Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Day 1 at Yas Marina - A visit to the impressive Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

Published by Nick

Today started out for me at work, (it’s the last workday of the week here in the UAE), After several hours of trying to cram a full day’s work into half, I slapped my parking permit on my car and hit the road to Abu Dhabi and Yas Island.

Free parking

Car parking for my ticket is situated in the Yas gateway park, which leads to the bizarre situation of parking on a grass lawn in on a desert Island!

Yas Marina

After along and pretty indirect shuttle bus journey I was dropped off at the west stand. It wasn’t where I wanted to be as it is on the outside of the track, and I wanted to be in the F1 village in the middle. I headed in regardless, only to be met by a series of signs which led me to a secret tunnel under the track I had never noticed before, and brings you up just outside the F1 Village in the centre of the track. A Long walk around some car parks led me though security and right next to the signing sessions where Alonso and Massa were signing away.

Yas Marina

I didn’t join the queue, but hung around to see who turned up next. The Renault boys hit the stage and seemed to have quite a few fans in the queue.

Yas Marina

The announcer then revealed that Mercedes were coming up after them with a certain Michael Schumacher. Not wanting to risk getting too close, for fear of being pushed into a wall, I made my exit through the F1 Village towards the Pit Lane Walk entrance.

The F1 Village consists of a mixture of sponsors booths, merchandise stands and food outlets, as well as some display stages and seating areas.

As I got to the gate for the pitlane walk there were some nice people handing out free bottles of water. It soon became clear this was because of the gigantic queue ahead. It moved quickly though, and it wasn’t long before I was next to the exit to the pit lane tunnel, and onto the track itself, just in front of the impressive Royal Tower which looks down the start straight.

Out on track

On the way down towards the pitlane gates there is rumble kerbing, which should hopefully stop any repeat of Mr Schumacher’s Hungary antics!

I got into the very crowded Pitlane and proceeded to walk towards the end, where there was a large crowd outside the Virgin Racing Garage.

From there it was on to lotus, I really liked the fact they put little UAE flags on their Air hose pipework.

Sidepodcast image

From there I carried on down the pit lane looking at both the garages and the pitwall stands, but before I got too far down, a Lotus wheeled by on the way to scrutineering.

Yas Marina scrutineering

The far end of the pit lane had a mass of people, the biggest crowds had gathered outside Ferrari. After a quick look in at McLaren and Red Bull, I got a quick photo of the podium, before getting really close to some of the cars coming out of scruitneering.

Yas Marina

Grid walking

From there I walked onto the grid, you can really imagine the tension there will be there on Sunday evening. A quick shot of the lights and the pole sitters grid slot and I walked back towards the timing line grabbing a quick shot of the commentary boxes, before finding my way back to the F1 village.

Yas Marina

I grabbed a couple of t-shirts from a stand and then went out onto the lawns behind the carparks in the middle of the track. Where you can see the hill the cars go up before heading down to the ‘Circus Maximus’ Hairpin.

I headed back to my car, with my appetite really whetted for a great weekend ahead, but relived its not long until we see the cars hit the track for FP1!

All content in the series Nick at Yas Marina 2010