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Video: Night time high speed lap of Abu Dhabi and some race data
Video: Night time high speed lap of Abu Dhabi and some race data
Posted By: James Allen  |  24 Oct 2009   |  8:15 am GMT  |  73 comments

Last week I showed video of the first on-board laps of the new Yas Marina Island circuit in Abu Dhabi.

Here’s some footage from the same two seater F1 event, which I have edited up to give an idea of what the spectacle will look like on TV next weekend.

The event is set to be the first F1 race to start in daylight and go into the night.

I’ve also got some data on the track, from one of the teams. This gives you a bit of an idea what kind of track it is in terms of fuel consumption and race strategy.

It looks like the fuel consumption will be around 2.59 kg/lap, which is not that high. Although it’s a long lap, the high temperature brings the number down a bit.

The fuel effect is also just above average at 0.32s per 10 Kilos of fuel – in other words every extra 10 kilos you carry will slow you down by 0.32s. The numbers are quite similar to Malaysia but with a slightly lower fuel effect. They also compare to Bahrain, but with a lower engine power effect.

It looks like the pit lane exit will be the decider when teams come to choose their strategies and you will see a lot of action on Friday as drivers try to work out how long it takes to negotiate the pit lane exit tunnel. The end of the pit lane speed limit is before the cars enter of the tunnel, so the drivers will be chancing their arms to find out how fast you can go through there. It will be dusty to start with..

There is no crane in the tunnel, by the way, but there is a trapdoor in the wall through which marshals can quickly recover any crashed cars.

If the loss time from coming into the pits is anything more than about 12 seconds then it looks like this will be a two stop race.

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Whose double seater is that? I remember (I think) Minardi and Arrows building two-seaters way back when, not sure who else did. It looks a little like an A1GP car.


It’s the Arrows


James: this is not related to this story, but just so you know; from here (at least), the latest 2 stories on your site don’t show up on the front page (I’ve refreshed several times), although they’re in the RSS feed and turn up in site search.

This might a glitch local to me, but just in case I thought I’d let you (or your team) know…


Must be, it’s working fine here. Cache problem maybe?


I have just watched a digital simulation of the circuit which included a car ‘spinning off’ at the end of the main straight and disappearing under the grandstand. I have to say, if one of the drivers has a Robert Kubica-style Canada crash at the end of the straight some of the spectators are going to get more than a mouthful of carbon fibre. The the retaining wall next to the run-off is angled away only slightly and could be hit at 90 degrees at full speed if a car has brake failure.

Just a thought.


A few days ago I found this.

Pat Behar is FIA’s photographer’s delegate and his pubic stream on Plaxo although very limited is quite interesting. It gives us an idea of what it’s like to work for the FIA.


Pat is a fine bloke and a very good photographer. He is also has an encyclopaedic knowledge of Jazz music.


Where did I post go. ?


WOW a bit surprised at all the negativity on the circuit….IMO this will be one of the most interesting if not THE most exciting race this year…stay tuned this track offers much more then what the on-board showed…as a drive I see a lot of opportunities on that track.



I’m a regular viewer of your site, usually using my mobile to look at it… I notice you’ve put WPtouch on your site so it appears differently on my mobile.

I’m not sold on it – to view your site, I now have to click & get a new page for every blog entry – which takes quite a while over the mobile connection. My phone (running Opera Mobile) won’t store the cookies which the site relies upon to store preferences…

Is there a URL which allows mobile users to bypass WPtouch? I liked the fact that your site just showed me all the content without requiring any extra clicks!


We’ll get back to you.


Another track with poor overtaking options. KERS will probably prove more useful on tight field sections.

There was a lot of hype around Singapore too, but in the end it was just another useless gimmick nothing more, no exciting racing other than some deliberating crashing of late…..


Everybody pray for rain.

That’s the only way this race is going to be interesting.

Or they could give everyone is the crowd water pistols…..


Fire spitting V-10. Nice to hear that song again. Bring it back!


Another bore coming up, had to keep asking myself if I was watching a Playstation replay!


Looks great, at someplaces looks like a stadium, i´d love to watch a broadcast of a night race in HD.

I just hope that with the championships solved that the drivers goes flat out and take risks anda give us a great race.



Wow, there is certainly a lot of negativity and cynicism out there in F1 land :0

I like the track, and I am very excited to think that new tracks are actually being built to ensure the future of this sport we love so much.

Sure, it’s no Monaco or Interlagos, but 50 years from now it may be a classic itself. And we have the chance to enjoy it right now from day one rather than bitch and moan about it before we’ve even seen a race take place upon it!

Let’s give it a chance shall we?



thank you for this early taster of the abu dhabi track.

i always wanted to ask a question regarding the pit-stop timings. in your article you mentioned the importance of the pits on this track.

usually time is lost by drivers when they enter/exit pits but we viewers are very often left in the dark as to what happened exactly. would it not be better for FIA to show us another timer (or instead of the fuelling timer) when the car enters the speed limited area.

thanks again and keep up your good work



I remember when glow in the dark bowling became a popular trend. The glow in the dark gimmick saved thousands of failing bowling alleys by rejuvenated an otherwise boring old game.

Has Formula 1 also become so boring that it needs flashy gimmicks like night racing to keep viewers interested? Is it not enough to have the fastest cars and the best drivers in the world driving them to keep viewers interested?

Marketing strategies, while a necessary evil in modern business is one thing, but judging by how things have been going over the past several years, there appears to be a definite emphasis in F1 on phony Hollywood styled gimmickry over the genuine auto racing shock and awe that captured generations past.

I may be paranoid, but I suspect somewhere in the not so far off future, virtual races competed by drivers in simulators will enter the arena, being touted as both “environmentally friendly” and ” safe”.

But ironically I will actually welcome this. Because then I will have just as much chance as any other couch bound shlub with a Playstation and a steering wheel to become a multi-million earning world champion.


There is a lot of talk here about the night racing being done for “the effect” or to try and be clever. The core reason for it is so the many European fans don’t have to get up at stupid-o-clock to watch the race.

Which is a good thing.


Better idea: Just have the races at the European tracks where the fans actually are instead of the middle east where so few people care about F1 that they only build the stands to hold 50,000 people.


Reminds me of Valencia, in that you never know what corner your looking at. As they all look the same.


That circuit sucks!


Este circuito tem tudo para se tornar o melhor GP de F1 até agora. parabéns!!!


after they have successfully sent mad max to his retirement, the next goal for f1 teams must be to send tilke to early retirement too.

his tracks suck!

i really don’t get it why are all those newcomers employing him to design their tracks.



Do you share the view that Tilke is delivering a(nother) dull track here?

Also, did you notice the interview with him in this month’s MS magazine? Seems he was very sheepish when asked how he gets to fill his boots every time a new track is required…


What, you mean dull like Turkey with it’s magnificent turn eight and the first corner which always gives us a spectacular start? Did you see the GP2 race where Hamilton fought his way through from the back? Did you think it was dull then? I agree Shanghai is dull and I’m not much of a fan of Malaysia. As for Abu Dhabi, I’ll reserve judgement until we see 20 F1 cars going at it there.


James this was the most boring in car I have maybe ever seen.


Compared to some standard features on the calendar:

Malaysia – bellow average

Bahrain – bellow average

Shanghai – bellow average

Turkey – average

Singapore – bellow average

that’s what he meant…


I think the problem is we compare these circuits to Monza and Spa, Montreal, Suzuka and Interlagos.

Tilke has tried to come up with new stuff e.g. Shanghai turn 1 which is pretty unusual, Malaysia turn 4 which is full throttle in the dry, Turkey turn 8. The problem with all these circuits in the run off areas which means drivers aren’t penalised for mistakes. Coulthard likes that as he says you want to see 20 drivers on the circuit, but assuming safety is maintained then i think these circuits need to be more punishing. Bahrain is just a desert – my granny could drive round there cos you dont even need to stay on track!

I think that given the drivers have experienced thse tracks now they should tighten them up with new barriers which makes it more chlaustrophobic for the drivers.


Lol, Turkey is an average circuit? Come on, mate. It doesn’t have to be half a century old before it can be better than average. Everyone (including James, myself, and all the drivers) thinks Turkey is a great track, except for internet F1 fans.


this looks like all the other recent tracks, not a patch on the old classics that follow the contours of the land. To much sand off the racing line.. to surgical. Take a look at the best race of 2009 and that track is old school . i’ll take 9 races at spa and 9 more at interlagos and throw 1 in at monaco.


The track does follow the contours of the land, its just flat.


Another one boring Tilkedrom.


I predict at least 1 Torro Rosso crashes in that pit exit…


Where are the best places to overtake on the track?


V10! Bliss! I miss that sound. Glorious. The track? Eh.

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