Thursday, October 31, 2013

Abu Dhabi GP Preview - Marussia

The sport has made the journey from New Delhi to the Middle East and one of its favourite racing destinations - Abu Dhabi. There are insufficient words to describe the magnificent Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island and the showpiece that is the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Max Chilton has some experience of the track, having taken part in Free Practice 1 here last year in his role as Marussia F1 Team Reserve Driver. Jules Bianchi had a similar opportunity with Force India in 2012.

The whole team effort will be focused on consolidating 10th place in the Constructors' Championship and continuing to put mileage on the team's most recent car developments.

Jules Bianchi: "We enjoyed a very strong race in India last weekend, so we are keen to carry this momentum forward with the advantage of just one week between races. Abu Dhabi is a fantastic venue to race at and I enjoyed the track a lot when I drove in FP1 last year. It's quite exciting to be able to start a race in full daylight and finish it at night with the track artificially lit - another new and interesting experience for me. Our car performance is quite strong at the moment and we have the new suspension development to work with again here, so I'm really hoping for a race where I am finally able to make the most of those factors."

Max Chilton: "Taking part in FP1 at the Yas Marina Circuit last year was one of the highlights of my career and racing here for the first time is certainly one of the things I have been most looking forward to in my debut season. It's a great circuit, in a part of the world I love. With GP2 Series running with us here in Abu Dhabi it has been nice to spend some time ahead of the business end of the week training and relaxing with drivers I raced alongside over the past few years. I had a great race last Sunday and it has been nice to reflect on that and think about how we can maintain our current stride with three very important race weekends remaining. Yas Marina Circuit is a tough track technically and physically, but I'm feeling confident and aiming for a repeat performance from India."

John Booth, Team Principal: "The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be another tough back-to-back for the race team, who have been pretty much straight on the case with unpacking the freight from India and setting up for the weekend ahead. The task is made easier by the fact that Yas Marina Circuit is a magnificent track - aesthetically pleasing, technically interesting and demanding of drivers and engineers. The Drivers' Championship may have been decided but for us there are still three critical races ahead. We took a great deal of heart from our performance in New Delhi last weekend and we would hope to continue in much the same vein here this weekend. We will conduct a further evaluation of our new suspension developments on Friday morning and see how things go from there. Generally we are feeling positive about our current performance level."

All you need to know: Laps 55... Circuit length 5.554 km... Race distance 305.355 km... 21 corners, 12 left-handers, 9 right... Lap record 1:40.279 (S. Vettel - 2009)... First race 2009, also first F1 twilight race with powerful lighting ensuring seamless transition from day to night... One of the sport's 'Jewel in the Crown' races thanks to its majestic blend of super-circuit, waterfront setting and luxury experiences aplenty... One of the most striking features - the magnificent 'light-show' that is the Yas Viceroy Hotel, with a connecting bridge running over the track... Circuit hallmarks - one of the few anti-clockwise tracks on the calendar... boasts top speeds of 320 km/h and average speeds of 195 km/h... aside from the impressive waterside marina area, there are high-speed sections (including one of the longest straights on the calendar), tight corners for overtaking, and even a twisty street circuit-style sector... one of the longest and most demanding tracks in the world... always delivers close and competitive racing. Tyre nomination Pirelli PZero White Medium and Yellow Soft - the last time the Soft will be used this season...

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