The 55-lap race, now in its third season, takes in a total of 190 miles from dusk to nightfall to allow a more temperate climate for spectators instead of having them sit through Abu Dhabi’s harsh daytime heat.
The Hermann Tilke designed track, situated on Yas Island, stretches 3.4 miles and includes 21 turns. The first corner is the start of a flowing sequence of bends. The race cars are subjected to sideways accelerations of up 4G, and top speeds can easily reach 155 mph.
Throughout the longest straight of the lap, drivers can dial up maximum throttle for almost 15 straight seconds and reach speeds in excess of 186 mph. This leads into turn 11 where drivers and their cars experience up to 5G of deceleration.
Of course, last year the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was the place where one of the most dramatic ends to a season played out. Going into the race, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel had only an outside chance of winning the Drivers’ Championship as Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was looking the most likely with his 246 points, followed by Vettel’s Red Bull Racing team-mate Mark Webber with 238 and then Vettel with 231.
While Alonso and Ferrari’s eyes were on Mark, Vettel took full advantage to romp home first across the line and clinch the 2010 title.
Going into this weekend’s race, Sebastian Vettel’s championship winning points tally has reached 374 points, followed by McLaren’s Jenson Button on 240 points and Fernando Alonso on 227 points.
In the Constructors’ Championship Red Bull Racing sits on 595 points, followed by McLaren on 442 points and Ferrari on 325 points.
Stay tuned for our full coverage of the 2011 Formula 1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the action unfolds.