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5 Things You Might Not Know About The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

October 31 2013 00:00  2155 views
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1. Vettel’s first title

The 2010 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was, like the last round in India, the location of the Championship decider. It was also the season finale with Fernando Alonso going into the race weekend as Championship leader. Webber was eight points behind with Vettel seven points further back.
The German hadn’t led the championship all year but did so when it counted, crossing the line to win the race and with it the title. Alonso and Webber took the chequered flag in seventh and eighth after failing to get past Vitaly Petrov. 154 weeks later and he is now a quadruple world champion. 

2. No expense spared

The Yas Marina Circuit is one of the newest and highest quality circuits in the world. It is situated on the man-made Yas Island, which also includes the world’s largest indoor amusement park and the first new hotel to be built over an F1 track: The Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel.
So it comes as no surprise that the track cost a whopping £800 million ($1.3 billion) to construct. However, the luxurious facilities make it one of the most popular destinations on the calendar. It took 14,000 builders to complete the development and 35 million man hours. 

3. Through the tunnel

We all know of the famous Monaco tunnel. Well ever since the 1988 US Grand Prix at Detroit, it has stood as the only track to feature a tunnel on the F1 calendar. That changed in 2009 with the debut of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The circuit is anticlockwise yet the pit garages are located on the right and the cars re-join the track on the left. This is due to a unique tunnel that runs under the first corner. Drivers negotiate a downhill hairpin and a fast left-hander before returning to the track. 

4. Night to day

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is unique in that it starts in the daytime and finishes under the starry night sky. Cars line up for the start of the race under the setting sun at 5pm and take the chequered flag under dark skies and light from 24 outfield floodlights.
On the subject of lighting, the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Grand Prix features a beautiful 5000 LED panel “grid shell” that changes colour throughout the night.

5. Support series 

As well as hosting the 17th round of the 2013 F1 season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will also stage the season finale for two support series: GP2 and GP3. Both titles are still to be decided. 
Swiss driver Fabio Leimer currently leads the GP2 championship but British rival Sam Bird is just seven points behind. The GP3 title is just as close with Argentine Facu Regalia holding a seven point advantage over newly signed 2014 Toro Rosso F1 driver Daniil Kvyat.


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