Progress in Abu Dhabi F1 circuit redevelopment
By Mat Coch
Thursday 2nd September, 2021 - 8:08am
Construction work currently underway at the Yas Marina circuit ahead of this year’s Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is progressing well.
The Yas Marina venue is undergoing changes at both the northern and southern ends of the circuit.
Most notable of these are the changes to the North Hairpin, the corner which feeds onto the long back straight, and the South Marina segment.
The latter is arguably the most dramatic change, with a sequence of 90-degree corners set to be replaced with a banked left-hand sweeper.
“We are really delighted and excited to see the upgrades progressing through the stages,” said Ali Al Beshir, circuit operations director.
“The team are working exceptionally hard, and we already have the demolition of the asphalt completed, along with the removal of lights and barriers from the key sections.
“With the support of our key partners and stakeholders we continue to progress well and are very much looking forward to the return of motorsport after the summer and, of course, the last race of the season, the Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”
Yas Marina first hosted Formula 1 in 2009, and is arguably best remembered as the scene of the 2010 championship showdown between Mark Webber, Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, and Lewis Hamilton.
Changes for the circuit were first mooted in June before being confirmed shortly after this year’s grand prix was launched.
Organisers believe the changes will open alternate racing lines and therefore encourage on-track action.
“The management team at Yas Marina Circuit and ADMM (Abu Dhabi Motorsport Management) have really taken on board feedback from the fans and drivers,” said Mark Hughes, managing director of Mrk1 Consultants, who is overseeing the changes.
“The project is a huge undertaking, nobody should underestimate the effort that goes into this.
“They’re doing it for the benefits of the fans both in the grandstand and watching on TV by creating faster wheel-to-wheel racing and more opportunities to overtake for more thrilling races. It’s massively exciting.”
This year’s event, confirmed last week as the season finale by Formula 1 amid rumours it could swap places with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, will be held on December 10-12.