Tag Archives: Yas Marina

Motorsports Mondial

Abdulaziz on another mission to the top


Abu Dhabi. As Abu Dhabi prepares to decide another dramatic Formula One world title race on Sunday, one of the Arab world’s newest motor racing champions is aiming to make his own mark during an action-packed weekend at Yas Marina Circuit.

Saudi Arabia’s Prince  Abdulaziz Al Faisal is in a confident mood as he begins the defence of his title in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, although he anticipates pressure from a number of directions as the series enters its 2010-11 season.

He scored three of his nine victories in the 12-round championship in Abu Dhabi last season, and the No.1 on his brand new 2011 Porsche GT3 Cup car reflects not only his domination of the inaugural series, but where he wants to remain.

“I’m looking to win the title again, and I’ve prepared well for the new season so I have given myself every chance,” he said. “I’m sure it’s going to be more difficult this time though, as the other guys have done their homework and will be trying to put pressure on me.”

With Abu Dhabi’s Khaled Al Qubaisi and Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Rashid Al Khalifa both eager to make a winning start in Round 1 on Saturday afternoon, another threat to the reigning champion could come from much closer to home.

Saudi Fahad Algosaibi underlined his talent by becoming the youngest ever winner in the history of Porsche one-make racing at the age of 16 in Round 10 at Reem International Circuit, outside Riyadh, last season.


Beaten into second place that day, Prince Abdulaziz said of Algosaibi at the time: “It’s not bad to lose a race to someone like Fahad. He’s very talented and we’ll have to watch out for him next year.”

Also watching out for Algosaibi will be his father, Fawaz, who also returns to action in the Michelin and Mobil 1-sponsored series in another of the brand new Porsche GT3 Cup cars making their world competitive debuts in Abu Dhabi.

The opening rounds of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East are the official support races for the Formula One Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

GT3 Cup action gets under way with a practice session at 11:30am tomorrow (Friday). After a qualifying session starting at 12:45pm the following day, Round 1 gets under way at 3:25pm. Round 2 starts at 2:45pm on Sunday.

GP2 Series:


Turvey powers to pole in Abu Dhabi Englishman dominates qualifying session Oliver Turvey went one better from his fine performance in today’s practice by claiming pole position for the feature race in a dramatic qualifying session in Abu Dhabi ahead of Dani Clos and Sergio Perez. The Briton spent the whole session at the sharp end of the timing sheets, but a late lap of 1:48.559 couldn’t be bettered by his rivals, handing Turvey his first GP2 Series pole position by almost half a second. With temperatures soaring this afternoon following a quiet practice session and a sudden downpour of rain just afterwards, the drivers were immediately on the pace: Perez, Turvey and Jules Bianchi were fighting fiercely for the top spot from their first flying laps, alternating the quickest times between them as they circulated. Ten minutes in and Turvey was on top (by just 0.009s), at fifteen Bianchi led the way, and with temperatures starting to slide it was difficult to know what to expect from the second set of tyres. Luiz Razia answered that question by being the first man on track and promptly putting himself in P2, and when his rivals returned to the circuit warfare recommenced. With a few minutes remaining Perez went top, with Clos squeezing by a few seconds later, but Turvey laid down his marker and gave his rivals just three minutes to improve upon it: no one could get close, and it was all over as the chequered flag dropped. Behind the top three Fabio Leimer did a fantastic job to claim fourth on tomorrow’s grid, ahead of Davide Valsecchi, Bianchi, Razia, Giedo van der Garde, Romain Grosjean and Sam Bird, all of whom were within a second of pole: tomorrow’s race promises to be as scorching as the weather conditions.

Abu Dhabi – Qualifying Session Driver Team Time Laps 1. Oliver Turvey iSport International 1:48.559 13 2. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:49.035 13 3. Sergio Perez Barwa Addax Team 1:49.081 12 4. Fabio Leimer Ocean Racing Technology 1:49.148 13 5. Davide Valsecchi iSport International 1:49.307 13 6. Jules Bianchi ART Grand Prix 1:49.338 13 7. Luiz Razia Rapax 1:49.410 14 8. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:49.429 13 9. Romain Grosjean Dams 1:49.462 13 10. Sam Bird ART Grand Prix 1:49.624 13 11. Adrian Zaugg Trident Racing 1:49.812 13 12. Max Chilton Ocean Racing Technology 1:49.890 12 13. Michael Herck DPR 1:50.160 12 14. Fabio Crestani DPR 1:50.239 12 15. Pastor Maldonado Rapax 1:50.362 14 16. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden International 1:50.549 12 17. Josef Kral Super Nova Racing 1:50.559 14 18. Brendon Hartley Scuderia Coloni 1:50.568 13 19. Charles Pic Arden International 1:50.569 10 20. Marcus Ericsson Super Nova Racing 1:50.719 12 21. Jerome d’Ambrosio Dams 1:50.730 12 22. James Jakes Scuderia Coloni 1:50.901 13 23. Ho-Pin Tung Racing Engineering 1:51.061 12 24. Federico Leo Trident Racing 1:52.170 13


F1weekly podcast # 471

Podcast number 471

Final race of the 2010 Formula 1 season and WDC.

Will Sebastian Vettel turn out to be Mr. Nice guy?

Motorsports Mondial with Nasir Hameed.

Robert Kubica: The Abu Dhabi track has an amazing appearance and it comes across very well on television. The hotel that is lit up in different colours looks spectacular and you can tell that a lot of money has been invested in this facility. When I walked the track for the first time last year, I thought it would offer a lot of overtaking opportunities, but actually there was a lot less action in the race than I expected.

Having lots of wide run-off areas definitely doesn’t help overtaking because it’s much easier to defend your position. You know that even if you miss your braking point, you won’t lose anything because you can cut the corner and stay ahead. Of course, you cannot do it every lap, but if there was a wall or a gravel trap instead, it might give the driver behind a better chance to overtake. But it can also work the other way, too, because the guy who is attacking can risk much more in the braking zones knowing that he has an escape path if the manœuvre doesn’t work out.

One of the things I find annoying about this track is the number of off-camber corners, such as turns 16 and 17. In these corners it’s very easy to get on the power and then lose traction and slide with the rear of the car, which can cost you a lot of time. So it’s a very tricky track.

The race starts in the early evening, so you have to change your visor strip to be ready for racing at dusk. The other issue I remember from last year was that we had all three practice sessions in daylight and then both qualifying and the race took place at dusk. That made it hard because the temperatures dropped and the track conditions were completely different, which had a big impact on car balance. But now we have the experience from last year and we know to make set-up changes to prepare for running in the evening.

Although Abu Dhabi is the final race of the year, it doesn’t mean we’re all going on holiday as soon as it’s over. A few days after the race all the teams will remain in Abu Dhabi for the first test on the new Pirelli tyres as we begin our preparations for 2011.

GP2 series:

It is time to say goodbye, but not before one final round. And there are still many things to unravel, starting with the Teams’ Title. The ongoing fight between Rapax, Barwa Addax Team and ART Grand Prix is far from over: Pastor Maldonado was declared our new Champion in Monza, but he is still set to keep pushing hard in Abu Dhabi to help his Italian team grab their first ever GP2 crown. Still, the Addax and ART pair have no intention of letting it go easily. Things get all the more raging and complicated with Sergio Perez, Jules Bianchi and Sam Bird still in the run for Second and Third places in the Drivers’ Standings fight… and with Giedo van der Garde not too far away from Third place himself. Although Perez, bolstered by his secured 2011 Formula One seat at Sauber, could be hard to beat in the Middle East, at ART Bird will be looking to capitalise on his first GP2 win in Monza, and Bianchi will no doubt be on the hunt for not only his fourth pole position of the season, but also his first longawaited win. All in all, the last round of the 2010 GP2 Series season is
set to be epic! And as goodbyes go, it will be the last time that the GP2/08 car will be racing after three thrilling seasons
– its Swan song will take place late this month during two three-day tests at Yas Marina circuit. Last, but not least, GP2 Series prepare to say farewell to one of its most beloved and trusting partners, Bridgestone. Thank you for six great years of a fruitful and successful collaboration.

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/11-11-10f1weekly471.mp3]

Motorsports Mondial

Bird Landing in the Marina


Sam Bird, the impressive 2010 GP2 debutant from England, has feathered a deal with Mercedes Grand Prix team to participate in Young Driver test at the Yas Marina circuit, after the curtain falls on the F1 season November 14.

Sam scored his maiden GP2 win at Monza in September.

“Sam has done an impressive job in the GP2 Series during his first season. We are very pleased that Sam will be joining Mercedes for the Young Driver test next month and are confident that he will provide the team with the essential consistency and feedback we require,” said Ross Brawn.

The ART Grand Prix GP2 driver had his first taste of F1 machinery in 2007 with Williams. The GP2 season also concludes in Abu Dhabi. Sam will be looking to improve on his current fifth overall position in the championship.

The 23-year old driver from Roehampton raced in Formula BMW, Formula Renault and Formula 3 before signing with Nicholas Todt-owned ART Grand Prix team for the GP2 Series this season.

— Nasir Hameed