The final round of this remarkable Formula One season features the three softest tyres in Pirelli’s 2017 range – soft, supersoft and ultrasoft – before a two-day test on Tuesday and Wednesday after the grand prix gives all the teams their first taste of 2018 tyres.
The Yas Marina circuit is characterised by smooth asphalt, warm weather and a wide mix of corners, all of which have made it a popular venue for testing in the past. This year’s tyre nomination is unaltered compared to last season, but with higher cornering speeds thanks to the latest regulations and wider tyres, there is still a good chance that another all-time lap record will be broken this weekend.
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola talks about what we can expect at the at the Yas Marina circuit next weekend: “The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix tends to be a reasonably straightforward race held in consistent conditions, although with an unusual race format, as the start takes place in the afternoon and the finish is in the evening. This race is also important for next year as well: on Thursday, we will present the full range of 2018 Formula One tyres on the paddock, which the teams will then get the chance to test for the first time on Tuesday and Wednesday after the Grand Prix. The only exception is the intermediate and wet tyre: Abu Dhabi has never yet produced a wet race, so we’re going to have to wait until next year to see those in action.” – Mario Isola said ahead of the 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, as reported by Pirelli’s official website earlier today.
The Yas Marina circuit from a tyre point of view:
– Abu Dhabi is quite a varied track in terms of speeds and corners, so teams tend to run a compromise set-up with medium downforce.
– As the grand prix starts in the late afternoon and ends in the evening, track temperatures fall quite notably during the race.
– Like Brazil, the track runs anti-clockwise.
– Wear and degradation is reasonably contained on the smooth surface.
– With plenty of acceleration and braking over the lap, traction is the main consideration.
– Overtaking tends to be difficult at Yas Marina, so strategy and qualifying are especially key.
– A two-stopper was the most popular strategy last year.
Minimum starting pressures (Slicks):
20.0 psi (front) | 19 psi (rear)