A first look at the 2017 Abu Dhabi track

An early look at the first racetrack of the season

Podlunsek in the 2016 Abu Dhabi track

The pilots of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship will have been studying the track for the Abu Dhabi race for some time, they will want to arrive in the United Arab Emirates as prepared as possible.

As the largest of the seven emirates celebrates its 10th anniversary of hosting the Red Bull Air Race we take a look at what's in store for the pilots.

Like last year there are 15 gates over two laps of the course in the Corniche, but overall it's a new design. This year, at the back section of the track, there are two single pylons instead of gates, and the final gate before the Start/Finish Gate will have a pair of pylons which the pilots will have to fly straight and level through if they don't want to collect a penalty.

The trick to setting a competitive time in Abu Dhabi has always been to get the Start Gate right – and 2017 is no different. As the pilots fly through the first gate at 200kts they need to make sure they're lined up correctly with the chicane. If they get the chicane wrong they will lose valuable time. Get the correct angle through the start and the pilots can dispatch the chicane quickly to set themselves up for the first high-G Vertical Turning manoeuvre, known as the Marina Turn. Here they must be carful not to exceed the maximum G-limit, as that will put them out of the race.

After the Marina Turn they have two single pylons to navigate round before the final high-G turn of the lap, known as the Corniche Corner, when they're round this it's a sprint to the Start/Finish Gate for the second lap.

For the second lap the pilots will be aware that due to the heat, their raceplanes will be down on power, which will give them more thinking time.

Red Bull Air Race World Championship Race Director and former race pilot, Steve Jones, knows the Abu Dhabi track well and had this to say about the conditions: "The wind can change direction rapidly in Abu Dhabi and the weather can change on a daily basis. If the wind drops we'll see faster times and if the winds increase the times will get slower. But it's always hot and the pilots have to work hard."

The Abu Dhabi race takes place on 10-11 February, get your tickets HERE.