Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Preview

Nov. 20, 2017

The final round of this remarkable Formula 1 season features the three softest tyres in Pirelli’s 2017 range – soft, supersoft and ultrasoft.

A two-day test on Tuesday and Wednesday after the grand prix will give all the teams their first taste of 2018 tyres.

The Yas Marina circuit is characterized by smooth asphalt, warm weather and a wide mix of corners, all of which have made it a popular venue for testing in the past. This year’s tyre nomination is unaltered compared to last season, but with higher cornering speeds thanks to the latest regulations and wider tyres, there is still a good chance that another all-time lap record will be broken this weekend.

The Circuit From A Tyre Point Of View
Abu Dhabi is quite a varied track in terms of speeds and corners, so teams tend to run a compromise set-up with medium downforce, like Brazil, the track runs anti-clockwise. Overtaking tends to be difficult at Yas Marina, so strategy and qualifying are especially key.

With plenty of acceleration and braking over the lap, traction is the main consideration and wear and degradation is reasonably contained on the smooth surface. As the grand prix starts in the late afternoon and ends in the evening, track temperatures fall quite notably during the race. 

Mario Isola - Head Of Car Racing
“The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tends to be a reasonably straightforward race held in consistent conditions, although with an unusual race format, as the start takes place in the afternoon and the finish is in the evening. This race is also important for next year as well: on Thursday, we will present the full range of 2018 Formula 1 tyres on the paddock, which the teams will then get the chance to test for the first time on Tuesday and Wednesday after the grand prix. The only exception is the intermediate and wet tyre: Abu Dhabi has never yet produced a wet race, so we’re going to have to wait until next year to see those in action”.