Abu Dhabi GP: Williams previews Yas Marina weekend
31 October, 2012
Oct.31 (Williams) Team and drivers preview the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, Round 18 of the 2012 Formula One World Championship, at Yas Marina Circuit.
Mark Gillan, Chief Operations Engineer: The Yas Marina Circuit layout of long straights and relatively tight corners puts a lot of energy into the brake system and with reasonably high ambient temperatures the general car cooling has to be run relatively open too. As per last year Pirelli bring their medium and soft tyres to this race and from an aerodynamics perspective the car will be set in medium to high efficiency trim.
Pastor Maldonado: Although a reasonably new circuit Abu Dhabi has become one of my favourites because the city is spectacular and the people always seem very friendly. The race throws up some unique challenges because we start off driving in hot daytime conditions, but then the sun goes down and the temperature drops quickly. You therefore have to find a set up that balances these different conditions. The track also changes a lot each day and there is quite a lot of sand on the track surface which you have to deal with.
Bruno Senna: Abu Dhabi could be an interesting track for us. It has a large number of slow corners which has not traditionally suited our car, but it is also hard on brakes and that is an area where our car has been very strong all year. We have had a lot of updates to the car recently so hopefully we can have one of those trouble free weekends where everything comes together and we can be competitive.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Renault Sport F1 Track Operations: The Yas Marina circuit is a modern style track; mainly slow to medium corners, long straights and tight hairpin bends. The stop start nature of the track makes fuel consumption very high over one lap, and is further increased by the high atmospheric pressure due to being at sea level. The day to night schedule makes ambient conditions vary significantly, plus grip levels and tyre warm up and air pressure will change. The engine needs to respond to this new set of parameters, so flexibility is crucial.
Paul Hembery, Pirelli Motorsport Director: We’re bringing the P Zero White medium and P Zero Yellow soft tyres to Abu Dhabi, just as we did last year. It’s one of the most familiar venues for us, as we did a lot of testing there before we returned to Formula One last year and it’s also been used for young driver testing. The asphalt is reasonably smooth and we don’t expect a high degree of tyre degradation, also because the grand prix is run into dusk and so temperatures fall and then stablilise as the race goes on. One of the peculiarities of the circuit is the sand that can settle onto the surface from the nearby desert, and this is one of the factors that lead to a relatively high degree of track evolution each day. There aren’t that many high-speed changes of direction, so getting good traction is a key priority at Yas Marina.