Lewis Hamilton: “The track is one I really enjoy driving”

Lewis Hamilton believes the Yas Marina Circuit is a ‘stunning’ venue to host the final Grand Prix of the season, and admits he enjoys racing around the desert circuit having taken two wins there in 2011 and 2014.

The Mercedes AMG PETRONAS driver also feels the Abu Dhabi circuit is challenging, with a compromise on set-up required to deal with the high, medium and low speed corners and the long straights.

“The Yas Marina really is a stunning place to hold the season-ending Grand Prix,” insisted Hamilton. “The organisers clearly spent a lot of time and effort on designing the most spectacular venue imaginable and the track is one I really enjoy driving.

“It’s actually a really challenging circuit. There are a couple of high speed corners but it’s mostly medium to low speed, so despite the long straights you need to set the car up with a downforce level tuned for low speed grip.

“It’s also a twilight race, starting late afternoon and running into the night, which is quite unusual and I imagine must be pretty cool to watch on TV.”

Hamilton clinched the World Championship at the circuit in 2014, but expects a much more relaxed weekend this time around, and hopes to end the season with a victory, which would be his eleventh of the season.

“Last year, this place brought probably the most intense weekend of my life,” said Hamilton. “I didn’t sleep much through nerves and not knowing what was ahead. But this time around there’s no pressure, so I’ll be well-rested and aiming to go out on a high.

“A lot of British fans come out to Abu Dhabi so it’s like another home crowd for me. To win for them and show how grateful I am for the fantastic support I’ve had all year would be the best way to end an incredible season.”