F1 fans have long bemoaned the lack of action during the season finale at the Yas Marina circuit. While it is a world-leading facility that can produce good races in other categories, the circuit is not particularly friendly for Formula 1.
This has led to long talks between the circuits operators Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management and Formula 1, and now a new approved layout!
What is the new layout?
The approval of the new layout was confirmed in Autosport.com, but it does not say what the new layout actually is.
The obvious place for change would be the removal of the turn 5-6 chicane that spreads the field out before they enter the first main straight.
There isn't much that can be done about the final sector as it winds its way around the amazing hotel and bay, but smoothing out the first sector could certainly lead to a bit more action on F1 Sunday.
However, for gaming fans they shouldn't expect to see the new layout in F1 2021.
Why you won't be racing it (probably)
Codemasters has thrown a huge amount of new features into F1 2021, from Braking Point and the co-op career mode to the promise of delivering three new tracks in a free post-launch DLC pack.
All of that has meant that some of the work on track updates that might usually take place have not happened this year. The reprofiled turn 10 in Spain and the changes in Albert Park won't be in the new game. Which would suggest that Codemasters are not now scrambling to make the changes to their version of Yas Marina.
Much of this is because of the time it takes to train the AI drivers to the new layout, as well as things like mapping the racing line and brake assists, as well as correcting tyre wear models to the new layout.
However, when it comes to Yas Marina changes may be a little easier. The piece of tarmac that straight-lines the 5-6 chicane already exists in the Codemasters game, it's just less grippy than the true race surface and will obviously trigger corner cut penalties.
If that really is the new layout, perhaps it will be quicker for Codemasters to update than it would be for Albert Park where a whole chicane is getting radically remade.
Maybe then, this change will land as a post-launch update too. We'll just have to wait and see, but we don't suggest that F1 gamers hold their breath for it.
F1 2021 release date
The next instalment in the official Formula 1 games arrives on 16 July.
As ever though, players can get their hands on it earlier than that. The Deluxe Edition of F1 2021 comes with three days early access, unlocking on 13 July.
F1 2021 will be available on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, as well as PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
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