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Abu Dhabi off-camber F1 corners should be banked, say Verstappen, Leclerc

Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc suggested that Formula 1's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix would be better served by banking the Yas Marina Circuit's final sector corners.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari SF-23

Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

Turns 12 to 16 are notably off-camber, where the apex of the corner is marginally higher up compared to the outside, and this has often resulted in limited opportunities to race side-by-side with a clear racing line defined.

There are also off-camber corners through Turns 7 and 8, which break up the two DRS zones, which Verstappen added makes it difficult to gain traction on the run down to Turn 9.

The popularity of banked corners has been enhanced by the passing opportunities presented at Zandvoort - where Turns 3 and 14 both feature heavy degrees of camber to offer a variety of possible lines.

Speaking after beating Leclerc to pole for Sunday's 2023 season finale, Verstappen said that he would change little about the Yas Marina Circuit, but that the corners around the W Hotel section could benefit from being reprofiled.

"I of course always have my favourite tracks, but I don't mind coming here," the Red Bull driver said.

"It's always very chilled; I guess that also has to do with the end of the year - good temperatures, nice people, and then the track itself.

"I think the only thing I would like to change is just the off-camber corners, I think that doesn't really help the racing.

"More banked corners would help. So around the hotel, they need to bank that instead of off-camber.

"And at Turn 7, that little crest, it always throws you off a little bit and especially when you're behind, you just lose a lot of traction. So, that corner also: just bank it a bit, that would help."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Leclerc said that he enjoys the technical nature of the circuit, and that the series of corners around the hotel offer fine margins in rewarding drivers with lap-time, or costing it.

He nonetheless agreed that this was problematic for the race, and supported Verstappen's suggestion that these could be reworked to add camber to the corners.

"I like this track actually; especially the last sector is very technical," offered the Ferrari man. "It's also very difficult to get it right in qualifying because it's such fine margins.

"And as Max mentioned, it's very difficult to follow in those off-camber corners.

"But at the same time during qualifying, as soon as you get it wrong by even by five or 10 centimetres, then that has huge consequences.

"I like it in qualifying, but I agree with Max that for the race, I don't think that's great because you struggle a lot to follow in those corners.

"[Banking the corners] will definitely help racing; it's a track where there's already quite a lot of overtaking opportunities, but definitely that will make it even better."

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