Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Preview – HRT F1 Team

11th-13th November

Yas Marina Circuit, 55 laps, 5.554km

Madrid, 4th of November 2011

The 2011 Formula 1 World Championship visits Asia for the last time as Abu Dhabi hosts the penultimate Grand Prix of the season. It is the only day-night race on the calendar with proceedings getting underway at 17:00 local time as the sun sets. The Yas Marina circuit is a futuristic complex designed by Hermann Tilke, which combines tight corners with high-speed straights meaning that braking and traction will be key factors. The track is one of the few ones in the Championship to run anti-clockwise and provides a unique setting beside the sea with the impressive harbour and the five star Yas Marina Hotel located within the circuit itself.

After stepping aside for Narain Karthikeyan in India, Vitantonio Liuzzi will return to the cockpit of the F111 #23 car for this Grand Prix, with Daniel Ricciardo lining up alongside him. Pirelli has nominated its PZero medium (prime) and soft (option) tyres for the United Arab Emirates event.

Vitantonio Liuzzi: “After lending my car to Narain for the Indian Grand Prix, I’m really looking forward to getting back into the action in Abu Dhabi. I’m positive coming into it because in India the car appeared to suit the track well and our pace was good in comparison to our rivals. Abu Dhabi is a special track because there is a lot of stop and go so we need to work on braking and traction. There are not many high speed corners and, overall, it is quite a tricky track because you have to work a lot over the kerbs. It is a circuit that I like and one where I have performed well in the past. We will face another tough weekend in Abu Dhabi but I am sure that we will put up a good fight”.

Daniel Ricciardo: “I’ve never raced in Abu Dhabi but have driven there last year in the young driver test with Red Bull so I’ll be expecting it to be quite a bit different this time round, especially with the Pirelli tyres. India would have been another successful race had it not been for the problem we encountered so I’m hoping to experience a good weekend again in Abu Dhabi. I enjoyed driving on this circuit last year and I’m definitely looking forward to racing there this year where I’ll be looking for a good result. There are only two races left in the season son I’m going to give it everything to achieve the best result possible”.

Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “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”.