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
2018 marked the 11th Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The race joined the calendar in 2009 and has been ever present since.
Apart from Hamilton and Vettel there are two other Abu Dhabi Grand Prix winners on the grid this year - Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas. Raikkonen won with Lotus
in 2012, while Bottas was victorious last year with Mercedes.
Mercedes is the most successful constructor at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The Silvers Arrows have won the last four editions of the race. Red Bull are next on the list with three wins, in 2009, 2010 and 2013. The only other teams to win here are McLaren in 2011 and Lotus in 2012.
Hamilton has the most pole positions here, with three. The Briton started from the front of the grid in 2009, 2012 and in 2016. Only in 2016 did he manage to convert pole into a win. On both the other occasions he failed to finish. A brake problem ended his 2009 race after 20 laps, while a fuel pressure problem resulted in a DNF after 19 laps in 2012.
Fernando Alonso is set to bow out of Formula 1 this weekend, at least for the foreseeable future. This will be his 311th grand prix start. Across a grand prix racing career that began in 2001 and which encompassed stints with Minardi, Renault, McLaren and Ferrari, he has taken 32 wins, 65 other podiums, 22 pole positions, and, of course, won two world titles - in 2005 and 2006, with Renault.
Two other drivers confirmed as bidding farewell to F1 this weekend are Marcus Ericsson and Stoffel Vandoorne. Ericsson made his F1 debut with Caterham at the 2014 Australian Grand Prix. He joined Sauber for 2015 and has raced for the Swiss team since. The Swede is set to make his 97th start here and will bid to add to his current career tally of 18 championship points. Vandoorne made his debut at the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix, standing in at McLaren for the injured Alonso. All of Vandoorne's 40 races to date have been with McLaren and he currently has a career total of 26 points.
Daniel Ricciardo is due to celebrate a different milestone on Sunday - his 150th F1 start. The Australian made his grand prix debut at the 2011 British GP, driving for HRT. Since then he has scored seven wins, 22 other podiums finishes and three pole positions, all achieved during his five seasons with Red Bull Racing. Sunday will also be his 100th and final start for the team, as he is moving to Renault next season.