Abu Dhabi Circuit Lacks Run-Offs, Walls Closer to the Stands
It seems that the organizers wanted to bring the F1 action much closer to the fans – the tickets for the inaugural F1 Grand Prix in the United Arab Emirates are already sold out – and consequently got rid of the expansive areas of run-off for safety.
However, that doesn't mean that the drivers' safety was affected in any way, as the lack of run-off areas was substituted by “the extensive use of polyethylene foam-filled energy-absorbing barriers, otherwise known as 'Tecpro',” as reported by the GMM news agency.
These types of barriers do a better job absorbing the energy of a potential impact during the F1 action, and provide an extra amount of protection for the drivers. Basically, the Abu Dhabi barriers will resemble the ones used in high-speed circuits which are able to absorb collision energies at up to 200 km/h (124 mph).
This won't be the first time the organizers of a Formula One race will use Tecpro for setting up their walls, as Barcelona, Singapore and Monza – having high-speed characteristics – are also constant users of those types of barriers.
“There has to be a penalty for going off a circuit. It should not be a big crash that ends up hurting you, but there has to be a price to pay. And I think this track has redefined the FIA safety standards because of the safety barriers,” said DC, welcoming the new “no run-off area” concept picked up by the Abu Dhabi organizers for their modern F1 track.