Abu Dhabi approves new F1 layout plan to improve racing

Abu Dhabi’s Formula 1 track is to undergo layout modifications this summer in a bid to help boost overtaking for this year’s season finale.

After a lacklustre final race to the 2020 campaign where there was little action, race promoters agreed that they would look into the possibility of revising the circuit.

Now the track says those plans have been given the green light and work will commence soon on changes to a number of corners. They will be ready in time for this season’s race on 12 December.

Saif Al Noaimi, acting CEO 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.

“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.”

Al Noaimi said details of the exact changes will be revealed to the public shortly, but the hope was that the new layout would boost overtaking opportunities.

“The objective ultimately is to create more opportunities for close wheel-to-wheel racing," he added. “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 forward to seeing some overtaking and action, and hopefully the championship will come down to the wire and be determined here.”

PRIME:

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF1000, Carlos Sainz Jr., McLaren MCL35

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

One potential area for a change is the hairpin section before the long back straight.

The chicane before the hairpin tends to spread the cars out and makes it hard for battles to take place in to or out of the hairpin.

Last year Daniel Ricciardo expressed his hope that the layout could be tweaked after the dull F1 finale.

“I certainly don’t want to talk the place down, because I want to keep coming back here, because it is amazing,” he said. “But 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.”

Abu Dhabi has also said that a limited number of fans will be allowed to watch this year’s race and entertainment schedule, with the 2020 event having taken place behind closed doors.

shares
comments

Related video

Ten things we learned from F1's 2021 French GP

Previous article

Ten things we learned from F1's 2021 French GP

Next article

Wolff welcomes Bottas’ feistiness over Mercedes F1 team radio

Wolff welcomes Bottas’ feistiness over Mercedes F1 team radio
Load comments
Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making Prime

Why unseen Hungary heroics could be Latifi's making

The chaotic start to the Hungarian GP set the scene for F1's less heralded drivers to make a name for themselves. Esteban Ocon did just that to win in fine style, but further down the order one driver was making his first visit to the points and - while the circumstances were fortunate - took full advantage of the chance presented to him

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Hungarian Grand Prix driver ratings

This was race that showcased the best and worst of Formula 1, producing a first time winner and a memorable comeback to a podium finish. Avoiding trouble at the start and astute strategy calls were key to success, but where some drivers took full advantage, others made key errors that cost them dearly

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph Prime

The "heart-breaking" call that led to Ocon's Hungarian GP triumph

Set to restart the red-flagged Hungarian Grand Prix in second, Esteban Ocon had some doubts when he peeled into the pits to swap his intermediate tyres for slicks. But this "heart-breaking" call was vindicated in spectacular fashion as the Alpine driver staved off race-long pressure from Sebastian Vettel for a memorable maiden Formula 1 victory

Formula 1
Aug 2, 2021
The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career Prime

The F1 champion who became an Indy king in his second career

Emerson Fittipaldi’s decision to go racing with his brother led to him falling out of F1, but he bloomed again on the IndyCar scene. NIGEL ROEBUCK considers a career of two halves

Formula 1
Jul 31, 2021
Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track' Prime

Why Mercedes is pleased to be in the Hungary hunt at a 'Red Bull track'

Mercedes ended Friday practice at the Hungaroring with a clear gap to Red Bull thanks to Valtteri Bottas’s pace in topping FP2. But there are other reasons why the Black Arrows squad feels satisfied with its progress so far at a track many Formula 1 observers reckon favours Red Bull overall...

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks Prime

How Red Bull endured its second car crash in two weeks

OPINION: Red Bull was justified to be upset that Lewis Hamilton survived his British GP clash with Max Verstappen and went on to win. But its attempts to lobby the FIA to reconsider the severity of Hamilton's in-race penalty were always likely to backfire, and have only succeeded in creating a PR disaster that will distract from its on-track efforts

Formula 1
Jul 30, 2021
The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach Prime

The ‘screaming’ F1 engine future that may not be out of reach

OPINION: It wasn't just the Verstappen/Hamilton clash that had the Red Bull and Mercedes bosses at loggerheads at Silverstone, with the nature of Formula 1's 2025 engines also subject for disagreement. But hopes to have loud, emotive engines that are also environmentally friendly don't have to be opposed.

Formula 1
Jul 29, 2021
How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’ Prime

How Lotus uncovered, then squandered its last ‘unfair advantage’

Cast in the mould of its founder Colin Chapman, Lotus was powerful and daring but flawed – as it proved through further soaring peaks and painful troughs into the 1980s. DAMIEN SMITH examines a game-changing era

Formula 1
Jul 27, 2021