Abu Dhabi GP Race Preview
27 – 29 November
It’s just six years since Abu Dhabi arrived on the calendar with Formula One’s first ever day-into-night race, yet the Yas Marina circuit already feels like one of the long-established homes. The ultra-modern design stands apart due to its unique features, including the LED-lit hotel sprawling over the circuit and tunnelled pit lane exit, as well as joining the likes of Monaco and Singapore in boasting a trackside yacht-filled marina. The long straights and open nature of the circuit promote entertaining racing, and the venue was the scene of celebrations for Williams in 2014 as a double podium for Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas cemented third in the 2015 Constructors’ Championship for the team.
We have already secured third in the constructors’ championship which is a great achievement for the team and takes any pressure off, other than that that we put on ourselves. We aim to have a really strong race and finish the season on a high. The circuit should be suited to the characteristics of our car and we delivered a great performance last year so hope to replicate that. Abu Dhabi is always somewhat of a challenge as half of the practices are in the midday sunlight, but the important sessions are during the twilight hours. We have to divide our programme up to utilise this time efficiently and not get carried away with car handling data we obtain during the day. It is a great facility with a very international fan base and a great way to finish the season, they put on an outstanding event.
I really like Abu Dhabi as a place. The weather is guaranteed to be good and the facilities are great. It’s the track where I had my first official Formula One test, so I have good memories there. It’s the season finale, so it would be very nice to end the season with a strong result with both of our cars like we did last season. We have good memories from last year, everyone in the team was so happy, it was a really special feelingafter such a difficult season in 2013 to confirm third in the constructors’ and my fourth place in the drivers’championship. Hopefully we can make more great memories this time.
Abu Dhabi last season, I think this was the best race I’ve had in my time at Williams. To be able to fight for the victory was amazing, there have been two races we were really fighting for the victory, one was Silverstone this year and the other was Abu Dhabi. We got very close to winning the race, it was the best result for the team with both cars on the podium. The race starts in the day time and finishes in the evening, it’s almost like two separate races. I really hope we can have a similar performance as we had last year there because the car was really very strong.