It would be a surprise to see much rain on a desert island track but it has happened before: last year’s first practice session was run in damp conditions.
However the weather forecast for this weekend’s activity currently points towards three days of warm, dry running.
Air temperatures will hit 30C on all three days. That will lead to correspondingly high track temperatures of up to 40C but unlike at most races these peak temperatures will be seen in the first and third practice sessions rather than qualifying and the race.
This is of course because the main action at Abu Dhabi coincides with sunset. The race will start at 5pm local time with the sun setting around half an hour later.
As a result track temperatures will drop during the race and that could keep the teams guessing on tyre performance. This was a significant factor during last year’s title-deciding Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso’s fateful early pit stop came as the team perceived a slight drop-off in tyre performance. However the front runners’ lap times improved as Alonso pitted, meaning they were able to delay their pit stops. With others who had already pitted able to make it to the end of the race, Alonso lost out.
Expect Ferrari to be especially wary of that phenomenon this weekend.
Location of Yas Marina
Yas Marina, home of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, is around 200 miles east of Bahrain.
2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
Image © Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo