Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Race information - Abu Dhabi 2017 - Get up to speed with the final round of the season

Published by Christine

It's been a long season but we have reached the final race of the 2017 calendar. With the championship sewn up, and Felipe Massa bidding his fond farewells in Brazil last time out, it does certainly feel like this is one race too many. Abu Dhabi hasn't always provided exciting racing in the past either, but no matter, it's the final race of the year and we can bid a fond farewell to the season gone by, and start looking ahead at the one to come.

Event schedule

Both championships being completed means drivers can head into this final race with a certain sense of relaxation - although some are prepared to fight to the bitter end. Hamilton suggested he wasn't going to give up even though he's secured his fourth title, but in the last race he crashed out in qualifying.

With Hamilton, and Ricciardo dropping back due to engine penalties, we saw a good race of top drivers coming through the field. There could be more of that in Abu Dhabi, as long life components have reached the peak of their endurance - gearboxes, engines and more are ready for the season to end.

And of course, this weekend, we bid another farewell to Felipe Massa, who is retiring for the second time (unless he comes back next year). Many of the seats for next year are signed, sealed and delivered, but there's still a chance for the younger racers to impress and make their mark before the 2018 season begins.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
24 NovFridayFree Practice 109:00
GMT +00:00
GMT +04:00
Free Practice 213:00
GMT +00:00
GMT +04:00
25 NovSaturdayFree Practice 310:00
GMT +00:00
GMT +04:00
GMT +00:00
GMT +04:00
26 NovSundayGrand Prix13:00
GMT +00:00
GMT +04:00

Support racing for this event includes F1 Esports Series, FIA Formula 2 and GP3 Series.

Expected conditions

Abu Dhabi has yet to produce a wet race, and although the conditions are cloudy at times across the weekend, there's no forecast for rain this season either. Temperatures are usually quite high, but of course the racing takes place across the afternoon to evening, and so the air temperature will fall gradually as the event wears on.

Partly cloudy

Yas Island, Friday


  • Low 22℃
  • Humidity 57%

Partly cloudy


Yas Island, Saturday


  • Low 21℃
  • Humidity 48%


Mostly sunny

Yas Island, Sunday


  • Low 18℃
  • Humidity 48%

Mostly sunny

Circuit history

Circuit information
CircuitYas Marina Circuit
LocationYas Island
CountryAbu Dhabi
TimezoneGMT +04:00
Race debut2009
Length5.554 km
Distance305.355 km
Line offset0.115 km

This weekend will be the ninth Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and, on paper, it should be a battle between Hamilton and Vettel. The pair have both enjoyed success at the Yas Marina track, with each having three wins at the track in the past. Vettel's victories were all with Red Bull, so the German driver might be keen on repeating the success with Ferrari.

Although it's a track that doesn't encourage overtaking, pole position isn't as desirable as you might think. In eight races, the pole sitter has won three times, but there have also been three races where the driver starting from P1 has retired from the race. Qualifying is important though, with all winners starting no lower than fourth on the grid.

There haven't been any adjustments to the track this year, except for some additional barriers put in place to improve safety. The twisting track has long straights as well as technical areas, presenting a difficult anti-clockwise challenge for all.

Results for the 2016 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Free Practice 1Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:42.869
Free Practice 2Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:40.861
Free Practice 3Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari1:40.775
QualifyingLewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:38.755
Grand PrixLewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1:38:04.013
Fastest lapSebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari1:43.729

Tyre compounds

For the final race of the year, Pirelli are bringing their softest compounds to Yas Marina, hoping the smooth surface and warm weather will keep the speeds high and the strategies interesting. The track runs anti-clockwise which can add stress to the tyres, but it's also a venue often used for testing so the teams have plenty of data for the weekend ahead.

Head of racing at Pirelli, Mario Isola, says: "It tends to be a reasonably straightforward race held in consistent conditions, although with an unusual race format, as the start takes place in the afternoon and the finish is in the evening."

Selected tyre sets per driver
Soft tyreSupersoft tyreUltrasoft tyre
Lewis Hamilton229
Valtteri Bottas139
Daniel Ricciardo1210
Max Verstappen139
Sebastian Vettel1210
Kimi Räikkönen1210
Sergio Pérez1210
Esteban Ocon229
Felipe Massa1210
Lance Stroll2110
Fernando Alonso1210
Stoffel Vandoorne1210
Pierre Gasly139
Brendon Hartley139
Romain Grosjean229
Kevin Magnussen229
Nico Hülkenberg148
Carlos Sainz148
Pascal Wehrlein229
Marcus Ericsson1210

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
ThursdayFernando AlonsoMcLaren Honda
Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing
Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing
Sebastian VettelScuderia Ferrari
FridayCyril AbiteboulRenault Sport F1 Team
Maurizio ArrivabeneScuderia Ferrari
Zak BrownMcLaren Honda
Christian HornerRed Bull Racing
Mario IsolaPirelli Tyre S.p.A
Toto WolffMercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport
SaturdayThree fastest drivers
SundayFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process includes a former F1 driver to offer added insight. These stewards are overseeing the weekend's action.

FIA stewards
Tim MayerFIA alternate delegate to the USA and FIA Steward, son of former McLaren Team Principal Teddy Mayer, plus involvement in management of IndyCar and CART.
Emanuele PirroF1 driver 1989-1991 for Benetton and Scuderia Italia, McLaren test driver and five-time Le Mans winner with Audi.
Vincenzo SpanoPresident of the Sporting Commission of the Automobile and Touring Club of Venezuela.

All content in the series Abu Dhabi 2017