Renault Sport F1 Abu Dhabi Grand-Prix preview

Renault Sport F1 Abu Dhabi Grand-Prix preview

18.11.2016: FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 2016 Foreword Brazil was rather an eventful Grand Prix and the

FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX 2016






Foreword



Brazil was rather an eventful Grand Prix and the team has only just dried out from all the rain! The race gained a lot of attention and showed that Formula 1 is definitely a sport people like to talk about.



From our perspective it was another race of lessons learnt; all aspects accumulated to assist us with our development for the future.



Abu Dhabi is our final Grand Prix in our rookie season as Renault Sport Formula One Team. It has been a tough 20 races so far on track, as we expected, but for us the story has been our real progress made behind the scenes.



In terms of our power unit this season we have taken a great step forward in terms of performance and reliability and that is something we expect to continue in 2017.



 In terms of the infrastructure at Enstone we’re making massive strides with our expansion programme progressing well. The first fruits of this expansion will be seen in next year’s car, the R.S.17. 



On track in Abu Dhabi we want a strong and positive race to end the season. There will be a lot of attention at the front of the field as the Drivers’ Championship is decided, but for us a strong end to the year would be a good endorsement of all the hard work wrought over the last twelve months.



We have faith that both Kevin and Jolyon will deliver what’s expected of them for the final time this season and for Kevin we wish him well for the future.




Cyril Abiteboul, managing director






Vasseur’s Validation





As well as being the first season for Renault Sport Formula One Team it was the first season for Team Principal Fred Vasseur with an official F1 role. He gives his thoughts…




Are you surprised with how quickly the season has gone by?



In a certain sense yes, who knows where all the time goes! We’ve certainly been busy in 2016, not only has there been the normal challenges of a race season – and a very long one at that – but we’ve been making and implementing plans for the future.



 It’s one task after the next so you can really feel that time flies. The season has been a long one and I think that the entire paddock will be glad come Sunday night in Abu Dhabi!





What has been the story of your season?



There was a learning and discovery phase to start off with - getting to know people and their methods - and from this a feeling of mutual trust developed.



The general atmosphere has been positive and very studious; we are working hard to progress and we are all focussed on the same objectives.



 Each week there is better collaboration and that’s an important aspect in the future success of the team. We’ve made real progress in 2016.





What have been your most memorable moments this season? What were the highs and lows?



Scoring our first points in Sochi was an important milestone for the team and also a relief. Jolyon’s first point was equally important because it was the result of his hard work and another step forward.



 At the end of the day, being regularly in a position to score is more important than one-offs and we’ve made decent progress to getting to that position.





Have the sporting results met our hopes this season?



Our on track performance has matched the reality of our competitiveness this season. At Enstone we’ve been very much in a re-construction phase, building the infrastructure and the R.S.16 was conceived very late relative to its opposition.



On paper we knew that the season would be challenging, at the same time fate was in our own hands and early on in the season we decided to focus on 2017. That meant that the 2016 car had very little development and a big chunk of those developments were destined to look ahead at next year.



 That said, we are still racers so we pushed to be competitive wherever possible, it’s our blood; we wouldn’t have been able to have simply let go! It’s important to progress and to look at each detail that enables us to move forward with the factories or trackside.





What are your hopes for the last race of the season in Abu Dhabi?



I’d like us to continue to work seamlessly as a team and to use even the last race of the season to learn lessons for next year.





What’s the outlook for the future?



Progress. We’re excited about our new car and can’t wait to see it hit the track in February. We know our driver line-up:



Jolyon is already part of the family and we look forward to be starting work with Nico at the end of his contract with Force India. I think that we have a strong line-up for what we need to achieve in 2017.




Any final words for Kevin?



We’d like to thank him for his efforts this year as we know it hasn’t been always the easiest. We’d love to see him end his final race for us in the points and we wish him well for the future as he is a very talented driver.





Circuit notes




T1: The first corner is medium speed – taken at around 130kph. Leading to the high speed turns 2+3, both of which should be flat out in qualifying and only giving drivers something to think about when they have heavy fuel loads.  



T2: A defining corner for set-up. This corner has the greatest need for front wing to eradicate understeer so sets the level for the track.




T5: One of the bigger braking demands on the track, braking from around 300kph.



T7: A second gear corner taken at around 70kph, strong engine pick-up is vital out of turn seven for a good entry onto the circuit’s longest straight.



T8: Arriving at one of the longest straights in Formula 1 – with maximum speeds of around 320kph – heavy braking down to second gear and around 80kph is required for turns 8-9. The kerbs are used aggressively through this combination so suspension  compliance is beneficial.



T11: Another long straight with speeds in excess of 300kph leads to another heavy braking zone for turn 11. The turn 11-13 sequence requires good change of direction from the car.






Power Unit notes



Yas Marina is a mid-range power track, but it is particularly hard on the ICE due to the long 1.2km back straight where the power unit will be at full throttle for 14secs.



Over 50% of the lap is spent at full throttle, with average speeds of 190kph, similar to the Circuit de Gilles-Villeneuve. Top speed will peak at over 330kph down the back straight between Turns 7 and 8. This may seem slow in comparison to the highs of Mexico and Brazil, but it’s just as impressive as the cars will be running medium to high downforce settings and the sea-level air is much denser than at high altitude.



Fuel consumption per km is the fifth highest of the season behind Melbourne, Montreal, Zeltweg and Sochi. The first two sectors are relatively fuel efficient but the stops and starts of the final sector dramatically increase the consumption. It is increased further by the sea level altitude and running in the lower temperatures after sunset.




Tyre choice



Soft: Capable of migrating large distances, the Alpine swift Tachymarptis melba is an extraordinary bird, spending much of its life on the wing and often seen above the desert of the UAE.



Supersoft: A magnificent flier, the ashy drongo Dicrurus leucophaeus is an agile and highly mobile bird, executing remarkable twists and turns in the air with extreme skill and speed.



Ultrasoft: Like the Lanner falcon Falco biarmicus - one of the oldest species of heirofalcons - a fast, agile hunter.









Memory Lane



The Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi has provided some championship showdowns, and some classic races. One of the most enjoyable came in 2012 when Kimi Räikkönen took an unexpected win for Lotus F1 Team. Lotus had had several podiums over the year, but strong competition from Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren meant that a win had so far eluded them. Kimi Räikkönen’s engine engineer, Ricardo Penteado, recalls when the team finally secured that victory:



“Lewis Hamilton had taken pole, but we’d also had a strong qualifying, with Kimi taking fourth on the grid. Lewis held the line through the first corner and converted his pole but Kimi got a flying start and moved into second. I can remember thinking that this would be a great result if it carried on like this, but until lap 20 it was all fairly routine. Kimi challenged Lewis for the lead a couple of times, but there wasn’t anything that stuck.
 


‘But on lap 20 it all changed as Lewis stopped with a technical problem. Kimi was in the lead! At this point everything in the garage became a lot more pressured as we could be in for the win rather than just a podium.



“I can’t recall very much about the mid-point of the race as we were just concentrating and keeping going, but in the final stages Fernando Alonso was getting closer and closer. An already tense garage got even more tense.



“You could hear it in the radio communications in the garage and particularly to Kimi himself…his engineer kept giving him instructions – probably more for his own reassurance – but Kimi just shrugged it all off and told him to leave him alone, he knew what he was doing! It was a moment of comedy in the middle of the stress, and we all laughed. There were always things like that with Kimi, it was never dull on the radio!



“For us on the engine side we also knew that it was going to be tight. Kimi was pushing so much that we were looking marginal to finish the race and have enough for the fuel sample afterwards. Certainly without the four safety car laps between laps 39 and 42 we would have certainly needed to stop the car just after the chequered flag.



“It was really cool after the race. You could see how much it meant to everyone. It had been an amazing race in all aspects, but certainly not easy. Everyone felt like we had really earned it.”




Abu Dhabi – quirky facts




The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven emirates which have the same name for their capital city – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. Emir means commander in Arabic, hence the name Emirates meaning ruled by an Emir.


UAE has an average temperature of 33.4 Celsius across the year with 25 days of rain at a total of 94mm. There are no rivers in the United Arab Emirates.



5,056 glass panels form the outer shell of the Yas Hotel at the Yas Marina circuit and are looked after by a team of 15 abseiling window-cleaners. It takes them one month to clean the whole exterior of the building.



The Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, is seven times bigger than Big Ben. 



The Statue of Liberty would fit comfortably in the lobby of the Burj al Arab hotel.



Ski Dubai in the UAE is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and has 22,500 square metres covered with real snow for skiing.







- Renault Sport F1 also photos



Permanent-URL: http://www.automobilsport.com/renault-sport-f1-abu-dhabi-gp-preview---157987.html

18.11.2016 / MaP

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