Yas Marina Circuit: The Ultimate Track Guide

Yas Marina Circuit: The Ultimate Track Guide

The now traditional venue for the season finale, the sleek and futuristic Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi holds a Grand Prix which starts at dusk and ends under floodlights.


FIRST F1 RACE 2009
TRACK LENGTH 3.451 miles
NUMBER OF LAPS 56
NUMBER OF TURNS 21
MOST POLES Lewis Hamilton (3)
MOST WINS Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel (3)

TRACK MAP


A SHORT HISTORY OF THE YAS MARINA CIRCUIT

The Yas Island is a man-made island located to the east of Abu Dhabi’s main island. Work on the Yas Island began in 2006 at a cost of $40 billion. The Yas Island is a leisure complex, which houses a golf course, shopping centres, hotels, a Ferrari-themed theme park and, of course, the Yas Marina Circuit.

After a circuit had been built in Dubai and had unsuccessfully bid to host a Formula One race, Abu Dhabi – the lead emirate in the United Arab Emirates – put plans together for their own circuit. The deal was formally announced in early 2007 at a special ‘Formula One Festival’ held in Abu Dhabi.

Building of the circuit began in May 2007. As was the case when the Bahrain International Circuit was built, the track surface was shipped from Shropshire, England, as the aggregate offers the best grip available to F1 cars. In June 2008, Abu Dhabi’s place as the season-closing event was confirmed when the FIA revealed the calendar for the 2009 F1 season. The oil-rich country wanted a Grand Prix event to boost its identity, and hosting the season closing event has certainly helped that.

Herman Tilke designed the track, which features a mammoth 21 turns. The track has some distinguishing features, including a pit exit which runs underneath the track. Between turns eighteen and nineteen, the track runs underneath the magnificent Yas Viceroy hotel. The track was opened in October 2009 and the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was held just a month later, as it became the second location in the Middle East to hold a Formula One event. It was also the first race which started in the daytime and ended under floodlights.

The circuit received a mixed reception following the first running there, with Kimi Raikkonen summing up the general reaction by saying: “the first few turns are quite good, but the rest of it is shit”. The track is often criticised for its lack of overtaking opportunities. At the end of the 2017, designer Tilke said that he was looking at ways to create more overtaking at the track.

The Yas Marina Circuit currently holds a multi-year contract to host the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which was signed in 2014. It is unknown when the contract ends.


🇦🇪 DID YOU KNOW?

The Yas Marina Circuit is the largest permanent sports venue lighting project in the world.


FAST FACTS

  • The Yas Marina circuits has an unusual start to the circuit. The tight left-hand turn – a result of the track being anti-clockwise – is one of few such openings to a lap on the F1 calendar.
  • Etihad Airways have sponsored the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix since its inception.
  • The floodlights are turned on from the start of the Grand Prix, ensuring a seamless transition to night racing as the sun goes down.
  • The track has a capacity for up to 60,000 fans.
  • Bruno Senna was the first driver to complete a test lap of the circuit.
  • The track itself cost $1.3 billion to build.

🇦🇪 WHY WE LOVE ABU DHABI

While the races can be processional here, the Yas Marina Circuit and the surrounding marina area offers a colourful curtain-closer to the F1 season.


POLESITTERS AT THE YAS MARINA CIRCUIT

Poles Driver
3 Lewis Hamilton
2 Sebastian Vettel
2 Nico Rosberg
1 Mark Webber
1 Valtteri Bottas

GRAND PRIX WINNERS AT THE YAS MARINA CIRCUIT

Year Winner Constructor
2009 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2010 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2011 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2012 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault
2013 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2014 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2015 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2016 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2017 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes
2018