Yas Marina Circuit

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Yas Marina Circuit
Circuit Yas-Island.svg
Yas Marina Circuit
Location Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Time zone GMT +4
Capacity 50,000
Owner Government of Abu Dhabi
Operator Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management
Broke ground May 2007
Opened October 2009
Construction cost £800 million[1]
$1.322 billion
893 million
AED 3.792 billion
Architect Hermann Tilke
Major events FIA Formula One
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
GP2 Asia Series, V8 Supercars, Drag Racing, GT1 World, Gulf 12 Hours
Grand Prix Circuit
Length 5.554 km (3.451 mi)
Turns 21
Lap record 1:40.279 (Germany Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing, 2009)
Short Circuit
Length 4.700 km (2.920 mi)
Turns 19
Lap record 1:37.656 (France Charles Pic, Addax Team, 2011, GP2 Asia)

The Yas Marina Circuit (Arabic: حلبة مرسى ياس) is the venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke,[2][3] and is situated on Yas Island, about 30 minutes from the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. Yas Marina is the second Formula One track in the Middle East, with the first being in Bahrain. A two-day GP2 Asia Series test was held to officially open the circuit, which was held a week before the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.[4] It also hosted the opening event for the Australian V8 Supercars series, the Yas V8 400, in February 2010.[5][6] Outside motorsport the circuit was used for the final stage of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour cycle race in 2015.[7] The circuit has FIA Grade 1 license.[8]


The twenty-one corners twist through Yas Island off the Abu Dhabi coast,[9] passing by the marina and through the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel designed and conceived by New York-based architects Hani Rashid and Lise Anne Couture of Asymptote Architecture, and winding its way through sand dunes, with several long straights and tight corners.

The marina-based development includes a theme park, a water park, as well as residential areas, hotels and beaches.

The circuit has five grandstand areas (Main Grandstand, West Grandstand, North Grandstand, South Grandstand and Marina Grandstand (aka Support)) and part of its pit lane exit runs underneath the track. It also houses a team building behind the pit building, Media Center, Dragster Track, VIP Tower and Ferrari World Theme Park.[10] Additionally, one of the gravel traps runs underneath the West grandstand.

  • Seating Capacity – 41,093
  • Area – 161.9 ha
  • Length – 5.5 km
  • Longest straight - 1140 metres


The circuit was built by main contractor Cebarco-WCT WLL, under contract from developer Aldar Properties. Among the sub-contractors involved were KOH AH HING from Malaysia (structural contractor), as well as specialised subcontractors like Voltas (MEP), PKE-Siemens (MEP), Able-Middle East (earthworks), Hamilton International (interior) and Bau Bickhardt (track) to name a few.

The circuit was constructed with a permanent lighting system provided by Musco Lighting, similar to that also installed at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. Yas Marina Circuit is the largest permanent sports venue lighting project in the world; previously that title was held by Losail.

The surface of the track is made of graywacke aggregate, shipped to Abu Dhabi from a Bayston Hill quarry in Shropshire, England. The surface material is highly acclaimed by circuit bosses and Formula One drivers for the high level of grip it offers. The same aggregate material is used at the Bahrain International Circuit for the Bahrain Grand Prix.[11]

On 7 October 2009, the circuit was granted final approval to hold Formula One races by the FIA.[12] Bruno Senna was the first driver to complete a test run on the circuit.

GP3 visited Abu Dhabi for the first time at the end of the 2013 season.[13]


After the first practice sessions at the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, the circuit was welcomed by the drivers, with Nico Rosberg commenting that every corner was 'unique',[14] while double World Champion Fernando Alonso echoed his sentiments, stating that it was enjoyable because there was always something to do. Force India's Adrian Sutil rated the circuit as being better than Formula One's other night race in Singapore as he felt there was too much light at Marina Bay.

Not all of the drivers were complimentary, with Giancarlo Fisichella expressing a particular dislike of the pit exit, which dips under the main circuit by way of a tunnel. Although the pit exit remained free of incidents for the early practice sessions, Fisichella claimed that it was both very difficult and dangerous.[14] Kimi Räikkönen also said unfavorable things about the track: "The first few turns are quite good, but the rest of it is shit".[15]

See also


  1. "Yas Marina aiming for an 'excellent event'". PlanetF1.com. 29 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Tilke GmbH – Projects – Category". tilke-ac.de. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Yas Marina Circuit construction progressing". gulfnews.com. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "GP2 race will officially open Yas Marina Circuit". Gulf News. Al Nisr Publishing. 12 August 2009. Retrieved 12 August 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Motorsport: Middle Eastern double-header for V8 Supercars". nzherald.co.nz. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Abu Dhabi start confirmed". v8supercars.com.au. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Chaves wins inaugural Abu Dhabi Tour". cyclingnews.com. 11 October 2015. Retrieved 11 October 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "LIST OF FIA LICENSED CIRCUITS" (PDF). FIA. 6 February 2015. Retrieved 28 May 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Motorsport: Abu Dhabi debut marks F1 driver shake-up". nzherald.co.nz. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>[dead link]
  10. "Abu Dhabi breaks cover". Autosport. 194 (4): 10. October 2008. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "BBC: Shropshire's Formula 1 Connection". British Broadcasting Corporation. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 30 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Noble, Jonathan (9 October 2009). "Abu Dhabi track gets final FIA approval". Autosport. Retrieved 9 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. http://www.thenational.ae/sport/formula-one/abu-dhabi-grand-prix/yas-marina-chief-richard-cregan-expects-quality-weekend-for-2013-abu-dhabi-f1-grand-prix
  14. 14.0 14.1 Jonathan Noble and Jamie O'Leary (30 October 2009). "Drivers praise Abu Dhabi circuit". Autosport.com. Retrieved 31 October 2009.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Abu Dhabi Grand Prix prologue". motorsportmagazine.com. 31 October 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links