but was unable to pass.

The world champion said his engineers had told him he needed to be 1.4 seconds quicker to have a hope of overtaking at the track.

"You do get a bit of a tow down the straights but once you get to the last sector..." said Hamilton. "It's a great, great track but unfortunately it doesn't suit the cars very well.

"In the last sector you just can't follow. It's one of the worst tracks in the sense that you need 1.4s advantage to pass the car in front.

"And we've got the same car, we've a couple of tenths between us so I was never going to overtake unless he made a big mistake and went off – and even then they have massive run-off areas and you can still keep it on."

Asked if the fact he was battling his teammate affected how hard he was willing to challenge, Hamilton said the track configuration meant that made no difference.

"The engineers say it's a 1.4s delta you need to overtake a car in front," he reiterated. "It doesn't matter what car is ahead. It would've been difficult.

"To get as close as I was shows I had good pace. But once you get within 1.2s it's like you hit a wall and the car stops. Basically you start sliding around, all four wheels. So there was a lot of rallying today."

Bottas agreed that the track layout had been in his favour.

"I could feel that sector three was good for me, but also it's a track where it's really difficult to follow in sector three," he said.

"Once you get close there, I could feel with the lapped cars, how much you lose. I knew that Lewis was always going to be struggling as he got closer to me in sector three.

"I could really control the race, everyone knows here it's not easy to overtake."

Hamilton emphasised that he thought Yas Marina should remain F1's season finale.

"I think this was one of the best places, if not the best, to have the last race in terms of the atmosphere, in terms of the hospitality, it's second to none," he said.

"It's such a beautiful place so it's a great week. I think the track, as a lot of the tracks do, has some small flaws in the sense that it's hard to follow. I'm not a track designer and I don't know if it can be changed."

Circuit architect Hermann Tilke intimated on Sunday that changes were possible.

"We have an idea to change one corner," he told Sky Sports F1. "It's a very small change, but maybe it has a lot of impact."

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About this article

Series Formula 1
Event Abu Dhabi GP
Location Yas Marina Circuit
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Author Matt Beer