Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Yas Marina Circuit

First grand prix 2009

Number of laps 55

Race distance 305.470KM

Circuit length 5.554KM

About the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The Abu Dhabi Grad Prix at Yas Marina Circuit is one of the most visually stunning Formula 1 races on the calendar and has played host to some truly memorable races.

The Hermann Tilke designed track made its first appearance in F1 in 2009, in a race won by Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel. The circuit features one of the longest straights in F1 and is a day-night race, with the race starting in the evening and transitioning into night during it, making it a great race on the eye.

Abu Dhabi Track guide

The Abu Dhabi circuit is one that had such potential, yet ultimately produces disappointing racing the majority of the time. The track starts with a fast sequence of turns, with elevation changes making the first sector one of the best on the calendar.

Sadly, after sector one, things aren’t so interesting. Following turn 7, we find a massively long straight. The 1.2 kilometre back straight is the joint longest on the F1 calendar, and this part of the track is where we see the bulk of the overtaking, due to this being the first DRS zone. The straight leads into eh right-left chicane, which saw one of 2018’s scariest crashes and funniest radio messages.

Nico Hulkenberg was sent into a roll after contact with Romain Grosjean and came to rest upside down against the wall. Hulkenberg then told his pit crew: “I’m hanging here like a cow,” complete with a voice break. Great stuff.

Another long straight comes immediately after, acting as the second DRS zone. Also a popular overtaking spot, we saw Max Verstappen make some good moves here last time out.

The rest of the track is unfortunately a bit of a non-event, with plenty of right angled slow corners offering up few opportunities for overtakes.

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has often taken the role of the final race of the season and will do again in 2019.

Race history

When F1 first arrived in Abu Dhabi in 2009, Jenson Button and Brawn GP has already won the Drivers’ and Constructors’ titles.

2010 was much more open however, with Sebastian Vettel, Mark Webber, Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton all having a chance of taking the title. Famously, pit stop timing errors from both Alonso and Webber saw them stuck behind the Renault of Vitaly Petrov, and in the era before DRS, they were unable to pass and Vettel won the race to take his first world title.

We witnessed a spectacular crash in 2012, when Nico Rosberg smashed into the slow moving HRT of Narain Karthikeyan, pitching his car into the air and into the barriers at turn 17. This Grand Prix also saw one of the most popular victories of recent times, as Kimi Raikkonen took the win for Lotus, his first since his return to F1.

In 2014 we had the strange situation of double points being awarded for the winner. In a move to put more emphasis on the final race, it was decided that double points in the final race was a good idea. Fortunately, it had no impact on the title race with Lewis Hamilton winning comfortably, and it didn’t return.

The end of the 2016 race was one of the most tense in recent times. Rosberg, going for the title, was in a winning position but under pressure from the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel. Rosberg managed to hold on and win the championship and retired a few days later.

2016 is the last time we saw a title decided in Abu Dhabi, but maybe we’ll get one later this year? We can only hope…

When is the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?

The race weekend in Abu Dhabi kicks off Friday November 29th, with Free Practice 1 starting at 1pm local time (9am BST, 4am EST). FP2 starts that afternoon at 5pm (1pm BST, 8am EST). On Saturday, FP3 starts at 2pm local time (11am BST, 6am EST), and qualifying for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place at 5pm on Saturday (1pm BST, 8am EST).

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will start at 5.10pm local time on Sunday December 1st (1.10pm BST, 8.10am EST).



Session Date Time
Practice 1 29 November 2019 04:00 - 05:30
Practice 2 29 November 2019 08:00 - 09:30
Practice 3 30 November 2019 05:00 - 06:00
Qualifying 30 November 2019 08:00 - 09:00
Race 1 December 2019 08:10 - 10:10
Times are in America/New_York Timezone
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