With only two more Grand Prix to go before the close of this year’s Formula One, expectations are running high.
To fuel your anticipation, the following guide will give you a look into these two upcoming events.
The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Fans will be glued to their TV’s on the 13th November for the kickoff of the Abu Dhabi GP, running from 17:00 local time (United Arab Emirates).
The official race title is the Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It is the 18th round of this year’s Formula One season and will be hosted on the Yas Marina Circuit.
The Abu Dhabi GP event was first announced in January 2007, in the guise of the first ever Formula One Festival. Held on 3 February 2007, this event was free, and included the largest gathering of current Formula One cars and drivers outside of a Grand Prix. Here it was announced that Abu Dhabi had won the rights to host a Grand Prix from 2009 until 2016.
Later that year, Etihad Airways negotiated a three-year deal to become sponsors of this Grand Prix.
In late June 2008 the FIA announced that the provisional 2009 Formula One calendar would include the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as the 19th and final race of the season. In early November of 2008 however, it was decided that the race would be held as the season finale on November 1 as the 17th and final race.
The first official race there took place in November 2009. This event stands out as Formula One’s first ever day and night race, starting at 17:00 local time. Floodlights were switched on from the start of the event to ensure a seamless transition from daylight to darkness on the Yas Marina Circuit. The inaugural race was won by Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull Racing; he still holds the lap record at 1:40.279.
The Yas Marina Circuit is the second Formula One track in the Middle East, with the first being in Bahrain. Designed by Hermann Tilke, it is located on Yas Island, around 30 minutes from the capital of the United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi.
Its total length currently measures 5.554 km, incorporating 55 laps and a race distance of 305.355 km.
The Brazilian Grand Prix
This is the final F1 championship race for the 2011 season and will be held at the Autódromo José Carlos Pace in Interlagos (a district in the city of São Paulo, Brazil) on 27th November. The race will begin at 14:00 local time.
While the Brazilian Grand Prix was first held at Interlagos in 1972, it was not at that time part of the Formula One World Championship. It was included on the official calendar a year later however, and was moved to Jacarepaguá in Rio de Janeiro due to safety concerns about the 5-mile Interlagos circuit. In 1990 this Grand Prix returned to Interlagos, which now has a shortened circuit, and it has stayed there ever since.
The 2004 Brazilian GP marked the first time since the race’s admission to the F1 calendar that it was not one of the first three rounds of the season. In 2005 the Brazilian GP, won by Fernando Alonso, decided the World Championship. Then on November 2, 2008, Felipe Massa became the latest home winner, although his victory in the last race of that year’s season did not stop him losing the championship to Lewis Hamilton, who won by a mere single point.
The sponsors for this championship event were Grande Prêmio Marlboro do Brasil from 1999 to 2004, and Grande Prêmio Petrobras do Brasil from 2009 until present.
The Interlagos circuit, now renamed as Autódromo José Carlos Pace, is regarded as one of the most exciting and challenging circuits on the F1 calendar. It is rare in having a lengthy history with the sport while losing none of its mystique as it adapted to the more safety-conscious era of 21st century Formula One racing.
Autódromo José Carlos Pace boasts a circuit length of 4.309 km, incorporating 71 laps and a race distance of 305.909 km. Its lap record is held by JP Montoya in 2004, at 1:11.473.
The above guide offers a succinct overview of the history and circuits of the final two F1 events of this year’s season. If you’re as excited as I am to watch the outcome, you might want to pick up some Formula One merchandise online to show your support.
About the Author: Lucas Ives is a Formula One fan.