Dubbed the “Duel in the Desert,” Yas Marina is the big finale this year. The battle to the end, between Rosberg and Hamilton of Mercedes AMG, comes to a head here, and is do or die for both drivers. Since they are expected to be at the front of the field, if Rosberg wins, Hamilton needs to come second to win the championship. If Rosberg is behind Hamilton, he cannot win the championship.
Yas Marina is a desert based track, in the city of Abu Dhabi. Its smooth pavement, and many 90⸰ corners, allow for good tyre life. However, in order to make for more exciting racing, Pirelli have offered a tyre setup one step softer this year, as compared to last. This year will feature the red banded supersoft, and yellow banded soft for the Yas Marina finale.
This will allow for more grip over one lap, but may offer increased degradation over a stint. As we all know, a race can be won and lost in the pits, so the right tyre strategy is important. Let’s see what Pirelli has to say about this track.
Pirelli’s Yas Marina Preview
Being that this race is a twilight race, it always makes things interesting. The track temperature will be on the decline throughout the race, which changes how the tyres work. All of that needs to be taken into account, as the cars will be on ice with cold tyres. In order to keep the heat up, they may need to change their strategy on the fly.
Since there are double points up for grabs, that makes this much harder to swallow for the loser of the championship. Just last year, if we were in the same position, and Rosberg was first here, Hamilton would only have to come 6th in order to claim the championship.
It will all be going down early on Sunday morning, but the action starts in Free Practice 1 this morning!