The Key Strategic Moment of the 2015 FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX came as a result of Nico Hülkenberg getting ahead of Daniel Ricciardo on the opening lap. This gave his team mate Sergio Perez a buffer to the Infiniti Red Bull Racing driver, who on paper was handling a faster car. However, Hülkenberg’s intervention prevented Ricciardo from attempting the undercut on Perez at the first stops and smart strategy from there set him up for a superb fifth placed finish.
Race Strategy Briefing
The race begins at dusk and ends at night-time. The temperatures drop from around 30 to 19 degrees Celsius during the race and this has a significant bearing on tyre performance and thus race strategy. There have often been alternative strategies tried at this circuit, such as starting on the soft tyre rather than the supersoft. It worked for several drivers last year, however the supersoft is a more robust tyre this year, so only practice will dictate whether the alternative plan might work. There have been three safety cars in six years at Yas Marina; when they happen they turn the race on its head.
In collaboration with James Allen
Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina
November 29 | 17:00 local time, 14:00 CET
Not to be outdone by its neighbouring nations, Abu Dhabi played host to a Grand Prix for the first time in 2009 and raised the bar in terms of track facilities. Uniquely starting at dusk and racing into darkness, the Hermann Tilke designed circuit wraps around the Yas Marina Bay with room for 150 yachts and features a hotel spanning across the track, which during the evening is aglow with LED lights that pass through the colour spectrum. The track has a unique pit-exit that sees the cars pass under the ground at turn one and emerge back on circuit around turn three. The track offers a blend of straights and tight corners and provided the perfect backdrop for the nail biting 2010 title decider which saw Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel come out on top, the second of his three wins here. Kimi Räikkönen and Lewis Hamilton have also won in Abu Dhabi. This year’s race will be historic as it will be the first Grand Prix where double points are awarded.
Circuit length 5.554 km
Race distance 305.355 km
2014 winner Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)