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Yas Marina Circuit

Thursday 21 March 2019 (UAE)   

Yas Island Formula 1 F1 - Yas Marina Circuit Abu Dhabi

Yas Island, a large lump of sand off the coast of Abu Dhabi, hosts the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Grand Prix motor race, on 01 November 2009 for the first time, on the Yas Marina Circuit, under construction from 2007-2009. The Abu Dhabi Yas Island circuit will be about 5.5 - 5.6 long (slightly different figures seen in press releases and news reports but 5.55 km is on the official F1 website). If total race length is the typical 300 km, that should mean the Abu Dhabi Formula One race will be about 55 laps. If F1 drivers are anything like some of the lunatics tearing down the Abu Dhabi - Dubai highway, it shouldn't take them longer than an hour or so. The race circuit was originally to have three sections - a high speed racetrack section, a street section, and a Monaco style street section but the street section was dropped in favor of a longer proper racetrack section. We're sure it's going to be fun to stay at the Yas Marina Circuit AbuDhabi (YMCA?).

Luca di Montezemolo, the president of Ferrari, and new chairman of the Formula One Teams Association, was in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2008 to review progress on the Yas Island track. UAE newspapers reported that he said good things about the Yas Island circuit, and gleefully noted that Mr di Montezemolo had criticised the Singapore and Valencia F1 circuits which were new in 2008.

Abu Dhabi F1 Yas Island circuit map
Abu Dhabi F1 Yas Island circuit details
  • Total length of one circuit 5.532 kilometres (if you don't cut too many corners)
  • Direction anticlockwise
  • Total of 20 corners with 9 right turns and 11 left turns
  • Track width 12-15 meters
  • Home straight is about 500m long, back straight about 1.3 km long
  • Top speeds of about 320 km/h (200 mph) could be reached, but slow down to about 90 km/h for sharp corners. Average lap speed is estimated to be 200 km/hr.
  • Lap time expected to be about 1 min 38-40 sec
  • Number of laps: 56 (estimated)¹
  • F1 race length: 309 km (estimated)¹
  • Average Speed: 200 km/h (estimated)¹
  • Pit lane exit is a tunnel running under the track
  • One of the run-off areas runs under the West Grandstand, which could be a little eerie to watch, as cars disappear underneath the spectators.
  • Total of 5 grandstands with seating for 40,000-60,000 people (various figures seen), although one of the original news items / press releases had a figure of 100,000 people. The consulting engineer's (Tilke) website says crowd capacity is 41,093 (as of January 2009).
  • Sun Tower - a VIP area with panoramic views of the race

1. according to Yas Marina Circuit website information (23 January 2009)

Yas Marina Circuit bicycling
  • For a more sedate experience of the Yas Marina Circuit, you can cycle around - on Tuesday nights (at least in 2010).
  • Contact the Yas Marina Circuit for more details.
Yas Marina Calendar 2009
  • 23-24 October 2009 - GP2 Asia Series test race
  • 31 Oct - 01 Nov 2009 - GP2 Asia Series launch for 2009-2010 season, support race for F1 Grand Prix Abu Dhabi
  • 31 Oct - 01 Nov 2009 - F1 Grand Prix Abu Dhabi
Yas Marina Calendar 2010
  • 05-06 February 2010 - GP2 Asia Series
  • 18-20 February 2010 (or 19-20 February?) - V8 Supercars Championship
  • 25-26 February 2010 - California Superbike School
  • 19-20 March 2010 - first International Drag Racing Festival at the Yas Drag Racing Center (center manager is George Case)
  • 14 November 2010 - F1 Abu Dhabi
Yas Marina Circuit Drag Racing Center
  • Yas Island Drag Strip officially opened 07 March 2010 with two Abu Dhabi Police Cars going for a tear down the track.
  • Yas Drag Racing Centre is the first dragstrip outside the USA to be recognised as National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) worldwide racing network center.
  • Facilities include two grandstands with seating for 5000 people, race control center, hospitality and paddock area separate from the main F1 circuit facilities.
  • Two Top Fuel dragster teams will be based in Abu Dhabi according to an agreement in January 2010 between Yas Marina Circuit and American team Don Schumacher Racing (DSR).
Yas Marina Dragster Rides
  • Starting 12 October 2010, visitors to Yas Island can get a 4G ride in one of the Yas Island Marina Top Fuel dragsters.
  • Rides cost AED 400 and take 5 seconds to get from 0-250 km/hr, one of the faster ways to blow your dirhams in the UAE.
  • A cheaper way to get the same effect is to insert your body into a cannon and ask someone to light the fuse.
  • Information about dates and times not supplied, contact Yas Marina Circuit directly for more information.
Yas Kart Zone
  • Yas Island KartZone launched 24 November 2010 with an 800 meter go-kart track, next to the Yas Racing School.
  • Facilities include Cadet Karts for children aged 8-13 years, and Senior Karts for people 14 years and older.
  • Opening hours 1400-2200 (2pm-10pm) Tuesday to Saturday (closed Sunday and Monday).
  • Group packages available for groups of 15+: Twin Sprint Racing (full race), Twin Sprint and Shootout (sprint races and final race for fastest sprinters), Enduro Racing (group split into 3 teams to complete as many laps as possible within 1 hour).
  • Entry fees and prices not supplied, contact Yas Marina Circuit for more details.
Yas Racing School
  • Yas Island car racing school opening date 22 June 2010.
  • Learn how to drive sports cars very fast on the Yas Marina Circuit. Private racing tuition costs AED 1500 per hour.
  • Vehicles available for demolition learning include
    • 7x Aston Martin GT4 racing cars, 4.7-litre V8, top speed 290 kph. AED 950 for a lesson.
    • 2x Formula 1 two-seater - with V10 motor producing 700 bhp and 320 kph top speed that will shred your credit card at AED 7,500 a pop.
    • 15x Formula Yas 3000 single-seater - has a 3-litre V6 Cosworth engine with top speed of 275 kph.
    • 10x Yas SuperSport SST track cars with open-top (not advisable for toupee-wearers) - 1340cc, 4-cylinders, 420 bhp, top speed 233 kph.
    • 2x Yas Supersports SSX which go faster than the SST. Costs AED 350 for a ride.
    • 8x small sporting hatchbacks (summer 2010?)
    • 30x karts (summer 2010?)
  • Yas Racing School programs include a one-day racing licence assessment course in association with the Automobile Touring Club of the UAE (ATCUAE), consisting of medical examination, written test, and practical test. Success means receiving a racing licence issued by ATCUAE. Fees are AED 1500.
  • Head of Yas Racing School is Jonathan Tait.
  • School opening hours 0800-2400? Not clear in press release which quoted Richard Cregan, CEO of Yas Marina Circuit, as saying: "... The Racing School is a significant element of that commitment. It means that the circuit is open for business seven days a week, from 8 am until midnight..."
Yas Drag Racing Festival 2010
  • The Yas Drag Racing Festival will be the first event, on 19-20 March 2010.
  • Tickets from AED 50 dirhams, on sale from 08 March 2010.
  • Two nitro burning Top Fuel dragsters will debut at the Yas Drag Racing Festival, driven by Tommy Johnson Jr. (9x NHRA winner), and by Rod 'Hot Rod' Fuller (2007 Top Fuel Vice Champion).
  • A Top Fuel Dragster has 8000 horsepower and accelerates from 0 to 480+ kph in less than 4 seconds. There is no way to describe the power displayed without seeing it for yourself.
  • Also racing will be 100 or more cars and motorcycles from around the region.
California Superbike School
  • The California Superbike School will establish a school at the Yas Island circuit, according to a press release or news reports 15 January 2009 - "California Superbike School will run on the Yas Marina South Circuit on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th February."
  • Classes will be held at night? See www.superbikeschoolme.com for more information, or email contact petra@revolution.ae?
Yas Marina Circuit construction
  • Developer is Aldar Properties, a large Abu Dhabi based property developer.
  • Construction value of the Yas Island circuit is about AED 1.5 billion (US$400 million). Was reported as AED 1.37 billion ($372 million) in september 2007.
  • Constructor of the Formula 1 track on Yas Island is Cebarco-WCT WLL, a joint venture between WCT Berhad of Malaysia and Cebarco Bahrain. Cebarco & WCT were also constructers for the Bahrain International Circuit F1 track in Bahrain from 2002-2004.
  • Consulting Engineer is Tilke & Partners WLL of Bahrain
  • Course designer is Hermann Tilke, one of the managing partners of Tilke GmbH Germany
  • Total area is 161.9 hectares (1.6 million sq m or 17.5 m sq ft), crowd capacity is 41,093 (Tilke information)
  • Construction contract was awarded by Aldar to the Cebarco WCT JV in mid 2007 (announcement made 07 July 2007, Bernama - Malaysian news agency), with a value of 1.3 billion Malaysian Ringgit (1.32 billion UAE dirhams).
  • Cebarco-WCT will build the Formula 1 race track, grandstands and other facilities, a dune buggy track, off road vehicle track, go kart track, and a drag strip (part of the circuit rather than a separate track presumably). Hotels, marina, etc are not part of the Cebarco WCT Yas Marina contract.
  • Some Yas Marina numbers: 14,000 workers, 25,000 meters of electric cables, 225,000 cubic meters of concrete, 720,000 square metres of asphalt, 35,000,000 (35 million) man hours (from Khaleej Times 17 September 2009)
  • All of the Yas Island phase one will be finished this summer, with obviously the Formula One grand prix circuit, the infrastructure, seven hotels, a major marina, the yacht club, a golf course,” said John Bullough, the chief executive officer of Aldar, as reported in The National on 23 January 2009. Which is a few months before the first scheduled Abu Dhabi Grand Prix race in November 2009.
Yas Island F1 circuit construction and handover
  • Originally the Yas Marina Circuit completion date was scheduled to be at the end of 2008 as part of Yas Island Phase I, but was delayed until September 2009.
  • The official handover took place on 17 September 2009, from the Yas Island developer, Aldar Properties, to the Yas Marina Circuit operator Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM).
  • The first official lap of the YMC was driven by Bruno Senna, nephew of Ayrton Senna (a past F1 hero) in a Formula 1 car as part of the handover ceremony.
Yas Marina Circuit construction delay and replacement rumours
  • After the start of the 2009 Grand Prix season in Melbourne, Australia, there were rumours that construction of the Yas Island circuit was delayed, and that Philippe Gurdjian, the track's development boss, was considering a job involved with developing an F1 track in Korea.
  • Reports also said that Montreal might be a replacement venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
  • The race organisers, Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) said in a statement on 30 March 2009 that "progress on the construction of Yas Marina Circuit ... is on track and there are no concerns regarding delivery deadlines,"
Yas Island F1 hotel
  • One of the unique features of the Yas Island F1 circuit is the hotel which F1 drivers will tear through on every circuit, trying not to hit the valet parking desk. Only in the UAE would someone have the bright idea of running a motor race through a hotel. Don't forget your ear plugs.
  • Visitors with F1 passes (drivers, support crew, media, etc) will have direct access to The Paddock from the hotel.
Yas Marina Circuit events
  • Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (30 October - 01 November 2009)
  • GP2 Asia Formula 2 (F2) Series
  • Porsche Mobil1 Supercup
  • Chevrolet Supercars Middle East Challenge
  • V8 Supercars Championship (18-20 February 2010)
  • Drag racing
  • Karting
  • Concerts and other events
Yas Marina Circuit facilities (17 September 2009 WAM report)
  • 5.55 km long Formula 1 standard race track
  • The longest straight of any F1 track
  • Raised grandstand with run-off area underneath
  • First tunnel re-entry back onto an F1 track
  • 5 covered permanent grandstands
  • Air-conditioned hospitality facilities
  • 70 garages in two pit buildings
  • 500 room 5 star Yas Hotel across the circuit
  • Drag strip
  • Driving academy
  • Marina and yacht club.
F1 in Schools - 19 May 2010 press release
  • Yas Marina Circuit has obtained the franchise for F1 in Schools - a project for 9-19 year old students to design and build miniature F1 car replicas, and drag racing auto replicas out of balsa wood blocks.
  • Yas Marina Circuit will set up an F1 in Schools Center for visitors and participants.
  • Students work in teams of 3-6, build a single compressed air cylinder model car, prepare a business plan and marketing strategy, and make a presentation to a panel of judges.
  • Winners of the UAE competition are sent to the world championship in Singapore.
  • Winners of the world championship get a Bernie Ecclestone F1 in Schools World Championship trophy, and a 4 year university scholarship.
  • Design of the car is by Using CAD (Computer Aided Design) technology, car designs are tested in a virtual reality wind tunnel, constructed using CAM (Computer Aided Manufacture) software, then tested in real wind and smoke tunnels.
  • Competition is carried out on a 20 meter straight track. Current record is 1.02 seconds.
Last update Friday 10-Dec-2010
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