Mark’s Abu Dhabi Preview
After the disappointment of last weekend’s Indian Grand Prix, Mark heads to the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi in search of his sixth podium finish of the season. Having retired from three of the last four races, he’ll be hoping for better reliability from his RB9 in Sunday’s 55-lap race.
“The problems on my car have been unfortunate,” says Mark. “We’ve been in strong positions at the last couple of races, but I’ve ended up standing on the side of the track and waving at the crowd. But I’ve been around long enough to know that you take the rough with the smooth in motor racing. The guys who prepare my car want to get the best possible results, so I’m sure our luck will change soon and we can finish the year off with some strong results.”
Pirelli are bringing the same rubber compounds to Abu Dhabi that were used in India. Once again the medium tyre is likely to have longevity, while the soft will be more of a qualifying tyre, on which the drivers will complete very few race laps. Such is the strategic nature of F1 in 2013.
“The driving challenge has changed this year,” says Mark. “No longer are we able to push ourselves to the limit for the duration of a grand prix because the tyres won’t last. It’ll be the same on Sunday, and due to the twilight nature of the race we’ll also be juggling with the change in track temperature. The asphalt cools by about 15 degrees once the sun has gone down and that has a big effect on tyre performance.”
With the race starting in daylight, at 1700 local, and ending after dark – at which point the circuit is lit by the largest permanent lighting system in the world – the drivers have a few visibility issues during the early laps of the race. It requires some lateral thinking to overcome the setting sun.
“When the sun gets low, the visibility is bad in a couple of places around the lap,” says Mark. “As a result, you have to play around with your visor a bit. You use a clear visor, but place some dark tear-offs on it, which you take off once the sun is gone. It adds an extra element to the race and makes this grand prix unique.”
As for the Yas Marina circuit, Mark says it’s not the greatest driving challenge.
“There are a lot of second-gear corners,” he says, “and they aren’t that stimulating to drive. The first sector is okay, and Turn 3 is a good challenge, but the rest of the lap is a bit Mickey Mouse. But I don’t want to say too many negative things about this race because it’s a spectacular event; there’s no doubt about that.”
psycho budgieon November 1, 2013 Reply
Good luck for the weekend ahead mate. 😀
jules from brisbaneon November 2, 2013 Reply
I went to Yas last year.fantastic track and looks magic on TV. Have a great race – we will be glued to the TV in Brisvegas! from your fans in Brisbane !
Markon November 3, 2013 Reply
Great job in quaiy mate, Please try your best to capitalise on it with a blinding start and finishing on the top step. Oh, and while you’re at it, don’t give FB a mm of room and squeeze him into the wall wherever you can. Its time for some payback, MULTI 21 will be ringing in his ears after you mop the floor with him in the desert. Karma is a bitch, what goes around comes around.
We are all willing you on to a well deserved victory mate, cheers, mark
Johnon November 3, 2013 Reply
Good luck Mark! Hope you win this one!