The Yas Marina Circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke and is situated on Yas Island, about 30 minutes from the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi.
The twenty-one corners twist through the man-made island off the Abu Dhabi coast, passing by the marina and through the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi Hotel and winding its way through sand dunes, with several long straights and tight corners. The marina-based development includes a theme park, a water park, as well as residential areas, hotels and beaches.
The circuit has five grandstand areas and part of its pit lane exit runs underneath the track. It also houses a team building behind the pit building, Media Centre, Dragster Track, VIP Tower and Ferrari World Theme Park. Additionally, one of the gravel traps runs underneath the West grandstand.
The circuit was constructed with a permanent lighting system similar to that also installed at the Losail Circuit in Qatar. Yas Marina Circuit is the largest permanent sports venue lighting project in the world; previously that title was held by Losail.
The track surface is made of Graywacke aggregate, shipped to Abu Dhabi from a Bayston Hill quarry in Shropshire, England. The surface material is highly acclaimed by circuit bosses and F1 drivers for its high level of grip it offers. The same aggregate material is used at the Bahrain International Circuit.
The circuit itself consists of three distinct sectors. The first features two quick sections before giving way to a second sector consisting of two high-speed straights that contain the layout's two DRS zones, each of which ends in heavy braking zones where overtaking is possible. The third sector consists of a complex of low-speed corners that place a premium on aerodynamic grip and balance. With three such different sectors finding the right set-up to meet its many demands can be tricky.
Complicating matters is the circuit's status as a twilight race. The grand prix starts in diminishing daylight, at 5pm local time, and finishes in darkness. This can cause track temperatures to drop as much as 15˚C over the course of the race, potentially causing balance changes that must be taken into account when reaching for the most effective set-up.
Fast Facts - Provided by the FIA
2016 marked the eighth Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The race joined the calendar in 2009, with the inaugural winner being Sebastian Vettel.
The Yas Marina circuit has previously hosted three season finales (2009, 2010 and 2014) two of which have been title deciders. Vettel's 2010 victory saw him become Formula One's youngest title winner - at the age of 23 - while Lewis Hamilton's victory here in 2014, in a controversial double points race, handed the Briton his second world title.
Vettel is the most successful driver at the race with the German adding victories in 2010 and 2013 to his inaugural race win. Hamilton too is a repeat winner, with the Briton standing on the top step of the podium in 2011 as well as last year. The only other drivers to win here are Kimi Raikkonen, who led the field home for Lotus in 2012, and Nico Rosberg in 2015.
The most successful team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix is Red Bull Racing, who have three wins - all scored by Vettel. Mercedes has two and McLaren and Lotus one win each. While Red Bull still head the order of success when podium finishes are taken into account, with six appearances, McLaren move ahead of their other rivals with four podium finishes, while Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams have two apiece.
The 2015 race marked the 150th grand prix start for the Force India team. The squad began life as Jordan in 1991 before becoming Midland in 2006, Spyker in 2007 and then Force India in 2008. Since its debut at the '08 Australian Grand Prix, Force India has scored one pole position, at the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix with Giancarlo Fisichella, and three podium finishes. Fisichella was third in Belgium in '09, while Sergio Perez finished in third place at the 2014 Bahrain Grand Prix and in the same position at this year's Russian Grand Prix. In total the Silverstone-based outfit has scored 611 championship points across its 149 starts.
Vettel and Hamilton head the list of pole position winners, with two each. Vettel was on pole in 2010 for his title win - the only time the race has been won from pole - and he also started from the front the following year, though he failed to finish the race. Hamilton started on pole in 2009 but retired with brake failure. He was on pole again in 2012 but this time exited the race with a fuel pressure problem. Both Hamilton's wins were scored from second on the grid. Vettel also took his '09 and '13 wins from the lower slot of the front row. Raikkonen's win was scored from fourth on the grid, the only time it has been won from further back than the front row.
Only two other drivers have been on pole here - Australia's Mark Webber in 2013 for Red Bull Racing and Germany's Nico Rosberg who started from the top spot of the grid in 2014 and 2015.