The 2021 season finale will take place on a significantly redesigned circuit. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which is set to take between Dec 10th and 12th, will feature a new and improved layout after the Yas Marina Circuit announced the track will be reconfigured in time upcoming months.
The redesign is intended to make racing even more exciting. In the words of Saif Al Noaimi, acting CEO of the Abu Dhabi F1 promoters:
"We've listened to the spectators and fans, and we've listened to the teams and the drivers,
"We've built these modifications, taking into consideration the feedback that we have received.
"Ultimately, our objective is to create more overtaking opportunities, closer wheel to wheel racing and a faster, free-flowing circuit."
The CEO hopes that the banked corner will especially stand out as something unique, and 'iconic', as he called it.
📢🏁 NEWS ALERT 📢🏁— Yas Marina Circuit (@ymcofficial) June 24, 2021
A new era begins at Yas Marina Circuit. For the action. For the fans. For the sport. 🔥
Here’s a sneak peek of the changes coming to our track layout for the 2021 #AbuDhabiGP.🏎@EMSO_NEWS @F1 @Mrk1Consulting#F1 #Formula1 pic.twitter.com/8eIJ5n3L5G
The circuit, which was inaugurated in 2009 when the first Abu Dhabi GP occurred, will undergo significant alterations over the next few months, specifically in three areas:
- Eliminating the chicane and widening the hairpin at Turn 7
- Removing the four sharp corners at Turns 11, 12, 13 and 14 to be replaced by one long banked turn
- Opening up the radius of four corners (Turns 17, 18, 19 and 20) to create a faster flowing section of the track.
,” said Saif Al Noaimi
According to track operators, enlarging Turn 17 will improve overtaking opportunities, while the changes to Turn 20 will create a full-throttle corner, allowing cars to follow closer together. The tweaks at the hotel section are designed to allow for closer racing, leading to additional overtaking opportunities.
F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali claimed that the heads of Formula One well-welcomed the changes, which he hopes will help generate more entertainment for fans.
"It has been an incredible season so far, and we are looking forward to being there with the new layout to the track, which for sure will allow the drivers to maximise the show," he said.
Indeed, last year, the previous Abu Dhabi layout was subject to a lot of criticism from team bosses and drivers after it produced a lack of excitement – and serious boredom – at the final race.
Ross Brawn, Managing Director, Motorsports at Formula 1 added: “As host of the Formula 1 season-finale since 2009, Yas Marina Circuit has established itself as one of the most popular venues for motorsport fans around the world to attend.
"We are fully supportive of the decision to make improvements to the track, intending to enhance the overall motorsport experience across the board, including the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, for both competitors and spectators.
"Given its position as the final race in the Formula 1 season, it is always a special date on the calendar, and with this year’s event set to be the first on the new-look track and the last race before we enter the new era of F1 in 2022, there is added incentive to look forward to the spectacle," concluded Brawn.