Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team narrowly missed out on a points finish in the 2021 season finale in Abu Dhabi. Sebastian Vettel bounced back from a challenging qualifying to take 11th at the finish while Lance Stroll was disadvantaged by a late Safety Car to take 13th.
When we were in clear air, the pace was good, but there was only so much we could do.
"I think we had some decent pace today, but we were unfortunately stuck behind the Alfa Romeo of [Antonio] Giovinazzi for too long and that cost us too much time. When we were in clear air, the pace was good, but there was only so much we could do. The Safety Car situation at the end may have been unprecedented and we were just unable to end the season with points and finished P11. I also want to say congratulations to both Lewis [Hamilton] and Max [Verstappen] because both deserved the World Championship this year."
It was a tricky race today and we were not able to benefit from the late Safety Car because we were not waved through to overtake.
"It was a tricky race today and we were not able to benefit from the late Safety Car because we were not waved through to overtake, which was frustrating and I did not understand. It was a late chance to make up some places and potentially aim for points after we made the decision to pit again. P13 is not how we wanted to end the season and my 100th Grand Prix, but we have learned a lot this year that will put us in good stead for 2022. It has been great to be a part of Aston Martin’s first year back in Formula One, and I am sure there is a bright future ahead."
I want to thank our staff back at the factory, and at the races, who never gave up all season.
"Sebastian and Lance both drove fault-free races to 11th and 13th respectively. That was not what we were hoping for - a double points finish was our aim - but we simply did not have the race pace necessary to make the progress required and there was not enough attrition ahead of us. I want to thank them both though. They have worked hard and uncomplainingly throughout a very long and extremely tough season. They both deserve a good rest, after which they will return next year; by that time we intend to offer them a more competitive car relative to those of our principal competitors. I also want to thank our staff back at the factory, and at the races, who never gave up all season. They too will come back refreshed next year, ready to push for better results than we have had this year."
Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
From the challenges of a new layout to high tyre degradation, putting together a strong Abu Dhabi Grand Prix performance is no easy task. Analysing recent car performance and historic data, our Title Sponsor Cognizant presents the challenges expected at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Cognizant's Keys to the Race
Teams often attempt to make a one-stop strategy work, but Pirelli has allocated the softest range (C3, C4 and C5) for the fifth time this season, so high degradation is expected. The difficulty in overtaking, as well as a higher-than-average pitlane time loss of 23 seconds, previously made a two-stop sub-optimal, but changes to the circuit may increase degradation and improve overtaking and could now make a two-stopper more viable.
The new circuit changes are not only a challenge for the drivers, but also the teams. With higher speeds and wider apexes leading to faster lap-times, evaluating the impact upon the cars and strategy will also be a crucial focus of the three practice sessions – even though FP1 and FP3 are held in warmer, less representative conditions.
The layout changes are expected to improve overtaking. On the old layout, there were 30 passes in 2020, 32 in 2019 and 28 in 2018 – and 79% of all passes occurred along the two back straights, into Turns Eight and 11. In those previous three races, 70% of all overtakes used DRS – even despite 2019's event featuring significant DRS issues.
With major updates to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix venue, it will be a new experience for the F1 field. From a banked corner to a sweeping, faster end to the lap, there is significant change to the layout for the first time. Our official Cyber Security Partner SentinelOne presents the key challenges behind a lap of the Yas Marina Circuit.
Unlocking the Lap
It's a short run into Turn One before the circuit changes kick in and create a more flowing first sector.
Drivers hit their first 'new' section at what was once Turn Seven, with the dog-leg chicane now eliminated and the ensuing hairpin widened to boost overtaking.
Instead of the slow, technical chicane, drivers will arrive at the new Turn Five at speeds approaching 300km/h (186mph), braking heavily for the wider-apex left-hander.
Unlocking the Lap
There's the usual DRS-boosted long straight into the Turns Six and Seven chicane before drivers pick up significant speed through the kink of Turn Eight and another straight, again with DRS support.
The old Turns 11 through 14 are now gone, replaced by a long, banked left-hander (Turn Nine), evoking memories of Zandvoort earlier this year, again to boost overtaking. Simulations have suggested cars could take this at 240km/h (149mph).
The technical hotel section remains, but several corners have been reprofiled, opening the radii to create a faster and more flowing section for drivers to grapple with at the end of the lap.
Abu Dhabi's place on the calendar as the season finale means it has played host to many famous F1 moments and title-deciders. Global Partner NetApp delves into the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix archives to bring you the best stats and facts from the Yas Marina circuit.
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