The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has served as F1's season finale since 2014. Even though this will mark the 13th time F1 will race in this spectacular venue that begins with sunlight and ends in the night lights, its polemic layout has been doing the talks for quite some time because of the low quantity of on-track overtakes and few bits of emotion that take place in a circuit that according to some, should show more racing action for a season finale holder.
Saif Al Noaimi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, said: “We’ve been looking at improving the racing on the track. 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,” as reported by Autosport.com.
“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 actions taking the course are an oblivious response to some F1 drivers’ statements about the track, and races constantly disappointing F1 fans looking for on track-action.
Daniel Ricciardo once said: “Maybe we could play around with the layouts. I know there is a few alternatives maybe around here, because unfortunately on Sunday, it is tricky. It’s sometimes a bit grim from an entertainment point of view.”
Kimi Raikkonen also stated: “The track layout makes it really challenging for overtaking, while there are not too many places to pass. You really have to qualify well to be on the top, and to get a strong result from there.”
Antonio Giovinazzi also declared after the 2020 Abu Dhabi GP: “I stayed out in case something could have happened, but it was a boring race.”
Alleged plans to remove at least two corners from the Yas Marina circuit and maybe the hairpin section before the long back straight are planned to be announced to the public shortly, according to Saif Al Noaimi. That being said, the intention is clearly that the new layout will boost overtaking opportunities, in a track with very few fast corners and not shows of weather unpredictability that could make an exciting Abu Dhabi GP.
"We're very much looking forward to sharing more information in the next couple of months on the changes. The objective ultimately is to create more opportunities for close wheel to wheel racing.
“The objective ultimately is to create more opportunities for close wheel-to-wheel racing. 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 to seeing some overtaking and action, and hopefully the championship will come down to the wire and be determined here.” He concluded.
The organization also announced that, after holding the 2020 Abu Dhabi GP with no audience, the Yas Marina stands are ready to receive a measured quantity of fanatics for the weekend of December 10th-12th.
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