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F1 Tracks: Yas Marina Circuit - Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The second middle-eastern grand prix to join the calendar after Bahrain, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been staged at the Yas Marina circuit since 2009.

That year it occupied the prestigious slot as the last race of the championship - a position it has now held since 2014 - and was the first grand prix to start in daylight but finish under floodlights.

Although Jenson Button had already wrapped up the 2009 title before the F1 circus arrived in Abu Dhabi, the track has witnessed a number of championship-deciding races. 

The most recent of those was Max Verstappen's dramatic and highly controversial triumph over Lewis Hamilton at the end of the epic 2021 season.

Although the circuit was designed with overtaking in mind, passing proved extremely hard in the early days and the track was directly responsible for the introduction of the DRS overtaking aid following the 2010 race.

Fernando Alonso had arrived at the season finale at the head of a four-way battle for the drivers' championship. However, after Alonso and fellow title hopeful Mark Webber made tactical early pit-stops they were unable to overtake the much slower midfield runners and lost out to Sebastian Vettel in the championship.

WhatAbu Dhabi Grand Prix
WhereYas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi
When13:00, Sunday 26th November 2023
How to watchSky Sports F1

Where is Yas Marina?

The circuit lies on the manmade Yas Island near Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. 

The whole of the 25 square-kilometre island is devoted to leisure and tourism and other attractions include the Ferrari World theme park and Yas Waterworld.

When was Yas Marina first built?

Ground was broken to begin construction of the circuit in May 2007 and it was officially opened in October 2009, less than a month before the first grand prix was held there.

How long is Yas Marina?

The current Grand Prix Circuit layout measures 5.281km, which is slightly shorter than the original configuration.

In an effort to improve overtaking, two chicanes were removed and other corners reprofiled ahead of the 2021 event.

Despite the changes making the circuit only 273m shorter, the previous track record was beaten by more than 13 seconds.

When did Yas Marina first host an F1 race?

The 2009 season finale saw the track raced on for the first time as Vettel lead home team-mate Webber for Red Bull's fourth 1-2 finish of the year.

Button, who had sealed the championship in the previous round in Brazil, finished third.

Pole-sitter Hamilton had led the race in the early stages but retired with a brake problem.  

Who has won the most F1 races at Yas Marina?

Hamilton has won in Abu Dhabi five times, claiming his second world title with his victory in 2014 in a race in which double the usual championship points were awarded. 

That fact did not prove decisive, however, as his one title rival, Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, limped home in 14th place after suffering power unit problems.

Verstappen has triumphed at Yas Marina in each of the last three seasons.

What is the F1 lap record at Yas Marina?

Verstappen holds the race lap record on the current layout with his 1min 26.103sec on lap 39 of the 2021 event. His 1min 22.109sec pole-position lap that year is the fastest ever lap.

Does Yas Marina host any other events?

November's F1 weekend effectively kicks off Yas Marina's busy period, with the Gulf 12 Hours GT race in December, 6 Hours of Abu Dhabi sportscar event in January and the Asian Le Mans Series' 4 Hours of Abu Dhabi weekend in February. 

What is the weather like at Yas Marina?

It's typically hot and dry in Abu Dhabi at grand prix time. 

The twilight running means drivers and teams avoid the height of the daytime heat and temperatures in the high-20s are the norm which makes it cooler than some European races. The lack of humidity also makes it more comfortable for the competitors.

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