Start, Yas Marina, 2017

Hamilton wants changes to aid overtaking at Yas Marina

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton says the Yas Marina circuit needs to be changed to make overtaking easier after spending today’s race stuck behind his team mate.

After following Valtteri Bottas into turn one at the start Hamilton spent the rest of the race trying to find a way past. He got close to his team mate on two occasions during the race but wasn’t able to make an attempt to pass him.

Start, Yas Marina, 2017
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“I was giving it everything but Valtteri did an exceptional job,” Hamilton told media after the race.

“It’s just impossible to overtake here. Well, not impossible but they say you have to have 1.4 seconds’ advantage on the car in front. We’ve got the same car, there’s not 1.4 seconds between us in ability.”

“The second stint I was obviously very close but as soon as you get to that 1.2, 1.4 window, just lose downforce and there’s nothing you can do.”

Hamilton dropped back from Bottas in the final laps and took the chequered flag 3.8 seconds behind his team mate.

Following the race Hamilton was caught on microphone discussing the difficulty he had passing Bottas with his team mate and Sebastian Vettel, who finished third.

“I was like, ‘where are all the frigging backmarkers?’ the only time I could get close,” Hamilton said to his fellow drivers in the green room before the podium ceremony.

“I think they’ve got to change this track. Because where you really lose it is the last sector. Even in the first sector actually I can’t follow, turn one, impossible. It’s a great place, just can’t follow.”

2017 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Hamilton wants changes to aid overtaking at Yas Marina”

  1. Grosjean and Stroll proved otherwise …

    1. Agreed, the spice in the boring race..

    2. Well stroll himself made that 1.4 second delta that Grosjean needed to pass.

  2. They’ve said the same thing after each race here and nothing has changed. It’s such a shame

    1. This might be with the benefit of hindsight, but how is it possible with a blank sheet of paper, money no object, and tilke came with the s@@@. No elevation changes, as flat as a track could be, run off areas every where, and still overtaking is impossible. Wasted opportunity if ever there was one.

      1. @bonbonjai The entire island was literally purpose built. Every centimetre of the place was designed for Formula One. I have no idea how it’s possible for it to be this diabolical

  3. Two DRS-zones is actually too much for this track. It’s just these terrible tires that kill all racing. Degradation is too low to encourage drivers to make multiple tire stops, but degradation is still high enough that drivers usually have to nurse the tires. I hope next year’s tires will be like previous year’s tires, because these tires were quite good in my opinion.

  4. Ok maybe Ham is just making an excuse to cover him gifting the win to Bottas. Only the team knows how hard everyone was pushing. Seems up and down the grid not many teams were pushing 110%. Also appears many teams were running 2018 parts; perhaps the cars weren’t as stable as normal due to this mismatch of parts?

    1. It’s well known that Dubai is hard to pass. Why is it when Lewis says it, peoplw suddenly lose all sense and knowledge of previous races when it was also impossible to pass.

    2. No one pushes 110%. You would be exceeding the limits of your car by a significant amount, and CRASHING.

  5. Yeah sure, it’s track’s fault when Hamilton can’t overtake. When searching for excuses, anything is usable when it comes to Hamilton. He might be one of the fastest, but he is also one of the most pathetic drivers on the grid.

    1. Think you are letting your bias show. Alonso was stuck the entire race behind a slower Renault years ago.

      Verstapen complained about not being able to pass kimi.

    2. @huhhii Nobody can overtake here, and that’s been the way almost every race since it started in 2009

      1. @strontium That’s just not true. I’ve seen numerous passes in F1 around here in the past and even today. Lots of overtaking in the feature races as well.

        I’d understand complaints if this was Monaco, but Abu Dhabi is far from it.

        1. @huhhii check out the lap charts for this race. If I counted correctly, there were 4 lasting on-track overtakes this race. This track has reliably produced races like that. If you recall the title decider last year, it was the top 4 drivers bunched up, unable to pass each other.

  6. No, the circuit or circuits in general, don’t need changes, but rather the cars regarding how they’re designed Aerodynamically.

    1. Some would say the reason why the cars are designed to be the way they are is because of the nature of the circuits they race on. Circuit layouts containing many turns, like Yas Marina and many others on the current F1 calendar, will always be lapped much quicker by cars with lots of aerodynamic parts to produce more downforce through these turns as opposed to cars with virtually zero aerodynamic parts to produce downforce.

      1. I heard a podcast with Pat Symonds a couple of years ago where he was asked if car design would be affected if F1 introduced reverse grids. He said it would – currently the cars are designed to work best in clean air but if Mercedes knew their car would be starting half way down the grid then they would design it to work better in traffic.

  7. If a driver cannot get really close to the car in front without losing grip/downforce then overtaking becomes almost impossible (hence the need for the derided DRS to try to rectify the problem caused by too much sensitive aero jiggery-pokery). Overtaking is not mainly a circuit/Tilke problem it is a problem with the blind alley direction that aero has taken; get rid of all the aero appendages and use venturi tunnels under the cars to produce grip (the tunnels are less sensitive to ‘dirty’ air) origami like appendages are not going to appear in a car showroom near you, they are a motoring irrelevance so get rid of them.

    1. Ground effects will not appear in a showroom near you either. Too dangerous for wannabes. I say restict the wings to two horizontal elements. Simple and easy to inforce

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