Abu Dhabi F1 track revealed in pictures

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

The Yas Island F1 circuit in Abu Dhabi winds beneath a hotel
The Yas Island F1 circuit in Abu Dhabi winds beneath a hotel

The FIA has given its official seal of approval to the Yas Island circuit which will host the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix – the final F1 race of the year.

These first pictures of the completed circuit show some of its unusual details – including the hotel which bridges across the track at one point.

When the F1 circus arrives there in three weeks’ time expect the usual uniform chorus of approval for F1’s latest megabucks venue. And the facilities indeed look impressive.

But is the track any good? Has it got real character – or is it another template from the Hermann Tilke cookie cutter? Have your say in the comments.

Update: Some new footage of the track in this video:

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Images (C) Yas Island circuit

64 comments on “Abu Dhabi F1 track revealed in pictures”

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  1. Looks as pretty as expected, and the layout looks better than Singapore at least. But it’s a Tilkefied Monaco, so no great racing expected.

    1. so no great racing expected.???
      nice and wide and the run to the hairpin in photo 3 looks great, the whole arena feeling closed around that corner alone, will make for fantastic racing!

  2. Terry Fabulous
    8th October 2009, 23:59

    I’m ready to clasp Yas Island to my chest and celebrate it. It looks mighty with some stonking corners and brutal overtaking spots.

  3. It looks like Sepang on steroids.

  4. i really like this track if im being honest will make a nice end to the season, though what will the atmosphere be like? the atmospere in brazil always provides an awsome climax to the season, anxious to see how it turns out but im hoping for a success!

    1. Brazil has the finale again next year, so if it fails in Abu Dhabi, there’s always next season =D

      1. thats reassuring, lets just hope it isnt a let down to the end of an awsome season

  5. It looks quite nice… Bernie will have some big pound signs in his eyes Lol..

  6. this track is going to be sooooo dusty off the racing line. expect no overtaking.

  7. Prisoner Monkeys
    9th October 2009, 1:07

    I like it.

    I’ve always been a fan of new circuits, and I’ve always believed hey should at least be given an opportunity to prove their worth before we all lambast them. And I honestly do think that Abu Dhabi could be a diamond in the rough.

    1. I fully agree. The layout looks like it could provide some action, especially with those 2 long straights, and the fast sweeps after turn 1, and some tight twisty bits that hopefully the cars should be able to follow each other through. Plus, whatever the racing is like, it is going to look absolutely stunning as the sun sets. The architecture in those buildings looks spectacular.

      1. Singapore looks absolutely stunning, its just the racing’s crap. We dont really need a stunning setting, its the racing everyone is here for, they better scrub that track to bits and hold support races all day.

        1. I dunno, Singapore put on a better race than Suzuka, i thought.

          1. The new Tilke tracks are fine.

            But because they are new, they have only held races in an era in which overtaking is very difficult on any track. After all, it’s not like we saw much overtaking at Silverstone, Spa, Monza or Suzuka this year!

            People wrongly infer that the boring races must be the tracks’ fault.

  8. I love what I see… maybe some overtaking is possible :)

  9. This is probably the coolest “novelty” track I have seen.
    However, this track will never, ever, compare with Spa, Monza or Suzuka. Ever.
    Monaco and Bahrain are better circuits than this one.
    It does look better and will probably race better than Singapore though!

  10. Serbian Kimi
    9th October 2009, 1:39

    While the circuit does look impressive, I think we’ll be in for another borefest. Very often people overlook the fact that having great facilities, spectacular grandstands and posh hotels is not what constitutes an exciting race track. Every Tilke-designed track is fantastic in that respect, but most of them fail to deliver come Sunday.

    1. Seconded. It was great to see the support for Silverstone during the GP, although it was a bit late! I’m reserving my excitement about Abu Dhabi until we see some racing.

  11. It looks beautiful but I dont expect any racing.
    WHY don’y Tilke & Bernie looks at some classic track when they make a circuit.Why can’t they have something like Spa or Suzuka.

    1. If we’re honest about it, there wasn’t too much overtaking or racing at Suzuka despite it being an “awesome track” from the drivers’ point-of-view.

      I think the lack of racing is more a fault of the modern F1 car than the circuit.

      1. Exactly: the cars are the problem, not the circuit.

        I say ban wings altogether.

        1. I’ll second that Lustigson.

      2. This is correct.

        Another OWG is required… one that will draw up competent and effective changes.

  12. Ugh… look at all that runoff area. There should be consequences to going off the track.

    1. depends how much you like safety cars.

    2. … or fatalities.

  13. Got any shots of the pit exit? Isnt it supposed to go under/over the track or something? :)

    1. 6th picture down on the left side is the pit exit, it’s exciting as theoretically people coming out of the pits will be going faster than those braking to make the corner (I’ve verified this in an early version of the track available for rFactor) – should make pit stops even spicier.

  14. The track does look good.

  15. Well, Donington park must have these cowboys running scared. Noone builds ’em like a British builder…


  16. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty boring track. I highly doubt anyone will go and the finale to the championship will be held in front of empty grandstands. What a shame.

    1. glass half empty type of guy huh?

  17. That pit road and whole underground exit look hella long. I’m wondering if going one-stop will be the right move here–or at least a very long first stint. The stop-go nature may also lessen the fuel weight-penalty.

    Turkey and China also have mega-straights leading to tight corners. They make for some passing, but the trade off is a boring 20 second taxi down the runway, and a long lap. It’s not like Tilke isn’t trying— Hockeheim (neue) has the same long straight into tight corner trick. But he’s got it wrong. Bascially, you need high speed corners going into a long straight, to allow a better chassis to catch a worse one by getting and exit speed advantage; and multiple-radii and/or banked corners to allow cars to get close without having to drive in another cars aero wash.

  18. Seems okayish, I like the part where cars pass under the grandstands though if they fail to make the corner.

    But it shouldn’t be as dusty off the racing line I feel, after all, Baharain isn’t.

    And yes, people hating the new tracks, don’t be a bunch of hypocrites. If there is no overtaking at a Tilke track, you say its because of Tilke. If there is no overtaking at Suzuka or Silverstone, you say its because the cars are difficult to follow or the Overtaking Working Group has failed.

    There is only ONE solution to good racing, and that is RAIN.

    1. There is only ONE solution to good racing, and that is RAIN.

      Not too good solution for Abu Dhabi:

      Precipitation: October: 0mm
      November: 10mm

  19. It looks like a typical Tilke track but with more spirit.

  20. I am hesitant to say either way. I will make my final decision after the first race, but my first thoughts are that it will not go down as a historic track.

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