Bruno Senna has been in Abu Dhabi for the last two days, driving the new Yas Marina Circuit and meeting the people there.
Senna says he is more hopeful of getting an F1 seat next year as there are more opportunities than there were this year.
With just over two months to go until the inaugural Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi, Senna was able to drive the track in a 4×4 road car and get an impression of what kind of track it is and which of the current F1 teams it will favour, bearing in mind that the season finale could be the decisive race in the championship. His answer may surprise you.
Is spoke to him on the phone today and I thought I would share his thoughts with you:
What do you think of the track?
It’s impressive, different from anything seen before. The nearest is probably Shanghai in terms of how well planned and laid out it is, but this place is on another level. Many of the solutions of this track are interesting.
Well the pit lane exit, which is a tunnel, for example. That is more than a bit interesting. The pit speed limit line is before it so they will be racing through the tunnel. It’s quite narrow, not as narrow as the exit in Valencia, but still narrow and it exits onto the high speed Turn 3, mind you the cars exiting the pits will be going quite quickly by then. Also something I’ve never seen before is the run off area for Turn 7 is underneath the grandstand!
Any other surprises?
It’s not as flat as I thought it would be. They’ve moved earth around to make some elevation changes. This gives some really nice blind corners. There is a nice mix of corners, some fast corners, the ones around the marina are off camber.
It will be really hard to get a good compromise on the set up, especially the aero balance. It’s the kind of track where the car will feel really oversteery. The majority of the corner are tight, so a good front end will be very important. It has a very long straight, the longest in F1 at 1.2 km with a first gear corner going onto it and at the end of it. To me this looks like a real KERS track. As for set up, you’d go for a medium to high downforce set up, something like you would use at Magny Cours.
Which bits do you like the most?
The first complex of corners, turns 1, 2 and 3 are really nice, fast sweeps. It’s very cool, they are blind corners and the exit of turn 3 is downhill. Then turns 14 and 15 are really cool fast right handed corners, where the wall is quite close.
How is the Marina? Is it more Monaco than Valencia?
Yes it will be like Monaco when the boats are in there, but it’s much more modern than Monaco, the architecture is much more modern. There are some beautiful buildings here, like the Shams Tower, and the hotel which is like a bridge over the circuit.
Will it be more of a Brawn circuit or a Red Bull circuit?
“It’s a KERS circuit!”
What are your chances of a race seat looking like for next year?
” There are more opportunities for next year than there were for this. I’m talking to some teams, the odds are looking better for next year.”