FIA race director Charlie Whiting is confident that the Drag Reduction System (DRS) will make this weekend's Abu Dhabi Grand Prix significantly more entertaining than the 2010 Yas Marina race.
Two independent DRS zones will be in operation this weekend, the first on the long back straight between Turns 7 and 8, and the other on the following kinked straight toward the Turn 11/12/13 complex. Activation zones will be before the Turn 7 hairpin and in the middle of the Turn 8/9 chicane.
Last year's Abu Dhabi race was strongly criticized after passing proved extremely difficult, with pre-event championship leader Fernando Alonso seeing his title hopes evaporate after he got stuck behind Vitaly Petrov's Renault for most of the race and could only finish sixth. Whiting is confident that the DRS choices made this year will ensure a much more entertaining race.
"The race came in for a bit of criticism last year because the cars found it very difficult to overtake," said Whiting. "But there are two DRS zones this year, with two activation points, and they should make a significant difference in that respect."
Whiting also paid tribute to the Yas Marina circuit, praising both the facilities and the organizers' efficiency.
"Everybody loves coming here to race: the facilities are absolutely first class – everything's top-notch and the timing of the event gives a nice mix between a night race and a day race," he said.
"The marshaling [corner workers] has been excellent, too, and race control works very well. It's a thoroughly pleasant working experience. There haven't been any changes to the circuit apart from some very minor curbing adjustments."
Pirelli has announced that its soft and medium compounds will be the tire choices for this weekend.