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Belgian Grand Prix
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
31, 01, 02 September 2012
Length of lap: 7.004 km (4.352 mi)
Total number of race laps: 44
Race length: 308.052 km (191.410 mi)
Most wins (constructors): Ferrari (16)
Fastest lap 2011: Mark Webber Red Bull 1:49.883

Last Race

Hungarian Grand Prix

Hungaroring Circuit

1 Lewis Hamilton McLaren
2 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus
3 Romain Grosjean Lotus
Fastest Lap
Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:24.136
Pole Position
Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:20.953

2011 Cars images

Spanish GP, Catalunya Circuit - Race. F1 image 2011 (HD PHOTO)
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes MGP W02
Spanish GP, Catalunya Circuit
Formula 1 image 2011 (Photo 1920x1280)
Turkish GP, Istanbul Park Circuit - Race. F1 image 2011 (HD PHOTO 1920x1280)
Lewis Hamilton & Jenson Button, McLaren MP4-25
Turkish GP, Istanbul Park Circuit
Formula 1 image 2011
Chinese GP, Shanghai International Circuit - Race. F1 wallpaper 2011 (HD PHOTO 1920x1280)
Fernando Alonso. Ferrari 150° Italia
Chinese GP, Shanghai International Circuit - Race.
Formula 1 image 2011

Abu Dhabi Grand Prix - team and driver preview quotes

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Theyve undoubtedly read about it and studied a map of the track. Perhaps they've sampled it on a simulator in the factory or even visited the venue, but the drivers have yet to really experience Abu Dhabis newly-built Yas Marina Circuit. After hearing so much about it, however, they clearly cant wait to get cracking. Here they reveal their preparations for the inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and explain why they think it could become a firm favourite in the future…

Nico Rosberg, Williams
“I am really looking forward to going to Abu Dhabi. With the amount of time and effort that has gone into building it, I think its going to be a fantastic venue with stunning facilities and a great experience for Formula One. Ive heard its a sell-out too so it should be a really exciting race weekend for the teams and the fans and a great way to end the year. Abu Dhabi is going to be a new experience for all of us so the simulator at Grove has been a real help and Im pleased I had it at my disposal this week. There are some things like the bumps and kerbs that you cant completely replicate, but braking, oversteer and understeer are all very similar. Its definitely a big advantage having a sim like ours as I will be able to drive out of the pits on Friday and know the track pretty much straightaway. The one consideration Ill be interested to see play out is the fact that we will start the race in daylight and then move into the night time.”

Kazuki Nakajima, Williams
“Its really exciting to be going to a brand new circuit. The organisers certainly look like theyve put a lot of thought into developing the track and the facilities. It all looks very impressive and the perfect place to end the championship. As we havent driven the circuit yet, its difficult to give an accurate breakdown of the track but our simulator has provided us with some really invaluable data. It looks like set-up will veer towards a medium to high downforce configuration to cope with the long straight (which will require good top speeds) and tight corners which we expect to see on a street circuit. Good grip levels for balance and to cope with the sand will also be crucial. One of the most interesting things for me is that we will drive under a hotel which I cant wait to experience.”

Adrian Sutil, Force India
“Yas Marina looks like it will be a great facility - very luxurious and a great working environment for the team. However I don't think the track will be massively challenging. It has a long straight, but there are a lot of second gear corners as well, which might hurt us a little bit. The good thing is everyone is starting from the same platform, so it will be a little bit of a surprise when we arrive. When preparing for a new event, the first step is always to look at the track map and the conditions you can expect at the event. Is there anything that looks different or challenging in the corners, is there something that you need to prepare for physically? I'll speak to my engineers about what they expect in terms of set-up and then the next step is to put it all together in the simulator. This gives a head start as you can make a basic set-up from this and use as a starting point in practice. You also know what to expect when you get on track.”

Vitantonio Liuzzi, Force India
“We really want points - it's important for the team and for myself. We'll be giving 100 percent until the end, in practice, qualifying and the race. We have done some laps of Yas Marina in the simulator and it looks like a great facility. The track seems very interesting and could suit the VJM02 very well as there are a few long straights and a tricky middle section. It's also good to visit new venues so I'm looking forward to this race.”

Dr Vijay Mallya, Force India chairman and team principal
“Brazil was a missed opportunity to score points. Adrian was in a prime position to get some decent points, perhaps even a podium, but it was not to be. But the Abu Dhabi aero configuration is roughly similar to Brazil and Valencia, and even though we can't expect rain, we can expect a reasonable level of performance in qualifying that should put us in a good position for the race. We could technically move up a position in the championship as we're just 13 points behind Renault, but it will be tough so we need to consolidate what we have already. Toro Rosso have been looking very strong in recent races so it's a matter of personal pride to keep them behind. Ninth place in the championship is one position higher than last year and we need that improvement to validate all the progress we've made this year. Having new events on the calendar certainly keeps the series fresh and opens the sport out to new markets. I hear the venue is absolutely fantastic as well, so it will set new standards for Formula One. This too is very important, for the sport to keep evolving and looking at making improvements to track facilities, spectator opportunities and the whole 'experience' of going to a race. For Force India for sure it will be an extra special event as there is a large number of ex-pat Indians, which always gives us that little more of a push.”

Dominic Harlow, Force India's chief engineer
“Abu Dhabi will be one of the most eagerly awaited new race debuts in some time. The track and facilities are immense and a very interesting weekend is in store. We expect it to be quite hot obviously, but the twilight timing to the sessions will mean track surface temperatures will not be as high as they could be. The lap includes a very long straight, over 1km, with three high energy brakings and predominantly slow, second or third gear, quite technical corners with a surprising amount of gradient change. On the reliability side cooling will be the main focus, and for performance finding the right downforce level and understanding the factors that will dictate race strategy. It looks like being a great season finale and we'll be pushing as hard as ever to finish with some more points.”

Hirohide Hamashima, Bridgestone director of motorsport tyre development
"This will be the first ever race meeting at this circuit so it is very much a step into the unknown. Of course, we work very closely with the circuit and teams with simulations and evaluations of the layout, and we have been working with a sample of the track surface. We will also have some data from the GP2 Asia Series test which takes place the week before the Grand Prix. In terms of expected lateral forces we can say that the circuit is similar to Valencia. The track surface is similar to Barcelona or Fuji. Our ambient temperature predictions place Abu Dhabi as being similar to Bahrain. The track is new so very dark in colour, meaning it could get quite hot. We expect to see a lot of surface evolution. The circuit layout is a typical stop and go street course so there will be traction demands. As with any new surface we can expect the possibility of graining early in the weekend. We have brought the medium and soft compound Bridgestone Potenza tyres as they sit in the middle of our tyre range. It is difficult to know exactly what the temperatures will be, especially the track surface temperature with such a dark new surface."

Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
“The race in Abu Dhabi will be my last Grand Prix with Ferrari and as usual I will give it everything to gain the best possible result. Well try to conclude this difficult year with a good result, hoping that it will be enough to gain the third place in the constructors championship, McLaren took over in Brazil. It will be difficult, because the competition is very strong. Furthermore in Brazil the two titles have been assigned, so maybe there are certain drivers, who will risk a little bit more, as everything has been decided already. Our direct competitors are still improving their car, while we have been using the same car since the race in Hungary at the end of July. There are many expectations as far as the Yas Marina Circuit is concerned, but its difficult making any predictions, because were racing there for the first time. As far as we can see the organisers have done some great work and the circuit seems to me very interesting and challenging. Furthermore there will be a very special challenge, given the fact that well start the race in sunlight, while it will end with artificial lights. This will definitely add some suspense.”

Robert Kubica, BMW Sauber
“I have not been to the Abu Dhabi circuit so far. As we do not have a simulator I only know the track from the Internet and from a couple of presentations. The track looks very interesting. The facilities and the buildings around the circuit especially seem to be outstanding. However, before having done the first laps on the track with a Formula One car, it is really difficult to judge the circuit itself. But of course I know this situation from the past. In 2008 both Valencia and Singapore were new on the calendar. Fortunately I consider myself a driver who does not need a lot of track time to be on a good pace straight away. I guess that a lot of cars will be out on the track on Friday in order to understand the track and to learn as much as possible. I am really looking forward to going there. It will be my last race for this team, but I hope very much to see them on the grid again next year.”

Nick Heidfeld, BMW Sauber
“Im very pleased to be getting another taste of summer and will be flying out to Abu Dhabi a few days early with my family. Im really excited about the new circuit. Everyone whos been there already has described it as an incredible place. I think its always great to discover a new track. I havent found the lack of a simulator to be a disadvantage at other new circuits, and this way its even more exciting when you drive out of the garage for the first time. This will be a very special race for all of us in the team. So far I havent really had that feeling of saying goodbye. But that will change in Abu Dhabi for sure, and will probably be quite intense. I very much hope that the team is given a place on the grid for 2010 soon.”

Mario Theissen, BMW Motorsport Director
“We will travel to Abu Dhabi with mixed feelings. The eight points we collected in Brazil have allowed us to move up a place in the constructors championship, and we will be highly motivated once again at the final race of the season. We are looking forward to racing at the new Formula One venue and cant wait to experience the atmosphere at the Marina Circuit.

“However, there will of course also be a fair amount of sadness within the team as we set off for Abu Dhabi. After all, this will be our 70th and final race with the BMW Sauber team."

Willy Rampf, BMW Sauber head of engineering
“I always find it exciting to compete at a new venue. The circuit in Abu Dhabi has a whole series of predominantly slow and medium-speed corners, but also two very long straights. Since the track is also very wide, we can probably look forward to a lot of overtaking moves. Of course, we have carried out the usual simulations, but one significant unknown is how the tyres will respond on the new asphalt. We will only discover the answer to this question during the course of the weekend. The ambient temperatures are sure to play a major role. Although the race is not scheduled to start until 5.00 pm, we can still expect the outside air temperature to be well over 30 degrees Celsius. Brazil was the first race in which weve been able to fully exploit the potential of the car since the extensive package of modifications were introduced in Singapore, and were also expecting to have a strong race in Abu Dhabi. Well be pulling out all the stops to finish the season on a positive note.”

Mark Webber, Red Bull
“As usual, the F1 season has been pretty long, but its still always good to have the chance to drive the car again, particularly when were in our current form. The last race of the year will be very interesting to go to, as no-ones raced there before and its another street circuit - it sounds fascinating. I think it will be a good finale to the season and a timely end to the championship. Were all ready to start next year now, as the championship titles are decided. Im expecting Red Bull Racing to be pretty strong in Abu Dhabi. Weve been pretty strong since Singapore, so theres no reason to suggest that we cant be fighting towards the sharp end again, no question about it. As usual, qualifying will be very important on a street circuit and then well see how the race goes from there. Were looking to finish off on a high for the team. Ive heard the Yas Marina Circuit has some nice undulations, which sounds good. Its got a few fast sections to it and a slow section to finish off. I think it will be pretty dusty, but well clean it up pretty quick; its always nice to go to a new track.”

David Coulthard, Red Bull team consultant
“Having had the opportunity to drive the circuit, what struck me is that its a two-stage track; the first half of the lap until corner nine is typical of the new type of track. Theres the fast section at the beginning from Turn One to the Turn Four tight hairpin with the grandstand literally overhead, giving great viewing for the spectators. The 1.2-kilometre back straight should give an opportunity for some slipstreaming and overtaking and then the back section of the circuit has a real street circuit feel to it, where you come along the section that takes you to the hotel and then passes underneath it, via a series of 90 degree right-handers and left-handers before opening out to the end of the lap and a medium speed corner on to the start-finish straight. The pit lane entry is very challenging, as is the exit, which is actually in a tunnel under the circuit and is going to make it particularly challenging for the drivers coming in and out of pit stops. There are great facilities and air-conditioned garages which will make working conditions in the heat a little bit easier and also having an evening race will obviously take some of the heat out of what can be a very hot venue. I think the twilight aspect of the race will be more of a visual treat for the spectators and the TV audience, but I think for the drivers it will be absolutely fine, as there is enough overhead lighting to make it blend seamlessly from day into night, no problem.”

Lewis Hamilton, McLaren
“Weve had a fantastic second half of the season, and it would be perfect to end the year with a win - it would send us into the winter fully motivated and pumped up for the 2010 season. All the signs point to Abu Dhabi being another strong track for us - there are plenty of slow corners leading onto long straights, where KERS will be very advantageous. Seeing as its likely to be the last race for KERS, it would be fantastic to send it off with a perfect result - that would be a very fitting farewell for all the engineers who have worked so hard to make the Vodafone McLaren Mercedes system the best in the business.”

Heikki Kovalainen, McLaren
“I had a very strong race in Brazil and Im determined to rack up a points finish in Abu Dhabi to make sure we hold on to third position in the constructors championship. From what Ive seen of the track, it looks pretty good - its got a couple of fast corners at the start of the lap, but then theres a real low-speed, technical section towards the end. It still looks like it will be a tough track for overtaking, but the facilities look amazing - totally world-class - and I think the idea of a dusk race is very good for our sport. Singapore has set the standard very high with its night race, but Abu Dhabi looks like it will set new standards in Formula One. I cant wait to get out there.”

Martin Whitmarsh, McLaren team principal
“We may have just overhauled Ferrari in Brazil to move into third place in the constructors championship, but, being just one point ahead with just one race remaining, means that we go into the Abu Dhabi weekend fully focused on scoring the maximum possible points to consolidate that position. As usual, there has been no let-up from the team in its preparations. We head to Abu Dhabi not only extremely encouraged by the improved pace we showed in Brazil but also very optimistic that the final race of the season offers us another opportunity to challenge for victory. Everything Ive seen and heard about the Abu Dhabi circuit speaks of the race organisers total passion and commitment to perfection. The track already looks to have eclipsed the facilities we have anywhere else in the world and Im very optimistic that, like Singapore before it, this weekends race will set a new benchmark for Formula One and open up new opportunities for the sport in the Middle East and the rest of the world.”

Norbert Haug, Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President
“This exciting season is coming to its end with the very first race at the new track in Abu Dhabi. This circuit defines the new state-of-the-art Formula One racetracks, and Im sure it will be a truly exciting and hard-fought race. After both world championships have been decided, every team that is in a position to do so will try to use the chance to win this prestigious final race of the season. Since Lewis first victory in Hungary in late July, McLaren has shown a clear upwards trend. Both Lewis and McLaren have achieved two wins and five podium finishes, resulting in more points than any team and any other driver in the last seven races. We try to continue in that direction and hopefully with a similar result to the last street race in Singapore, which Lewis won.”


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Flash news

Ferrari confirm Raikkonen to end of 2010

Ferrari have announced an extension to Kimi Raikkonens contract for a further two seasons, keeping the world champion with the Italian team until the end of 2010.

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2012 Race Drivers

Sebastian Vettel
Mark Webber
Lewis Hamilton
Jenson Button
Fernando Alonso
Felipe Massa
Michael Schumacher
Nico Rosberg
Kimi Räikkönen
Romain Grosjean
Paul di Resta
Nico Hulkenberg
Kamui Kobayashi
Sergio Perez
Daniel Ricciardo
Jean-Eric Vergne
Pastor Maldonado
Bruno Senna
Heikki Kovalainen
Vitaly Petrov
Pedro de la Rosa
Narain Karthikeyan
Timo Glock
Charles Pic

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