Cut To The Race Podcast

The changes being made to Abu Dhabi

Layout modifications to be revealed

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This year we should see a change to the current Abu Dhabi track layout, in a bid to make the season finale a more exciting race to watch.

The race has been heavily criticised for being one of the most boring races on the calendar to watch, with a good chance you will see a lights to flag finish, followed by fireworks around the circuit. Not the season finale we all want to see. Yas Marina was first added to the calendar in 2009 and consists of long back straights, a slow sequence of 90 degree corners and a lot of run off, making overtaking pretty difficult.

After Max Verstappen claimed an unchallenged win at the season finale last year, circuit bosses finally agreed to tweak the circuit layout in a bid to boost fan excitement after much criticism. It has been rumoured that the entry to the hairpin will not include the chicanes and it will also be re-profiled to enable drivers to take the corner at a higher speed, meaning drivers should be able to overtake.

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2021 - F1 Race

Image Credit: Formula One

“We’ve been looking at improving the racing on the track,” said Saif Al Noaimi, acting CEO Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, quoted by Autosport. “We’ve been listening to our spectators, the fans, the drivers, F1 and the FIA, and we’ve been working on making some changes, exciting changes, this year to the layout of the track. We will be undergoing some modifications to the track over the summer in time for this year’s edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”

“The objective ultimately is to create more opportunities for close wheel-to-wheel racing,” he continued. “We want to create more overtaking opportunities and to overall create a faster flowing race track, given the current rules of the vehicles. So we’re really looking forward to seeing some overtaking and action, and hopefully the championship will come down to the wire and be determined here.”

Another tweak being look at is introducing another hairpin, by cutting out the slow left-right-left chicanes at the end of the second straight. By looking at the slower corners, and introducing ways to make the track quicker and more exciting to watch can only be a good thing. If Abu Dhabi is to continue to be the season finale year after year, something had to change.


Headline Image: Formula One

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