Preview – Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Yas Marina Circuit / 5.554 km
55 laps / 305.355 km
Qualifying 17:00 hrs, Race 17:00 hrs local time (13:00 hrs GMT)
James Key, Technical Director (Sauber) :
“Abu Dhabi was a memorable race last year when the championship was won there. One factor in that race was overtaking was difficult. That’s something we have to bear in mind this year, although DRS should support overtaking. But certainly it will be an interesting race where the strategy could play a role. We go there with the soft and medium tyres, which is the same combination we had in Suzuka. The track itself has got three very distinct sectors. The first one is a short sector with medium to high speed corners. The second is dominated by a couple of chicanes and two long straights, so there low drag and efficiency are important. The third sector requires high downforce for the slow to medium speed corners. Therefore getting the downforce level right and balance it for this track is an important part of Friday’s work. The car will be the same specification we had in India. We have, however, several new approaches to some of the mechanical set-up, coming off the back of a difficult qualifying in India, where we just couldn’t get the tyres to work. We think Abu Dhabi will be better for this, but nevertheless we looked into this in detail and we will go with some fresh ideas to make sure we’ve got everything covered if tyres are the problem. In the race in India we got back to where we should be competition wise, and we clearly also need to be at that level in qualifying in Abu Dhabi.”
Colin Kolles, Team Principal (HRT) : “We had quite an encouraging weekend in India, showing a much better pace than our direct rivals, and we are looking forward to Abu Dhabi to round it off. However, we have to keep our feet on the ground, focus on ourselves and do our job properly. If we do, I am sure we can hope for a good result at the Yas Marina Circuit. The event was fantastic last year, a really impressive facility with great atmosphere. For the first time, Daniel will drive at a racetrack that he has already been before with a Formula 1 as he was one of the young drivers participating in the post-race test. He actually had an impressive performance and, although this time will be a different situation, I am confident that this can allow him to kick the weekend off from a better position. Tonio will be back in the car this weekend and he is highly motivated. I am sure that we will see an interesting Grand Prix. The team’s performance has improved th roughout the season and the last races have been particularly positive for us. We certainly are in a much better position than we were eight months ago and I hope that we will continue this way until the end”.