Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 at Yas Marina Circuit: The Inside Line

Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 at Yas Marina Circuit: The Inside Line

16.11.2014: In The Cockpit Lewis Hamilton Abu Dhabi is one of the newest circuits on the calendar and the venue is just




In The Cockpit
 

Lewis Hamilton
 


Abu Dhabi is one of the newest circuits on the calendar and the venue is just spectacular - particularly with the twilight timing, starting off as the sun sets and finishing in complete darkness.
 

For Turn One you need to make sure you get the car all the way over to the right-hand side of the track, braking just before the 100m sign and powering flat-out through the exit and uphill through Turn Two. You're then into the long right-hander of Turn Three, which is seriously fast and just seems to keep going and going.


 That then switches straight into the slight left-hand kink of Turn Four, dropping you down the other side of the hill and into the stadium complex.
 

The Turn Five / Six chicane is really tight and very low grip, as is the Turn Seven hairpin which follows immediately afterwards. You have to take a really wide entry to this corner and it's absolutely crucial to carry as much speed as possible, due to the mega long DRS straight which begins on exit.
 

You're brake really late into the first part of the Turn Eight / Nine chicane and it's so easy to lock either the rears or the fronts. You have to take a really tight line to the first apex so that you can carry as much speed as possible through the second and down another DRS straight, which features the slight kind of Turn Ten. This is another prime overtaking opportunity and, if you don't have a Mercedes-Benz power unit, you're going to wish you had!
 

The Turn 10 / 11 / 13 combination is very low speed and the car is skating around all the time through here. You can brake late for the next left hander at Turn 14 but, once again, hitting the apex is important as it's so easy to run wide and ruin your exit. It's flat out through the double right of Turns 15 / 16 and you have to get the steering straight as early as possible for braking into Turn 17 as it's easy to lock the right front.
 

You can carry quite a lot of speed through the two left handers of Turns 18 / 19, taking a lot of kerb and running wide on the exit of 18 in particular, before a short blast down the straight into Turn 20. You have to brake just a little bit into here, carrying as much speed as possible before backing right off for the final corner - using all of the run off as you head down across the start / finish line to complete the lap.
 


Nico  Rosberg
:

The Abu Dhabi race gets better and better every year. It's slowly becoming a highlight of the year, with more fans turning up to watch every time we go there. There are more and more activities around the race too, with live music and all sorts of other things happening around the harbour.


This is right at the centre of the circuit and you see so many boats moored up there for the weekend - it's almost becoming a mini Monaco!
 

The track itself is good to drive too, with a couple of good overtaking opportunities at the end of the DRS straights where you see a lot of action during the race. The twilight timing is great for the TV pictures but can be a little bit tricky for the drivers.


 You can cope with that, thought, by using dark visor tear-offs, so that when the light starts to fade you can remove the strip and have a clear visor as opposed to the tinted one needed when the sun is setting across your eye line. That brightens everything up again which works well when you head into darkness.
 

Of course, it's the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi this year and also double points. It's a bit of a strange one - a bit artificial in my mind at least - but at the end of the day if it's keeping the Championship alive until the very end then so be it. From that perspective it's good entertainment for the people watching in the grandstands and around the world. It's the same for everybody, so you just need to make the most of it!
 
 



On the Pit Wall
 
Circuit Layout


 
The Yas Marina circuit contains very little high speed content. Aside from Turns One to Four, the majority of the 21 corner lap comprises low-speed corners and straights. One surprising result of the track layout is the lack of overtaking, as demonstrated particularly prominently during the title-deciding race in 2010.


Although there is an extremely long straight between Turns Seven and Eight, speed onto and along that straight is entirely dependent on being able to stay close to the car in front through the preceding low-speed, low grip grandstand section.


The 2014 breed of cars have proven to be easier to follow than their predecessors, with overtaking more prevalent that seen in recent years. However, making a pass will still be far from an easy task around this particular circuit.
 


Tyres

 
The past two seasons have seen the medium and soft tyre allocated for Abu Dhabi, with 2012 / 2013 proving to be predominantly one / two stop races respectively. This time around, however, the soft and supersoft have been nominated - an aggressive choice given that the previous years' race saw the option tyre complete just a handful of laps before being replaced by primes for the following two stints.


 Although the 2014 compounds are, as a guide, around half a step harder than their predecessors, this season could well see a three stop race in Abu Dhabi. As demonstrated in Brazil, this can lead to differing strategy calls, multiple changes of position and the potential for plenty of entertaining battles throughout the field.
 


Fuel Consumption

 
Abu Dhabi lies towards the upper end of the scale in terms of fuel consumption. However, there have yet to be notable dramas at any circuit from a fuel perspective - and there have been a number where this should be more of a factor than at the Yas Marina.


The drivers have coped impressively well with restrictions on fuel usage this season so, while theoretically a consideration, this is not a pressing concern.
 


Twilight Running
 

This is one of a growing number of races which take place going into dusk, resulting in significant variations in track temperature between sessions across the weekend. Whereas, at a more regular event, ambient and track temperatures may fluctuate by between five and ten degrees, the shift in Abu Dhabi is far greater.


 This can affect track performance by over half a second per lap which, while not of concern, is a factor which must be accounted for in an appropriate manner to ensure that a team does not lose its way on setup. An overheating problem in P1, for example, will not be as prominent during P2.


Over-compensating for this would therefore risk taking the wrong path in terms of balance. Teams will have Singapore and Bahrain in particular to draw from in terms of prior experience of this phenomenon, however it is certainly a noteworthy consideration.
 


Reliability

 
By the final race, every team will see a number of elements of their cars reaching the end of their life cycle. This is the nature of a season, with parts designed to last just long enough to complete the calendar but very little beyond.


Of course, every effort will be made to ensure the best possible spec is installed in the car so as to reduce the reliability risk. However, as the multiple red flag periods in Brazil demonstrated, everything is running right on the limit. Unknown failures become increasingly commonplace at this stage and more of the same can be expected in Abu Dhabi.


This makes it difficult to get into the usual rhythm of a race weekend, with running time frequently disrupted.
 


External Influences
 

In the final throes of a long season, fatigue has well and truly set in for everybody involved in the sport. Add to this the pressure of a World Championship title decider - both internally from team stakeholders and externally from the media - and the scrutiny on each and every move of the team intensifies.


 Of course, dealing with pressure is part and parcel of working in Formula One and something every team member is accustomed to. But in the pressure cooker of Abu Dhabi, the heat really is on.
 


The Next Chapter

 
Barring any major upsets, the Constructors' Championship positions are now more or less settled throughout the field. Teams will therefore now be shifting their focus very much towards 2015 in their approach to Abu Dhabi.


While each team will, of course, still put every ounce of effort into the race weekend, it would not be a surprise to see Friday running dominated by preparations for next season. New parts may well appear on certain cars, while a priority for others may be on finding the best baseline setup from which to work during the two day test which follows the Grand Prix weekend itself.


As the final chance to gather on track data before the winter break, the extended Abu Dhabi trip as a whole could prove a key tool in providing a platform for performance in 2015.
 

 
Anniversaries

 
Mercedes-Benz Heritage
 

14 November 1964 - 50 Years Ago
:

Eugen Böhringer wins the Macao Touring Car Grand Prix in a Mercedes-Benz 300 SE, averaging a speed of 105.2 km/h.
 


26 November 2004 - 10 Years Ago:


The first fuel cell-powered vehicle in the world, the A-Class F-Cell, successfully passes a 24-hour endurance test. On the Idiada test track outside Barcelona, three vehicles cover just under 8500 km at an average speed of 120 km/h.
 


On-Track
 

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Three Years Ago:

Lewis Hamilton takes the 250th podium finish for Mercedes-Benz power in Formula One with McLaren
 


2012 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Two Years Ago:

Lewis Hamilton takes the 25th pole position of his Formula One career
 


 
In Numbers: The 2014 World Drivers' Championship
 
           Lewis Hamilton          Nico Rosberg


Championship Position          P1          P2
Points          334          317
Wins          10          5
Podiums          15          15
Pole Positions          7          10
Front Row Starts          14          14
Fastest Laps          7          5
Laps Led          455 (42% of season total)          482 (45% of season total)
Sessions Led          60 (48% of season total)          47 (37% of season total)


 
Nicola Armstrong ,Bradley Lord ,Wolfgang Schattling - photos Mercedes
 

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16.11.2014 / MaP

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