What F1 Fanatics say about?? Abu Dhabi

2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

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Abu Dhabi, 2010

Formula 1 moves from its latest addition to the calendar to another relatively new venue.

A few F1 Fanatics have been sharing their advice on how to get the best out of attending the event. Here’s what they had to say.

Mark has been to both Abu Dhabi Grand Prix so far and tells of how simple it is to access the circuit:

There are plenty of buses and coaches to the circuit from downtown Abu Dhabi but as far as I could see most people arrived by car.

Car parking was well organised with window stickers for each day sent out in advance with tickets telling you which car park entrance to go to and stewards directing you to the right area. Then there were buses to ferry you (in 5-10 minutess) to your own grandstand entrance.

It was very, very easy to get to and easy to find your seat.

Once you have found your seat, if you are in the west grandstand, Mark may be able to help with more of his experience:

The grandstands are built close to the edge of the circuit and you’re at a high level looking down and across so you have a great view. From our seats in the west grandstand by turn eight we could see most of the way back up the main straight to turn seven where the cars came from.

We could see them as they braked and turned around turn eight and nine and then as they headed off down the back straight towards turn 11. Then by looking across we could see them as emerged from the Yas Hotel and came up around turn 20 and 21, we could see the whole of the length of the main pit straight and in the distance could see them entering the first corner.

So I reckon we were able to see 30% of the entire circuit from our seats without having to move or strain.

For those lucky people in the north grandstand, Brian Baum suggests viewing from its west side:

If you want to sit towards the front, go at least three or four rows back.

Also, if you have a choice, sit in the west side of the ‘V’ shaped stand. The setting afternoon sun is merciless and in the east side you will fry until just after the start of the race.

We ended up finding two empty seats on the lower west side of the ‘V’ and had a great view of the cars coming towards us around the corner and up the very long straight.

Best of all, after the race we were treated to Mark Webber doing several tyre-smoking doughnuts right in front of us. If you are into photography, the west side of the north grandstand is far better.
Brian Baum

Although free water is provided, be sure to take some loose change with you:

They ban you from taking in and eating your own food and that is strictly enforced.

A couple of people in front of me brought their own salads and were told they had to leave the grandstand to eat them. I saw someone else told to stop eating a packet of crisps. At least they were giving out water free.

On the subject of food, 2010 saw the introduction of more refreshment stalls and entertainment. This went a long way towards satisfying the crowd:

Each of the grandstands had a large area with marquees and stalls, with places to sit and eat (available food included jacket potatoes, fish and chips, burgers, salads, curries, hot dogs, ice cream, pastries, muffins, tea, coffee).

There were also an enclosed beer tents at each grandstand. They also had music and entertainers keeping the crowds happy.

For those travelling from outside the United Arab Emirate, Tom suggests having a read of some travel advice. With information on local customs and laws, it is well worth a read.

Be sure to read this if you are going.

The unique point of the race is the transition from day to night, and Mark gives us a teasing description of how spectacular that is:

It looked stunning with the floodlights and the hotel light show. The marina, and the hotel, add to the fabulous after-sunset atmosphere.

If you’ve been to the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before or are planning a visit this year, find other F1 fans who are and share your experiences with them here:

33 comments on “What F1 Fanatics say about?? Abu Dhabi”

  1. In the end, the circuit looks spectacular and the services are very good.
    It’s just the racing that fails to impress.

  2. I’ll be there!!! Waited too long to get my tickets, so I’m in the Marina stand, so I should have views of turn 11-19, and the hotel, not the greatest, but it’ll do.

    It’s obviously not the greatest circuit, and if I could chose to go to a GP it wouldn’t be this one. But the track is an hour from where I live…and i can’t turn that down as an F1F!

    1. How exactly do you get to see that much? 11 is the heavy braking zone at the end of the second straight; and 19 is the one where Mark Webber brushed the wall on the exit; is it not?

      1. The very idea of a Turn 19 on a modern F1 circuit makes me sad.

      2. I’m just guessing from having a look at the circuit map. I may only be able to see the straight before 11, and some of 14-18 in reality. All will be revealed on Friday…

    2. Enjoy it @geemac, I know you’ve been looking forward to it.

      And your Metallica concert visit not long ago means you really know your way there by now, I guess :-)

      Any chance you can put up some video or foto links afterwards?

      1. @GeeMac

        I second what @BasCB says! I really hope you share some pictures on the forum or even better, write a guest article about your experience! Have fun and I hope for your sake we actually get a race this year. :)

        1. @BasCB @damonsmedley I will be poting pictures on various social media sites, and i’m sure a few will make it to twitter. And if Mr. Collantine asks fr a guest article…who am I to say no! ;)

          1. @GeeMac I think you have to volunteer! But we would love to read an article if you were up to doing one. :)

          2. Yeah, I’d second that. Looking forward to it! :D

          3. I think you are right there!

  3. For anyone heading Abu Dhabi-ward, don’t forget also the F1 Drivers’ football team Nazionale Piloti will play a charity match on Wednesday at 7pm. Free entry, possibly more entertaining than the race, and the chance to see Schumacher’s knees, Britney’s headband or whatever other F1 oddity floats your boat ;-) Might see you there!

  4. racing this year has lot depended on tires, mostly you hear about China not being a great track… but if you check out how Chinese GP has been rated you will be surprised its been the best race of this season so far… as per F1Fanatics rate the races.

    1. Hamilton won in China this year… Brazil 08 was rated very highly too… corincidence?

      Just kidding :P

      China gets a lot of stick, it’s not that bad.

    2. Mclaren victory alot of drama and Lewis Hamilton it was trully the first taste of the new pirellis, Vettels tactics were perfect till that race he made a mistake hte result was a bit overated score without discarding Marks performance still that was the reason tyres like Dev said, India a bit dull all due to tyres.

  5. Mark, which grandstand number/seat number where you? seems like a good spot!

  6. What Scribe says about the track: Is dart’s really a sport? An what ARE rice?

    mm’sure it’s a good visiting experiance however, specially that rollercoaster.

    1. @Scribe Pardon? *scratches head* :?:

      1. @damonsmedley haha, was a joke man (a bad joke). The track so boring I can’t even remember it enough to have a veiw on it.

  7. I honestly wish that there’d be better racing on that track. I like the layout, but as we’ve seen it’s not really ideal for F1. I was wondering if anyone has seen some real action on the track? If so, please post videos :P

    1. Yeah, for all we know FOM is just looking at the hotel while in the backfield there is an almost epic battle to be missed by them!

      1. The V8 Supercars race there earlier this year was pretty awesome.

        1. @floptickle

          These are the final laps of the V8 Supercars race there earlier this year http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kBHsKY7Seco

          If only the F1 races at the circuit were this good..

          1. Wow, that was amazing! I should follow the V8’s :P

  8. Turns 11-19 (the entire 3rd sector) is nothing but an oversized mickie mouse section. The entire circuit is nothing but 90 degree corners and chicanes. The only exciting part of this 21-corner circuit are turns 2-3.

    Sad but true.

  9. I just read the article about the UAE laws etc…

    Doesn’t sound like one you could visit with the girlfriend. I’d be paranoid about getting in bother!

  10. The buildings, the lighting, all the sorrounding area is spectacular but the track simply sucks, and this is F1 so the track should be the most important aspect. Hopefully with two DRS zones we can see a better race this sunday, at least with more overtakes than in the previous GPs.

    Anyway, I expect another win for Vettel if nothing strange happens.

  11. @JohnTheMan96 and Alain: you are absolutely right. This “circuit” is a joke and an insult to every F1 driver. This is by far the worst track layout on the calendar.
    They had millions in their hands, everything was possible with all this money, and in the end they made this crap…

  12. Leaving this to the last minute, as usual… only seats left are Marina and South Lower. Any opinions? Which one is better? Have only been to F1 in Montreal in the past.

    Also, we’ll be coming in from Dubai, and there is next to no info online about public transportation to/from Yas Island. Thinking a cab might be too pricey after already splurging on the tickets, and don’t want to rent a car. Any help please!!!

    Looking forward to the race!

    1. Personally I’d have thought South would be better than Marina but I haven’t viewed from either so its just simply going from what I’ve seen of the circuit. From South you’d probably see more racing action, but Marina would put you in the heart of spectacular buildings.

      As far as public transport is concerned I think there is ZERO chance unless there are special coaches being put on from Dubai.

      There is the Dubai metro which runs to the outskirts of Dubai and is very good but once you get there I think there is nothing between there are Yas Island, and I mean nothing… its desert all the way.

      It is about 30-45 mins drive from Dubai to Yas Island.

      The only thing I can think of is whether there is some sort of shuttle coach service to Abu Dhabi airport from Dubai. The AD airport is next to Yas Marina so a taxi from the airport to the circuit would be just a short ride.

      BTW, in the park-n-ride they have a special area for taxis and it is the most enormous taxi rank I’ve ever seen. There must have been thousands of identical taxis lined up waiting for fares :)

      1. Thanks for the info Mark! Going for South Grandstand. Can’t wait!!

        Still haven’t decided how to get there. Might try for a shuttle to the airport, that’s a great idea. Does anyone know how late the concerts tend to run?

  13. Went to 2009. Whole event was great although lack of food outlets/choice and poor car-park to track transport (especially after the Beyonce concert on the Thursday – nightmare!) was solved last year it seems.

    Sat in West stand (by end main straight) and also South by Marina and good elements of viewing for each. The original intention with the long-straight was an under-grandstand run-off…which was only used very lightly and not during the GP; DRS and cliff-edge tyres may now create more excitement in this spot this year and before the short complex at end of second DRS zone by water.

    You can see elements of other parts of the track, more than many tracks where TV always gives you a better idea of what is going on anyway, as from 1/2 way along the west stand/main straight you can see cars exit from under the Hotel and go down pit-straight including start and finish. Worth a wander along to this vantage point during the race as people mill about, there are gantry viewing areas above the seating for the purpose.

    I got some neat shots across the 4 days which can be viewed at plus some Beyonce under “Music” from the F1 concert if you go to that Gallery. Not F1 but there you go…! ;)

    The FerrariWorld complex wasn’t complete in 2009 so this adds another dimension to Yas Marina experience.

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