A designer who worked on both circuits says the new banking at Abu Dhabi is not comparable to the Zandvoort sections.
Yas Marina Circuit will host the final round of the Formula 1 season this year as it has previously done on nine occasions since joining the calendar in 2009.
It will be slightly different this time around though, with significant alterations being made to various sections in the hope of improving overtaking opportunities around the track.
The low-speed chicanes in the first and second sectors have been removed, while the four-corner sequence of turns 11, 12, 13 and 14 has been replaced with a singular sweeping banked bend.
It won’t be the first time this year drivers will tackle banked corners with the Dutch Grand Prix circuit, Zandvoort, featuring two heavily banked sections.
The Jeddah Corniche Circuit, which Formula 1 visited for the first time prior to Abu Dhabi, also has Turn 13 which features 12-degrees banking.
Jarno Zaffelli, Managing Director of Dromo Circuit Design, worked on both the Zandvoort and Abu Dhabi track designs and has clarified that what we will see in Abu Dhabi is nothing like those corners though, being far less steep.
“The banked curve in Abu Dhabi will only have a five percent slope, so 2.5 degrees,” he told Motorsport-Total.com.
“It’s completely different, just slightly inflated. It’s not comparable.”
It’s fair to say that the race hasn’t been one of the most popular since joining the sport, often being criticised for the lack of action due to how difficult overtaking is.
In 2010 for example, what looked set to be a thrilling finale with four drivers heading into it still in the title fight turned out to be a somewhat dull race, as Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber got stuck behind Vitaly Petrov, allowing Sebastian Vettel to cruise to victory.
Mark Hughes, Managing Director of Mrk1 Consulting, who helped alter the track design, is confident that will no longer be the case thanks to the changes though.
“After almost a year of planning with Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, it’s amazing to see the designs come to life over the past few months,” he said.
“Yas Marina Circuit is already one of the most modern and impressive Formula 1 tracks in the world, and these enhancements will ensure spectators in attendance will see a wealth of entertainment across all motorsports disciplines moving forward, as well as providing exhilarating racing for those on the track.”
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