By Joanne Bladd
Ahead of season opener, Holden’s James Courtney says Abu Dhabi track is boring to drive
Reigning V8 champion James Courtney has said Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina circuit has “zero character” as he prepares to travel to the emirate for this weekend’s season opener.
Courtney, who is part of Australia’s Holden Racing Team, said the multi-million dollar track offers a boring race experience for drivers.
"To be honest, the track is very boring to drive ... in that it has zero character," 30-year-old Courtney said in comments quoted by AAP.
"All the good circuits are the ones that are old and beaten up with walls where they shouldn't be and that sort of stuff.
"The new circuits that they're building for Formula One such as Yas have 1000km of run-off, they're dead-flat, there's no bumps, there's no character to the place."
Courtney’s comments chime with those of Team Lotus technical head Mike Gascoyne, who last week said design flaws in Gulf circuits encouraged boring races with little overtaking.
"Bahrain and Abu Dhabi were the two most boring races [of 2010]," he said.
"It's pretty disappointing that you've got two massively boring races on circuits where you had literally carte blanche to do anything you liked. You could have had elevation change or moved sand wherever you want it."For all the latest sports news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
He may be telling the truth, if the race track does not give the driver and the spectators the expected goose bumps, then it will not generate the action it is required to produce at such a meet.
It's like a bored champion when asked by a reporter at the stock car racing meet in Atlanta (which is basically a circular track) " What is that special talent needed to win a race here " He said " There's no talent, just hit the accelerator to the floor and steer left "
It seems to me that the problems mentioned here can be very easily resolved: Pass responsibility for the maintenance of the track to Abu Dhabi Municipality. The result will be a random selection of bumps, holes, dips and of course several signs saying: "Beware of Road Surprises"! ;)
Come and drive at the Autodorme!
I would totally agree with James Courtney. The trouble with modern racing circuits, is that they are built for F1. Its not the fault of the track owners in Bahrain or Abu Dhabi. The fault lies with F1 track designer Tilke. His company designs all the circuits used by F1.
Having raced on a lot of the old circuits, with bumps, dips, crests, blind apexes and exit points etc, it does make the new breed of very flat, turn and squirt corners very similar to each other.
My favourite all time corner was, Woodcote at Silverstone. I say was, because now its been cahenged a dozen times. James would have loved this corner. Virtually flat out. Dab on the break, down change, bring in all the power and hold on to the loooooooong apex. Exit point you are full power and flat out. If you got it wrong, waiting for you on the exit was twenty feet of grass and then huge thick railway sleepers.......No one got it wrong....
Good luck to James this weekend at Yas..
Have raced and instructed at Dubai many times since its opening.