Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Preview

Well, what a season we’ve had. It’s been chock-full of controversy, collisions, craziness and world class driving! We’ve seen Lewis Hamilton impressively win another title in Mexico two weeks ago, as well as witnessing a number of emerging drivers come to the forefront over the course of the season. Last week in Brazil, the Brit finished the race in first place on the winners’ podium, with Red Bull’s Max Vertrappen in second and Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen coming in third.

But, the action isn’t over just yet! We have one last race to look forward to – the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. So – for one final time this season – read on as Karting Nation will give you all you need to know about the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

What Time Does The 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Start?

As usual, if you’re looking forward to that Sunday morning lie in of yours, you can do just that without missing an ounce of F1 action! The 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will start on Sunday

25th November at 13:10 GMT, with qualifying taking place the day before at 13:10 GMT.

Luckily for us, that’s not all the action! But, you’ll have to get up early(ish)! You can catch the practice rounds from Friday 23rd November at 09:00 GMT with the second round commencing at 13:00 GMT. The final practice round will take place on Saturday 24th November at 10:00 GMT, before the qualifying starts.

History of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is the baby of the F1 calendar, having only been around since 2009. However the event was first announced two years earlier at the Abu Dhabi F1 Festival in the United Arab Emirates.

The race was the first ever day-night race, as the race started at 17:00 local time. Floodlights were used from the start of the event in order to illuminate the circuit and to ensure a seamless transition from daylight to darkness. Every other Abu Dhabi Grand Prix has been held as a day-night race ever since. There have been a total of nine editions of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton winning three times each.

Fun fact: drivers from only three countries have ever won the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Germany, Great Britain and… Okay, we’ll tell you – Finland! Kimi Räikkönen won in his Lotus back in 2012 while Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas won last year’s edition of the event. That win means that Mercedes hold the bragging rights in this event with a total of four wins to Red Bull’s three.

The track, which holds this event is the Yas Marina Circuit, is located on Yas Island – around 30 minutes from central Abu Dhabi. Despite being primarily used for F1, the first ever event on the Hermann Tilke-designed track was the two-day GP2 Asia Series in 2009. Since it’s inception, the track has received both praise and criticism from a number of drivers from past and present. Nico Rosberg and Fernando Alonso praised the track’s uniqueness, while former Italian driver Giancarlo Fisichella branded a certain section of the track as ‘both very difficult and dangerous’. Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen was straight to the point, saying “the first few turns are quite good, but the rest of it is s***.”

With a total length of 5.6km (3.5mi), Sebastian Vettel holds the record for the quickest lap at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in 2009 with a time of 1:40.279, when he was in Team Red Bull. This event has a total number of 55 laps and an overall race length of 305.5km (189.8mi). The 21-corner track is full of long straights and tight corners, as it encounters some stunning and unique features – such as a marina, the Yas Hotel Abu Dhabi, a striking facade lighting design and sand dunes. Believe it or not, the circuit actually has a connection with Shropshire, England! The surface of the track is made of graywacke aggregate – shipped in from Bayston Hill quarry in Shropshire. This aggregate is highly acclaimed by circuit personnel and drivers alike, as it offers a superior amount of grip compared to other materials.

Who Won The 2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?

As previously mentioned, Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas won last year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel completing the podium in second and third place, respectively. The front of the field did not change at all throughout the race, with Bottas finishing the race from pole position. It was a dominant drive from the Finnish driver, keeping Lewis Hamilton’s challenges at bay throughout.

Valtteri Bottas achieved a time of 1:34:14.062, with his Mercedes teammate Hamilton finishing +3.899 seconds behind and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel coming across the line with a time of +19.330.

Who Is Likely To Win The 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix?

From from current crop of drivers, Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton have registered three wins each throughout their career. So, if the statistics are to taken as gospel, then it’ll likely be one of these two at the top of the podium come Sunday. However, it’d be silly to rule out Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas after his solid win at last year’s event.

Another contender for the 2018 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix could be Red Bull’s Max Verstappen – his fine form of late has earned him a fair amount of points, as he currently sits in fifth place in the Driver Standings. It’s all well and good taking guesses, but there’s only one way to find out – and that’s to catch the big race on Sunday 25th November!

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve found out everything you need to know about the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, all that’s left is to tune into the action, which starts from this Friday, 23rd November. As we always say here at Karting Nation, it’s sure to be an eventful race, and we can’t wait for the action on the circuit to commence! Be sure to catch the main event this Sunday at 13:10 GMT.

We’re sad to announce that this is the last edition of Karting Nation’s grand prix previews, but hopefully we’ll be back for the start of the 2019 F1 season which starts on 17th March 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. See you in the springtime!

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