2011 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix
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.
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: