Abu Dhabi track doesn’t suit F1 cars for overtaking – Lewis Hamilton – F1

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Lewis Hamilton says the lack of overtaking in the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix shows the Yas Marina track does not suit Formula 1 cars in its current configuration.

Hamilton pursued his victorious Mercedes F1 team-mate Valtteri Bottas throughout the race but was unable to get close enough to attempt to pass.

The world champion said his engineers had told him he needed to be 1.4 seconds quicker to have a hope of overtaking at the track.

“You do get a bit of a tow down the straights but once you get to the last sector…” said Hamilton.

“It’s a great, great track but unfortunately it doesn’t suit the cars very well. In the last sector you just can’t follow.

“It’s one of the worst tracks in the sense that you need 1.4s advantage to pass the car in front.

“And we’ve got the same car, we’ve a couple of tenths between us so I was never going to overtake unless he made a big mistake and went off – and even then they have massive run-off areas and you can still keep it on.”

Asked if the fact he was battling his team-mate affected how hard he was willing to challenge, Hamilton said the track configuration meant that made no difference.

“The engineers say it’s a 1.4s delta you need to overtake a car in front,” he reiterated.

“It doesn’t matter what car is ahead. It would’ve been difficult.

“To get as close as I was shows I had good pace. But once you get within 1.2s it’s like you hit a wall and the car stops.

“Basically you start sliding around, all four wheels. So there was a lot of rallying today.”

Bottas agreed that the track layout had been in his favour.

“I could feel that sector three was good for me, but also it’s a track where it’s really difficult to follow in sector three,” he said.

“Once you get close there, I could feel with the lapped cars, how much you lose.

“I knew that Lewis was always going to be struggling as he got closer to me in sector three.

“I could really control the race, everyone knows here it’s not easy to overtake.”

Hamilton emphasised that he thought Yas Marina should remain F1’s season finale.

“This was one of the best places, if not the best, to have the last race in terms of the atmosphere, in terms of the hospitality, it’s second to none,” he said.

“It’s such a beautiful place so it’s a great week.

“The track, as a lot of the tracks do, has some small flaws in the sense that it’s hard to follow.

“I’m not a track designer and I don’t know if it can be changed.”

Circuit architect Hermann Tilke intimated on Sunday that changes were possible.

“We have an idea to change one corner,” he told Sky Sports F1. “It’s a very small change, but maybe it has a lot of impact.”



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