F1 Tech Preview: Ferrari’s Advantage Over Mercedes in Abu Dhabi

As the final race weekend of the year approaches, Ferrari and Mercedes are closely competing for second place in the Constructors’ Championship, with their car setups and performance on the Yas Marina Circuit being crucial factors, while Red Bull’s high downforce setup could make them competitive, and McLaren and Aston Martin could also play a significant role.

Highlights

‣ The last race weekend of the year will see a fight between Ferrari and Mercedes for second place in the Constructors’ Championship, with only four points separating the two teams.
‣ The UAE Circuit, where the race will take place, is an anti-clockwise track with different corners and long straights, requiring good traction and mechanical grip.
‣ Tyre management will be crucial due to the asphalt’s very low grip, and teams are expected to adopt a medium-high downforce set-up.
‣ Red Bull, Ferrari, and Mercedes have adopted different strategies for their car set-ups, which could significantly impact their performance during the race.


The final race weekend of the year is upon us. An intriguing battle is unfolding between Ferrari and Mercedes for second place in the Constructors’ Championship.

With a mere four points separating the two teams, the right car set-up is critical this weekend. Let’s examine who might have the upper hand on the Yas Marina Circuit.

The UAE Circuit is an anti-clockwise track with a variety of corners and long straights. The first sector is short and features a few fast corners, typically taken flat during qualifying. The second sector presents two lengthy straights divided by a slow, twisty chicane.

The third sector is marked by a mix of fast and slow corners, demanding good traction and mechanical grip. The asphalt’s low grip has led Pirelli to opt for softer tyres for this race. Tyre management will be key to maintaining a good pace during Sunday’s race.

Red Bull has arrived at Yas Marina with a higher downforce rear wing than their competitors. They’ve chosen to use the same wing spec they used in Suzuka. This wing, coupled with a medium downforce beam wing, could make the RB19 very competitive.

Ferrari and Mercedes, meanwhile, have adopted similar set-ups for different reasons. Ferrari’s SF-23 has a small working window, which can be affected by external conditions like air temperature and wind. As a result, they’ve chosen a medium downforce set-up to balance the car and make it more drivable.

This set-up could be crucial in qualifying but might be a disadvantage for Sunday’s race. However, Ferrari has always shown strength in tyre management and on stop-and-go circuits.

Mercedes has chosen a similar set-up due to the W14’s high drag on the straights. A medium downforce rear wing could help make the car as quick as possible. A good set-up will be crucial for them to compete with Ferrari throughout the weekend.

The battle between the two teams could be a preview of what 2024 might look like. Predictions are impossible as the better set-up will determine the outcome.

Lastly, McLaren and Aston Martin could play a significant role this weekend. Both teams have shown speed around this type of track. Their ability to manage the tyres during the race could be critical in the fight between Ferrari and Mercedes for P2 in the Constructors’.

In conclusion, the stage is set for the last F1 weekend of 2023. The close gaps between different teams could lead to one of the most thrilling battles of the season.

Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez
Albert Ramirez is a senior writer at F1Highlights.com. With a passion for motorsports, Albert brings a unique perspective to the world of Formula One. With over five years of experience as a sports reporter, he has honed his skills in capturing the essence of the sport.

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