Abu Dhabi Grand Prix launch pictures

Abu Dhabi - the track goes under a hotel, and the pit lane goes under the track...

Abu Dhabi - the track goes under a hotel, and the pit lane goes under the track...

During the Chinese Grand prix weekend F1 teams were shown pictures of the new venue that will host the first ever Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the Yas Island Marina circuit. It will hold the final round of the 2009 F1 season.

Here are 33 high-resolution pictures showing the track design, layout, construction work and F1 personalities inspecting the plans.

The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke but the construction is being handled by Philippe Gurdjian, the man behind the re-design of the Circuit Paul Ricard, now known as the High Tech Test Track.

Gurdjian has kept the layout envisaged by Tilke, but plans for it to be a hybrid road/street course have been dropped – it will be an pure road course instead. However a number of unusual features remain.

Its seating capacity is fairly low – 50,000 spectators, while most F1 tracks can accommodate tens of thousands more.

A hotel is an integral part of the complex and the F1 circuit actually runs through it. F1 personnel can stay at the track and walk into the paddock complex.

The pit lane exit passes underneath the circuit to rejoin the track.

You can see more of these unusual features in the pictures below. Click once to preview, then click the preview for a hi-res version.

More on the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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21 comments on Abu Dhabi Grand Prix launch pictures

  1. Chalky said on 27th October 2008, 13:37

    The track goes anti-clockwise according to the arrow on the start-finish straight. I would have thought the layout suited a clockwise direction?

  2. To me it brings back memories of the Las Vegas ‘car park’, only this time its a purpose built car park! At least its a bit more interesting than Valencia.
    The Pit-Lane is an interesting idea, and slicing through the hotel – will there be seating inside the building? It would have been fun to have the cars dive under the hotel, with a viewing gallery on either side.
    I agree that the seating capacity is well below what we’d expect – will the ticket prices be high enough to make it exclusive? Perhaps there will be more grandstands in later years. One thing ‘European’ circuits haven’t learnt from America is putting grandstands all round the track.
    And why isn’t the Drag Strip part of a long straight? they won’t have the two going simultaneously – will they?
    As for what else could race there – A1GP, Superleague Formula, Japanese Touring Cars, Aussy V8s, and various motorbike series are all candidates for a new circuit in the Middle East.

  3. CarlitosF1 said on 27th October 2008, 18:49

    Interesting fast 1st sector and generous back straights. Awful Singapore-like final part with the 90º angled corners (they are a really awkward way to force the track into the hotel and around the dock.) It also looks more suited to go clockwise (that would provide a tighter 1st corner and some more action at the start). Love the triple chicane at the end of the second back straight, it looks like what the triple chicane at Singapore should have been like. Some pictures also seem to suggest gentle gradients, anyone knows how flat is this really?

  4. I still think it’s shaped like a machine gun.

    The more tunnels they add, the less “real” the circuits seem. I don’t have any complaints at a glance.

  5. Does anyone have any idea how I go about making hotel reservations at the newly (maybe not even complete yet) built Yas Marina Hotel in Abu Dhabi??? Please help. I have some VVIP’s looking for the best digs at the best spot on the track. Thanks!

  6. Journeyer, the pitlane exit via tunnel, I believe it’s the 1st ever pitlane exit with tunnel for all F1 tracks.

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