Abu Dhabi preview quotes - Ferrari, FIA, Lotus, Pirelli & more

The Formula One paddock heads west again next weekend for the 2011 Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the penultimate round of the 2011 FIA Formula One World Championship. With its spectacular setting and unique twilight race, the Yas Marina Circuit is one of the most popular on the calendar, as the teams and drivers explain…

Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
2010 Qualifying - 3rd, 2010 Race - 7th

“I completely appreciate that winning will be very difficult. In this closing part of the season the relative positions are very clear but we have also seen there are some conditions in which we can fight for victory: as happened in Suzuka, for example. We know if we all get everything right we can fight for the top three but our natural qualifying position is on the third row. Then in the race things can go differently but that is the realistic situation. So our target is the podium. Apart from anything else that result would allow me to fill a gap in my trophy cabinet as Abu Dhabi is the only race on the calendar from which I have yet to bring home silverware.
“I’m sure that the most frequent question in Thursday’s press briefings will be about my return to the Yas Marina circuit after last year’s race. It would not be honest if I told you I won’t be a bit uncomfortable thinking about it when I see the paddock for the first time. But then the feeling will vanish and it will leave room for the present, which is about aiming to do well this weekend and in the future: to learn as much as possible with next season in mind. It’s right that it should be like that because in sport, as in the rest of life, you must always look ahead. Abu Dhabi 2010 was an important stage in my career and I have no doubt that even through that bad day, my relationship with Ferrari has become even stronger.”

Felipe Massa, Ferrari
2010 Qualifying - 6th, 2010 Race - 10th

“Now we come to Abu Dhabi, where I only drove for the first time last year, as I missed the first race there in 2009, because of my injury. The facility itself is fantastic and the track is quite interesting. However, one negative point about it was that we did not see much overtaking, but I expect this year with the DRS, it should help to produce a better race this weekend. It’s a unique timetable on Sunday as we start the race in daylight and then go on to race under the lights at night. This doesn’t present any problem, in fact the positive element is that it gets cooler as the race goes on and the track lighting is excellent. For us these last two races are a final chance to get some good results, but also these recent races have been very much part of our preparations for 2012. We have been trying some components that could find their way onto the new car, but also we have been looking at new ideas in terms of how we run the car and how best to adapt the set-up. I think this is very important as part of our preparation for the future, not just from a technical point of view but also how we approach the race weekend. 

“The race at Yas Marina is also special for Ferrari because of the team’s many close links with Abu Dhabi, which is most obviously seen from the fact we have our own theme park there, just alongside the race track, Ferrari World. Last year I went for a ride on the fantastic rollercoaster they have there, which was an enjoyable and exhilarating experience, so I can’t wait to go again and this time, I’ll take my wife with me!”

Charlie Whiting, FIA race director
“The race came in for a bit of criticism last year because the cars found it very difficult to overtake. But there are two DRS zones this year, with two activation points, and they should make a significant difference in that respect.

“Everybody loves coming here to race: the facilities are absolutely first class - everything’s top-notch and the timing of the event gives a nice mix between a night race and a day race. The marshalling has been excellent, too, and race control works very well. It’s a thoroughly pleasant working experience. There haven’t been any changes to the circuit apart from some very minor kerbing adjustments.”

Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus
2010 Qualifying - 20th, 2010 Race - 17th

“Two races left and we are going to two of the better circuits on the calendar. Abu Dhabi’s not a hugely challenging circuit to race on, but the timing of the sessions and the fact we are running as the light’s fading on Sunday makes it pretty cool for the fans and on TV. The first sector is reasonably quick - if you see the cars turn in to T1 after the start finish straight you can get an idea of just how fast an F1 car can change direction, and from there you pick up pace through turns two and three, pushing the aero performance of the cars. After that it’s a bit stop/start until the long straight down to T8 where there is the first clear overtaking opportunity. T11 is the next place you can pass people, and then it all gets a bit fiddly as you go around the hotel - I’m sure it’s pretty spectacular for people watching the cars while they’re having lunch, but it’s several low speed corners that push the car on traction, but aren’t too challenging from inside the cockpit.”

Jarno Trulli, Lotus
2010 Qualifying - 19th, 2010 Race - 21st

“I’m looking forward to Abu Dhabi - I’ve had a run of bad luck in the last few races and I hope I can turn that around in Yas Marina and help the team make sure we get that tenth place this year. The circuit’s not the biggest challenge of the year, but the facilities are great, the track surface is grippy and if you get a good balance you can really push, in the high speed sector from T1 to T7, and around the twisty bits back up to the start line. We saw last year that it’s very hard to overtake around the Abu Dhabi track but DRS and the way the Pirellis have performed all year will definitely change that - the run down to T8 where the DRS zone will be activated will definitely see a lot of passing and I want to make sure I’m up there with the teams we’ve been fighting with in the last few Grands Prix and racing all weekend.”

Tony Fernandes, Lotus team principal
“This has been a long, hard season, but I am pleased that we are heading towards the end on a good note on and off track. Our race performances in Korea, Japan and India have been very encouraging, both in the cockpit and in the garages, and they are a pointer to where we can build on for next season when we have to take another step forward. Off track all the pieces are falling into place and we have now taken full control of our own destiny - I am absolutely certain that what we are putting in place gives us the very best platform to guarantee future success, both in our motor racing and broader automotive interests, and when you consider what we have already achieved, against the background of so many uncertainties, I think we can guarantee that we have a very bright future. We will be making full announcements about all the developments we are working on in due course, but for now the focus is on Abu Dhabi and Brazil and keeping up the momentum we have built up all season.”

Mike Gascoyne, Lotus chief technical officer
“We left India feeling very good about how we attacked the first race at the Buddh International Circuit, and having had such a warm welcome in India. We are obviously having a very strong end to the season and it’s good for the whole team to see us being able to fight the likes of Williams, Sauber and Renault when the lights go out on Sunday. All season we have seen that when we get the tyres up to temperature we are in a position to push the cars ahead, and while we have not yet been able to do that in qualifying, we have given the race drivers a package that they can use on Sunday afternoons and give the fans something to get excited about. One fact that came to light after the race last weekend was that we set our quickest ever pit stop time in India, 3.3 seconds, which is light years from where we were back at the start of the season. That sort of attention to detail is what separates the quick from the really quick and it is down to hard work, practice and attention to detail from the pit crew that they can now make such crucial contributions to our race performances. The goal now to is keep that up in Abu Dhabi which is similar to a number of the other circuits we have been quick at this season, so I see no reason why we can’t have another strong weekend in Yas Marina before we head to the final race in Brazil.”

Paul Hembery, Pirelli’s motorsport director
“At this point in the season, our emphasis is obviously on refining our tyre choices for next year, which is why we are seeing some new tyres during free practice here and the young driver test. With very limited opportunities for testing during the season, this is important for us to collect information as we develop our strategy for 2012, which will feature tyres that are a bit different from this year’s range. We’re very familiar with the Yas Marina circuit as a testing venue so we’re confident that the tyre choice we have made for the race should suit the characteristics of the track. Abu Dhabi is an absolutely fantastic facility with some good overtaking opportunities, so we’re very pleased to be celebrating our first anniversary there.”

Bruno Senna, Renault
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

“Abu Dhabi and Brazil were probably my best two races last season, where I didn’t experience any problems. I know the Yas Marina Circuit well; the track clicked with me. I really took to driving there and I think it suited me well. I really do feel we could have a strong race weekend if we put everything together, despite the fact that our car does not seem to like slow corners that much. It is going to be a long race and I think some of the other teams have a little bit of an advantage, but we are going to be pushing and will do our utmost to stay ahead of our rivals.

“We need to be realistic but also put in a massive effort to extract the maximum possible from the weekend. In terms of managing our expectations, fortunately we always wait until Friday to know what to expect in terms of results, and we believe that we can do a good job again in Abu Dhabi. It is a very tight group; we need to get everything 100 percent right to be in front of them. We are at the business end of the season now and, make no mistake, we will be putting in every ounce of effort to secure some pride for the team.”

Vitaly Petrov, Renault
2010 Qualifying - 10th, 2010 Race - 6th

“Abu Dhabi has a good atmosphere. It is a good track with a lot of spectators - even Russians - who come to watch the race. I do in fact quite like the track. It has smooth tarmac which might mean we start the weekend in slightly dirty conditions; we shall see how prevalent this is when we get to the track. I am naturally inclined to say I don’t know if the circuit will suit our car. When we arrive and are able to observe how the tyres are working, we will know where we are placed relative to our rivals. I hope we show signs of speed, like we have at time during the past three races. The concern is we have not exploited the potential the car has shown at the crucial times. Of course, that is always the fine line between a successful outing on track or a less successful one. Overall, I am confident it can be a good race weekend.”

Eric Boullier, Renault team principal
“Abu Dhabi is a very, very popular event and racing spectacle. To give you an example: we are absolutely jammed to the rafters in terms of the number of guests we have, and the interest we have received. It arrived on the calendar back in 2009 and since then it has acted as an extremely important race for the annual F1 circus. It brings motorsport to the United Arab Emirates in a big way. As I’ve said before, for the sport to be global it needs to plant its flag in many different parts of the world. Formula One has done that in Abu Dhabi and the race has been a massive success in the two years it has taken place as we saw at last year’s season finale in which our very own Vitaly was heavily involved. From a team side of things, we expect to use the Abu Dhabi race weekend as an opportunity to secure our fifth place in the championship, and to secure as many points as possible.”

James Allison, Renault technical director
“Our car performs relatively better in high speed corners at tracks which place a fair burden on the front tyres. Yas Marina is biased towards lower speed corners which place a larger emphasis on rear tyre and traction performance. Our engine allocation is fine. The Renault Sport units have performed flawlessly this year and we are able to perform both of the final races with no restrictions on our strategy whatsoever.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India
2010 Qualifying - 13th, 2010 Race - 13th

“It was a difficult race for us last year, but I think this year it should be much better. There are long straights and hairpins, and it’s a track where low-speed corner performance counts. That should suit our car so I think we’ll be okay.”

Paul Di Resta, Force India
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

“I did half a day at the (Abu Dhabi) young driver test and then a full day for the Pirelli tyre test last year. So I’ve learned the layout and have a feel for the place. Before we get there I’ll have another half day in the simulator to get back up to speed.

“It’s a very technical circuit with a lot of tight, low-speed corners and you need to be very precise with the car. There’s very little high-speed stuff, apart from the esses after turn one, but they are taken pretty much flat anyway. There are definitely some similarities with Singapore so that’s a reason to be optimistic because the lack of high-speed corners seems to suit our package. As ever, we have to see how the teams around us perform.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India chairman and team principal
“We hope to do well in Abu Dhabi, particularly because we think the car is suited to the track. Let’s see.”

Rubens Barrichello, Williams
2010 Qualifying - 7th, 2010 Race - 12th

"Abu Dhabi is a great race and although some people say that overtaking was not easy there the last two years, this year with DRS I think we will have some really good racing. The track is very exciting for drivers. Turns 2 and 3 make a very special combination of high speed corners with the last part of the track a very tricky sequence of low speed and technical corners. I enjoy going to Abu Dhabi and I'm looking to score some more points before heading to the last race of the season in Brazil."

Pastor Maldonado, Williams
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

"The Yas Marina Circuit has a very interesting combination of corners, mostly slow speed with one fast section right at the start of the lap. It is quite a long lap and tyre degradation is usually quite high. Although it is a fairly new track, the team has lots of data from both the races and test here last year. I enjoyed the Young Driver test there in 2010 as well as racing in GP2, so I also know the track. Abu Dhabi is a really nice place to visit with great fans."

Mark Gillan, Williams chief operations engineer
"Early preparation for the 55-lap Abu Dhabi race has gone well. The Yas Marina Circuit is a medium aerodynamic efficiency track, with a real mix of long straights and relatively tight, low mean speed corners, which in turn puts a great deal of energy through the braking system. We are expecting low 30 degrees Celsius ambient temperatures with track temperatures rising into the low 40 degrees so we will have to run a relatively 'open' cooling package. Fuel consumption at the race is medium to high, but the actual fuel effect on lap-time is average. Pirelli are bringing their medium and soft tyres to this race, with these tyres being last used together at the Japanese Grand Prix."

Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull
2010 Qualifying - 1st, 2010 Race - 1st

“The track in Abu Dhabi is special - this will be our third Grand Prix there. The race starts at dusk and finishes at night, which means we have to drive with special helmet visors because of the different light conditions. The other factor is that we drive anti-clockwise. The track’s a bit like Singapore from the speed, but the asphalt is smoother. There are two special features - one is the passage under the Yas Hotel, where else can you actually drive under your room! The second is the pit-lane exit, which is also special. It’s partly underground and it feels like you’re coming out of an underground parking garage when you drive through it.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
2010 Qualifying - 5th, 2010 Race - 8th

“I’m really looking forward to getting to Abu Dhabi. Although it’s not one of the most challenging venues of the season, with every real corner being second and third gear, it’s always a great spectacle. It’s a twilight race, so it looks amazing on TV. It’s another great opportunity for the team to get a very good result as the season comes to a close. The sun is always shining and the conditions are always beautiful, so that’s something to look forward to.”

Timo Glock, Virgin
2010 Qualifying - 21st, 2010 Race - DNF

“The season is coming to an end but there are still two quite spectacular races ahead of us. We now head to another Hermann Tilke designed track, the Yas Marina Circuit, which I enjoy a lot. I have to say that this circuit reminds me of different F1 tracks: the temperature is very similar to Bahrain, the track surface is like Hungary or Korea and in terms of lateral forces it is very close to Valencia. It features a very long straight between Turns 7 and 8. The only fast corners are Turns 2 and 3, which are taken at full throttle, so given the fact that many of the turns are low speed, the set-up is similar to how we would run at another medium-downforce track like Interlagos. I hope we can seal the season with two positive results.”

Jerome d’Ambrosio, Virgin
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

“I’m really looking forward to the race weekend ahead in Abu Dhabi. I have good memories of this track as this is where I tested with the team a year ago before getting the drive for this season. A lot has happened since then and I’m glad to be returning again.

“The Yas Marina Circuit is a fantastic facility and has some interesting features like the pitlane - a tight tunnel that takes you under Turn 1 and rejoins the circuit on the inside of the second corner; the marina, or the section around the colour-changing Yas Hotel. It’s a very attractive circuit where we race in the fading light, so in a way it also reminds me a bit of Singapore, another of my favourite tracks. I hope to continue achieving positive results at the last two races of the season.”

John Booth, Virgin team principal
“We head to Abu Dhabi looking forward to the last two races of the 2011 calendar. It’s going to be an interesting and busy couple of weeks ahead as straight after the race we will remain at the Yas Marina Circuit for the Young Driver Test before heading to Brazil for the season finale.

“One of the most demanding aspects of the weekend is that the race and qualifying are held at sundown so the track is cooling rapidly. This means that the car balance and tyre grip levels are changing throughout the stints and one of the challenges of the weekend will be to keep adjusting wing angles and tyre pressures to keep everything consistent. As with Turkey, Singapore, Korea and Brazil, the Yas Marina Circuit also runs in an anti-clockwise direction, giving the drivers the additional physical challenge to their neck muscles, even though they do extra training to compensate for that.

“Having not had the best of luck in India, we hope to get back to our usual two-car finish again in Abu Dhabi as every little bit counts in terms of carrying information through to the 2012 car development programme.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
2010 Qualifying - 2nd, 2010 Race - 2nd

“I have some fantastic memories of the Yas Marina Circuit. I started from pole position there in 2009, and I led the race until I was forced to stop because of a brake issue. Last year, I finished second and set the fastest lap, so we head there looking to convert all that potential into a race win.

“I think we’ve got every reason to be confident for Abu Dhabi. This circuit should really suit the characteristics of our car - we should be able to capitalise on the layout to maximise the benefit of DRS and KERS, both of which are very strong on our car.

“Red Bull and Sebastian (Vettel) may have clinched both championships, but I’m still determined to end the season on a winning high. I’ve won two Grands Prix this year, and I’d love to double that by the end of the year! It would also be a great reward for everybody at Vodafone McLaren Mercedes.”

Jenson Button, McLaren
2010 Qualifying - 4th, 2010 Race - 3rd

“Abu Dhabi has special memories for me because it was my first race after I’d won the world championship in 2009, so it made racing that weekend a really fun and enjoyable experience - I remember I had a fantastic battle with Mark (Webber) and finished third. 

“The Yas Marina circuit looks and feels spectacular and futuristic: it’s a unique place - the way the circuit changes from dusk to darkness is incredible, and must be an amazing experience for the spectators. The way it’s built, the grandstands are almost on top the action so everyone gets a great view.

“It’s usually been quite difficult to overtake here, especially last year, but I think that DRS will change all that. The back straight is one of the longest in Formula One so I expect to see a lot of action there. It would be great to see the new rules turn this circuit into a place where overtaking is more common and more exciting. 

“Our car should suit this circuit so I’m very optimistic. We saw at the last Grand Prix that even though we didn’t have the ultimate speed to catch and pass Sebastian, we made him work hard for the win. Tactically, Vodafone McLaren Mercedes ran a first-class race: I got all the right calls from the pit wall and the pit crew did a fantastic job. The championship may not be at stake any more but we’re still aiming to win races and put on a tremendous show.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“The Indian Grand Prix two weeks ago was a unique achievement for Formula One, and next weekend’s race in Abu Dhabi will be another pinnacle for the sport at probably the most futuristic and impressive circuit on the calendar.

“Jenson was quick and incredibly consistent in India, putting us in a position where we could be a little bit adventurous with the tyre strategy and put the leader under greater pressure. I know Lewis was disappointed with the outcome of his own race but that will not affect his preparations for the next challenge. He has an extremely impressive track record in Abu Dhabi, starting from pole position in 2009 and setting the fastest lap on his way to the podium in 2010, so I’m very confident that he’ll shine this weekend.

“At Vodafone McLaren Mercedes we approach every Grand Prix with one aim: to win it. So while we can never be entirely happy with finishing second, as we did in India, we can be satisfied that we maximised the technical package we had and look at ways to go one better for the next race.

“Even though we’ve secured second place in the constructors’ championship, and Jenson has a very healthy margin in second place in the drivers’ championship, the season isn’t over for us by any means. We’re continuing to bring new developments to our car and we’ll be fighting every bit as hard as we did at the first race in Australia back in March.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT
2010 Qualifying - 16th, 2010 Race - DNF

“After lending my car to Narain (Karthikeyan) for the Indian Grand Prix, I’m really looking forward to getting back into the action in Abu Dhabi. I’m positive coming into it because in India the car appeared to suit the track well and our pace was good in comparison to our rivals. Abu Dhabi is a special track because there is a lot of stop and go so we need to work on braking and traction. There are not many high speed corners and, overall, it is quite a tricky track because you have to work a lot over the kerbs. It is a circuit that I like and one where I have performed well in the past. We will face another tough weekend in Abu Dhabi but I am sure that we will put up a good fight.”

Daniel Ricciardo, HRT
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

“I’ve never raced in Abu Dhabi but have driven there last year in the young driver test with Red Bull so I’ll be expecting it to be quite a bit different this time round, especially with the Pirelli tyres. India would have been another successful race had it not been for the problem we encountered so I’m hoping to experience a good weekend again in Abu Dhabi. I enjoyed driving on this circuit last year and I’m definitely looking forward to racing there this year where I’ll be looking for a good result. There are only two races left in the season son I’m going to give it everything to achieve the best result possible.”

Colin Kolles, HRT team principal
"We had quite an encouraging weekend in India, showing a much better pace than our direct rivals, and we are looking forward to Abu Dhabi to round it off. However, we have to keep our feet on the ground, focus on ourselves and do our job properly. If we do, I am sure we can hope for a good result at the Yas Marina Circuit. The event was fantastic last year, a really impressive facility with great atmosphere. For the first time, Daniel will drive at a racetrack that he has already been before with a Formula 1 as he was one of the young drivers participating in the post-race test. He actually had an impressive performance and, although this time will be a different situation, I am confident that this can allow him to kick the weekend off from a better position. Tonio will be back in the car this weekend and he is highly motivated. I am sure that we will see an interesting Grand Prix. The team's performance has improved throughout the season and the last races have been particularly positive for us. We certainly are in a much better position than we were eight months ago and I hope that we will continue this way until the end."

Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber
2010 Qualifying - 12th, 2010 Race - 14th

“Abu Dhabi is the track where I scored my first three Formula One championship points when I came sixth back in 2009. It was only my second Grand Prix, and for sure I will never forget that. I also like the fact it is a twilight race. This makes it even more exciting for the spectators and also very demanding for us. The challenge doesn’t really come from the changing light, but the track temperature drops significantly when the sun sets. This makes it quite difficult to adapt during the race. I also like the track layout and I think it is an exciting event and race for everybody.”

Sergio Perez, Sauber
2010 Qualifying - n/a, 2010 Race - n/a

“I have only the best memories of Abu Dhabi. There last year I had my first Formula One test, which obviously meant a lot to me. Also last year it was there where I competed in GP2 for the last time, and I won the race on Saturday by a good margin of over 20 seconds. Now I’m coming back with almost one year’s experience in F1, and time goes by very quickly. I like the dry heat in the desert and it will be interesting to have the first experience with a race which starts in daylight and finishes in the dark. I am very much looking forward to that event and, as always, I’m absolutely determined to make the most out of it and score as many points as possible.”

James Key, Sauber technical director
“Abu Dhabi was a memorable race last year when the championship was won there. One factor in that race was overtaking was difficult. That’s something we have to bear in mind this year, although DRS should support overtaking. But certainly it will be an interesting race where the strategy could play a role. We go there with the soft and medium tyres, which is the same combination we had in Suzuka. The track itself has got three very distinct sectors. The first one is a short sector with medium to high speed corners. The second is dominated by a couple of chicanes and two long straights, so there low drag and efficiency are important. The third sector requires high downforce for the slow to medium speed corners. Therefore getting the downforce level right and balance it for this track is an important part of Friday’s work. The car will be the same specification we had in India. We have, however, several new approaches to some of the mechanical set-up, coming off the back of a difficult qualifying in India, where we just couldn’t get the tyres to work. We think Abu Dhabi will be better for this, but nevertheless we looked into this in detail and we will go with some fresh ideas to make sure we’ve got everything covered if tyres are the problem. In the race in India we got back to where we should be competition wise, and we clearly also need to be at that level in qualifying in Abu Dhabi.”

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes
2010 Qualifying - 8th, 2010 Race - DNF

"The season's ending is coming up with some quite spectacular races; after the debut in India last weekend, we are now heading to the equally impressive Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi next week. The twilight race here certainly delivers a very unique atmosphere and challenge, and I truly enjoyed driving in those conditions last year when I was doing so for the first time. I hope that we can carry on our good team performance next weekend, at the home race for Aabar, and I look forward to scoring more points."

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes
2010 Qualifying - 9th, 2010 Race - 4th

"The Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi is another great Hermann Tilke-designed track which I like very much. It's a fantastic setting with the track winding around the harbour and the hotel, and there is always a great atmosphere there with so many fans. I have good memories from last year's race and racing later in the day makes an interesting change to the usual race weekend format. I felt very comfortable in my car over the Indian Grand Prix weekend, and I'm planning to build on the result there in Abu Dhabi. I hope that we can get closer to the fastest teams for the last couple of races this season, and we are pushing very hard to achieve that."

Ross Brawn, Mercedes team principal
"As well as being the penultimate race of the season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be the final 'home' race of the year for the Mercedes GP Petronas team. Our shareholder and partner Aabar Investments is based in Abu Dhabi, so it will be a busy and exciting race weekend for us, with special events taking place at the race track and in the city. The Yas Marina Circuit is without doubt one of the most visually impressive Formula One facilities to have been built in recent years. The race has very quickly established itself as a wonderful, sell-out weekend, loved by drivers, teams, fans and guests alike. We are looking forward to our visit, and of course the added challenge of the later start and 'twilight' race. On the back of a two-car points finish, and a very good team performance, at the inaugural Indian Grand Prix, we will be working towards a similar result in Abu Dhabi. It would be a very great pleasure to achieve this at Aabar's home race."

Norbert Haug, Vice-President, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport 
"After a very successful premiere in India, Formula One's third visit to Abu Dhabi will highlight another of our sport's proudest success stories of recent years. The facilities and welcome at the Yas Marina Circuit are second-to-none and embody the commitment to excellence that defines the country's relationship with our sport. The circuit features relatively few high-speed corners, so mechanical grip and traction are at a premium, while the powertrain is also highly stressed: the percentage of the lap spent at wide open throttle, as well as the total number of gearshifts in the race, are both well above the season average. Our target in Abu Dhabi is to build upon our recent form, which has seen at least one of our drivers finish among the top six in four of the last six races. This is the maximum we can currently achieve, given that the six cars of the three top teams are generally producing better lap times than our current technical package. Like Germany, Great Britain and Malaysia, Abu Dhabi is one of our 'home' Grands Prix, where we will recognise the exemplary support and commitment of our partner and shareholder Aabar and mark an important milestone in our racing year."


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