In Mercedes’ Abu Dhabi Grand Prix preview, Toto Wolff says “it will be a close fight” with Ferrari and “hopefully we can finish the season with a strong performance”.
“Las Vegas was an extraordinary event,” Toto said.
“We saw a fantastic race, it was visually spectacular, and overall, a great Grand Prix that I am sure has helped increase the visibility of the sport in the United States. Everyone worked very hard to make it such a success and credit must go to all those involved.
“On track for us, it was a case of “what could have been”. The pace of the car was strong. Without the numerous incidents of contact, both Lewis and George would have been challenging for the podium. But that’s a case of could have, would have, should have.
“Ferrari have closed the gap in the Constructors’ to just four points and we’re ready to give it our all in Abu Dhabi to come out on top. They have shown good form recently, but we know we haven’t maximised our performance in the past few races.
“It will be a close fight and hopefully we can finish the season with a strong performance and on the front foot,” Wolff 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.
- Several modifications were made to the track layout ahead of the 2021 race, changing the lap length from 5.554 km to 5.281 km.
- These changes including removing the chicane at the start of the second sector and widening the following hairpin. The twisty chicanes at the start of the final sector were also replaced by one long, banked corner.
- Similar to other twilight and night races on the calendar, FP1 and FP3 take place in the daytime. FP2, Qualifying and the Grand Prix itself take place at night or as the sun sets.
- That poses a challenge to the engineers and drivers who must accommodate for the changes in tyre and car behaviour owing to the differing ambient and track temperatures.
- The pitlane at the Yas Marina Circuit is unique in F1, in that it features a tunnel.
- Drivers pass under the track at the pit lane exit, re-joining on the left-hand side of Turn 2.
- Last year’s race saw more overtakes than in any other Grand Prix that season with 80.
- 16 of those were ‘normal’ overtakes and 64 of those with the use of DRS.
- The Yas Marina Circuit will this weekend overtake Adelaide as the track at which the most season-ending F1 races have been held (12th finale).
Source: Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team