Track modifications are now complete at the home of the Hankook 6H ABU DHABI!
Management at the Yas Marina Circuit has released its first images of the completed track renovations.
The home of the Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, and the upcoming Hankook 6H ABU DHABI, underwent its first major track modifications since it was officially opened in 2009, the aim being to improve overtaking opportunities.
The biggest change was at the South Marina, with turns 11 through 13 removed entirely to make way for a single, banked left-handed corner. Simulations suggest Grand Prix machines could enter the new corner – now named ‘Marsa’ – much faster than before, potentially at speeds up to 240kph.
At the other end of the circuit, the North Hairpin heading onto the back straight has also been redeveloped. The left-right-left complex at the former turns five through seven remains in place as additional run-off area, but the circuit now flows into a 20-metre-wide left-hand hairpin. Once again, it is hoped the revised surface will introduce further overtaking opportunities, with GP machinery potentially approaching the new hairpin at up to 300kph.
The last major, though more subtle, tweak concerns the complex below the neighbouring Viceroy Hotel, where the corners have been opened up to reduce tyre wear and allow cars to follow each other more closely than before.
The revisions mean the track length has shortened slightly from 5.554km to 5.28km, while the number of corners on the ‘Grand Prix’ layout has also dropped from 21 to 17.
“It’s an incredible moment in history for Yas Marina Circuit,” explained Saif Al Noaimi, Deputy CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management. “These are the first upgrades to the track since the circuit was first constructed in 2009. Since then Formula 1 cars, along with others in our fleets, have evolved in their design and performance and as such, we are committed to progressing with them to offer the ultimate racing experience across the events held at the circuit.
“The changes will amplify the competitive nature of all motorsports events held at the venue but, with it right around the corner, we are of course especially excited to see how the action unfolds on the new circuit layout during next month’s season finale.”
The Yas Marina Circuit is once again set to host the non-championship Hankook 6H ABU DHABI on 21-22 January next year, one week after the 17th edition of the Hankook 24H DUBAI (13-14-15 January). This year’s six-hour endurance race was the second official CREVENTIC event held in Abu Dhabi, and saw 24H SERIES staple Car Collection Motorsport emerge victorious ahead of Leipert Motorsport and PROFILDOORS by Huber Racing. Overall GT Teams’ standings leader ST Racing meanwhile took TG honours.
- Images – Abu Dhabi Motorsports and Petr Frýba