Martin Whitmarsh at Mclaren today said that the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi could do with improvements to aid overtaking. I agree, so here is my hastily put together design for improving the track.
The image might not be the clearest but as I said, hastily put together. The blue line is the current layout, the red markings are my changes.
First turn 1, the corner is too easy to take flat/near flat on turn one. I think the straight should be extended slightly and the corner should be made tighter, thus encouraging moves into the turn as there will be more than one line. This would come at the loss of some run off but lets be honest there is too much of it anyway and it doesn’t punish mistakes.
Round the next bend also taken flat out I think the track should go onto a little loop that already exists on the way down the hill, the end of this loop would give a tightish bend that could be exciting at speed like Koreas last corner. Meanwhile the chicane at the bottom of the hill should disappear as other than nearly decapitating Michael Schumacher it serves no useful purpose other than making the hairpin very dull and impossible to overtake on. Keep the long straight as is at is rocks…
At the end of the straight though remove the chicane (as Nigel Whitmarsh says in the article) and instead have a tight turn that runs nearer the grandstand allowing for more chance at overtaking moves onto the next straight. After that straight have another tight turn followed by a gentler chicane that is currently there, this in turn would make the of camber turn onto the harbour more difficult and could lead to mistakes/passes into the last sector.
The last sector is the best part of the track. While it might not have overtaking chances it is still stunning and exciting to watch the cars go through. That said I think the penultimate corner could be more difficult. A gravel trap on the outside is a must and a tighter entry could also lead to overtaking chances into the last corner.
I designed these changes by looking at where run off areas currently exist, I do not believe any of them would cause to safety issues and that all of them could be done fairly easily and cheaply and would in my mind improve racing by removing three very retarded chicanes.
What do you guys think? How would you improve this circuit?