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Abu Dhabi confirm track layout change to aid overtaking in F1 finale

Abu Dhabi confirm track layout change to aid overtaking in F1 finale

F1 News

Abu Dhabi confirm track layout change to aid overtaking in F1 finale

Abu Dhabi confirm track layout change to aid overtaking in F1 finale

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix officials have confirmed a number of modifications will be made to the circuit ahead of the 2021 F1 season finale in a bid to aid overtaking.

Although exact details are yet to be confirmed, acting CEO of Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management, Saif Al-Noaimi, outlined the venue's ambition to provide a fitting end to the season, especially if the title battle between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen goes the distance.

The track has come in for criticism in the past for providing a dull end to a campaign due to its layout hindering passing opportunities.

Speaking on a YouTube launch show video, Al-Noaimi said: “In terms of enhancements, we are very excited. We have been working on looking at improving the racing on the track.

"We have been listening to our spectators, our fans, the drivers, Formula 1 and the FIA and we have been working on making some exciting changes this year to the layout of the track.

“So we will be undergoing some modifications to the track over the summer in time for this edition of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and we are very much looking forward to sharing more information in the coming months on the changes."

This year's race will be the 13th running of the event, but on a number of occasions, despite the circuit providing a stunning backdrop to the race, the on-track action has failed to deliver.

Al-Noaimi added: “The objective, ultimately, is to create more opportunities for close wheel-to-wheel racing, to create more overtaking opportunities and to overall create a faster, flowing race given the current rules of the vehicles.

“So we are really looking forward to seeing some overtaking and action and hopefully the championship will come down to the wire and be determined here in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.”

Fans will return, but in a limited capacity

Last year, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix took place behind closed doors with only a small number of frontline workers dotted around the vast grandstands.

Al-Noaimi has confirmed tickets are now on sale for this year's race but at a reduced capacity.

"There are capacity limits due to the current guidelines that have been published in Abu Dhabi so we are operating at a capacity of 30 per cent," said Al-Noaimi.

"Tickets are going to be limited so we urge people to go and purchase tickets as soon as possible to avoid the disappointment of not having a seat available."

As well as fans, the traditional post-race concerts will also return, with Al-Noaimi revealing: “We are looking at four nights of triple-A artists performing in the Etihad Park, the venue right next to Yas Marina Circuit.

“Obviously, this year with the capacity limits, each ticket holder will be limited to attending one of the evenings, one of the nights of concerts. We will be announcing in the coming weeks who those artists are."

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