Abu Dhabi GP Preview – Mercedes hopes to “end the year strong”

© Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.

Mercedes released the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix preview featuring comments from team boss Toto Wolff. You can read the full preview below!

“To score a 1-2 finish in Brazil was an incredible result for the team, but it’s been made more special by the challenges we have faced this season and how we have overcome them,” Wolff said.

“Securing our first victory of the season is the result of so much hard work, dedication and determination from everyone involved. Our team never stopped believing and never stopped pushing. I couldn’t be prouder of them, and it shows just how strong our values are.

“George was on it all weekend. Faultless on Sunday, he couldn’t be more deserving of his first F1 victory and we are so pleased for him. It’s a very special moment in his F1 career and a race we’ll all remember for many years to come.

“Lewis put in a brilliant recovery drive. His race pace was impressive, and he put in some incredible overtakes, to fight back through the field and secure the 1-2 finish for the team.

“We don’t expect to be as competitive in Abu Dhabi due to the circuit’s characteristics but given the surprises we’ve had this year with W13, we’ll just have to wait and see. We still have an outside chance of P2 in the championship – and the points gap to Ferrari is the smallest it has been all year.

“Hopefully we’ll keep this positive momentum going to end the year strong,” the Austrian concluded.

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Fact File: Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

  • Abu Dhabi made its F1 debut in 2009 as the sport’s first ever twilight race, with the start taking place at sunset. Around 4,700 light fixtures are used to illuminate the track.
  • The 2021 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix marked the first race since several modifications had been made to the track layout, changing the lap length from 5.554 km to 5.281 km. The main changes were removing the old chicane at the start of the second sector and widening the following hairpin. The twisty chicanes at the start of the final sector were replaced by one long, banked corner.
  • Similar to other twilight and night races on the calendar, FP1 and FP3 take place in the daytime, while FP2, qualifying and the race are at night or twilight. Tyre and car behaviour are different in warmer daytime temperatures, so this is always a consideration with set-up and practice run plans.
  • The pit lane is the only one in F1 to feature a tunnel. Drivers pass under the track at the pit lane exit, re-joining on the left-hand side of Turn 2. It’s a tricky place to feed cars back onto the racing line as they return to the circuit mid-corner and can sometimes be unsighted.
  • This weekend’s race will be Lewis’s 200th with the Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, making him the first driver to reach 200 races with the same constructor.
  • Teams remain in Abu Dhabi for the post-season test on Tuesday. Lewis and George will be splitting the running in one car, focusing on tyre testing for 2023, while the second car will see Frederik Vesti, F2 driver and Mercedes-AMG F1 junior, make his F1 debut, testing W13 and fulfilling our young driver requirement.

Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team

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