2020 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - Preview

09.
December 2020
Brackley

The 2020 Formula One season concludes this weekend with the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit

  • Toto Talks Abu Dhabi
  • Fact File: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
  • Stat Attack: Abu Dhabi and Beyond

Toto Talks Abu Dhabi

We head into the final race of the season looking for redemption after a disappointing race in Sakhir, where both George and Valtteri lost the opportunity to win. The pit stop problem has uncovered an underlying problem with our intercom, and we’ve put measures in place, both technically and in the way we operate, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

There are still some question marks over who will be in the car this weekend in Abu Dhabi. Lewis’s condition is improving, but we won’t know until closer to the time if he will be driving. We’ll do everything we can to get him in the car and we know he’s determined to be back as soon as possible. But his health is our main priority, so we will see what the situation is and then make the call.

We have a very special surprise this weekend in Abu Dhabi for our team members. We’ll be running a slightly different livery on Saturday and Sunday featuring everyone’s name on the car to honour the huge commitment and determination from everybody in Brixworth and Brackley. Everyone has pushed hard this year, raising the bar through this massively intense season, and we hope this gesture goes some way in showing the appreciation we have for everyone involved.

Abu Dhabi is always a fun race weekend with the end of season vibe and an interesting track for the engineers to tackle. The atmosphere will be slightly different this year with the COVID-19 control measures, but we’re as motivated as ever to end the season with a strong result and head into the winter break on the right foot.

Fact File: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

  • The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix first appeared on the F1 calendar in 2009, marking F1’s first-ever twilight race.
  • Much like in Bahrain, FP1 and FP3 in Abu Dhabi take place in the day, while FP2, qualifying and the race take place at night. Tyre behaviour is different in the warmer daytime temperatures, so we need to compensate for this on set-up and in the practice run-plan.
  • The Yas Marina Circuit uses around 4,700 light fixtures to illuminate the track for the twilight race and the evening sessions.
  • Lewis Hamilton took pole position for the first Abu Dhabi GP in 2009 with a 1:40.948, but his 2019 pole time of 1:34.779 was over six seconds faster! And we’re expecting even quicker times in 2020…
  • Overtaking becomes more difficult as the race progresses, because the softer tyres – Pirelli will bring the three softest compounds to Abu Dhabi – produce a lot of marbles. This means there is a big loss of grip when running off the racing line.
  • With 21 corners (12 left-handers and nine right-handers), the Yas Marina Circuit has the most of any track on the 2020 F1 schedule.
  • It’s also the joint-second busiest lap when it comes to gear changes per lap, with 58 being required – behind Russia, on 62, and tied with Bahrain.
  • The pit lane is the only one in F1 to feature a tunnel, with drivers passing under the circuit at the pit exit, in order for cars to re-join on the left-hand side of Turn 2. Because the drivers are fed back onto the track during a corner, it can prove tricky to see other cars.
  • The slowest corner on the track is Turn 7, which is taken at around 70 km/h. However, there’s one corner that’s even slower, but it doesn’t feature on the normal lap: F1 cars take the left-hand hairpin at the pit lane exit at just 60 km/h.
  • The two DRS zones are located on consecutive straights, separated by a chicane, and also have their own individual detection points. This creates some fun battles on track as the driver who’s been overtaken into Turn 8 has a chance to take the position back in the next DRS zone.
  • There are seven braking events at the Yas Marina Circuit and two of those are classified as “heavy” (meaning the driver is braking for 0.4 seconds or longer, with 4G or more). It punishes the brakes, but the long straights allow them to cool, keeping temperatures at bay – unlike tracks such as Budapest where a relentless run of corners and lack of long straights make it difficult to cool the brakes.
  • Only 61% of the lap time at the Yas Marina Circuit is spent at full throttle, the second-lowest percentage of any track on the 2020 F1 calendar. Only the Hungaroring, with 56%, has a lower figure.
  • Because Abu Dhabi is the final race of the season and FP1 and FP3 are not fully representative, some teams often bring concept parts for the following season to run in those sessions.
  • Teams will remain in Abu Dhabi after the conclusion of the season for a Young Driver Test, which takes place on the Tuesday and utilises both race cars.

Stat Attack: Abu Dhabi and Beyond

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Timetable

Session

Local Time

(GST)

Brackley

(GMT)

Stuttgart

(CET)

Practice 1 - Friday

13:00-14:30

09:00-10:30

10:00-11:30

Practice 2 - Friday

17:00-18:30

13:00-14:30

14:00-15:30

Practice 3 - Saturday

14:00-15:00

10:00-11:00

11:00-12:00

Qualifying - Saturday

17:00-18:00

13:00-14:00

14:00-15:00

Race - Sunday

17:10-19:10

13:10-15:10

14:10-16:10

 

Race Records – Mercedes F1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

 

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

DNF

Mercedes

10

6

10

6

11

3

2

Lewis Hamilton

11

5

8

5

10

3

2

Valtteri Bottas

7

1

2

1

2

1

1

MB Power

11

7

17

8

15

4

10

 

Technical Stats – Season to Date (Barcelona Pre-Season Test 1 to Present)

 

Laps

Completed

Distance

Covered (km)

Corners

Taken

Gear

Changes

PETRONAS

Fuel Injections

Mercedes

5,714

28,410

84,274

246,793

228,560,000

Lewis Hamilton

2,645

13,471

39,902

114,729

105,800,000

Valtteri Bottas

2,840

14,127

41,853

122,446

113,600,000

MB Power

15,889

79,045

234,154

685,134

635,560,000

 

Mercedes-Benz in Formula One

 

Starts

Wins

Podium

Places

Pole

Positions

Front Row

Places

Fastest

Laps

1-2

Finishes

Front Row

Lockouts

Mercedes

(All Time)

226

115

234

126

228

84

58

76

Mercedes

(Since 2010)

214

106

217

118

208

75

53

74

Lewis Hamilton

265

95

164

98

158

53

N/A

N/A

Valtteri Bottas

155

9

55

16

39

15

N/A

N/A

MB Power

496

202

506

210

409

179

89

113

Press Contact

  • Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Communications Director / F1-Communications
  • Tel: +44 1280 844484

Media

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