All systems go for this year’s Formula 1 festivities…
Words: Ferdinand Godinez
Buckle up and drive confidently into this year’s Formula 1 with our guide to what’s going on at this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
For the 11th year, the capital gets to play host to Formula 1 Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
The race’s latest edition is set to take a new turn, with the event happening from Thursday, 28th November to Sunday, 1st December at Yas Marina Circuit on Yas Island.
This means the final race day falls a day before the UAE’s 48th National Day, further fuelling the festive atmosphere in the emirate.
Here’s what you need to know at this year’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix 2019…
British racing driver Lewis Hamilton is on track to wrap up the season on a historic note.
The 34-year-old Mercedes star secured his sixth Grand Prix title in the US in October 2019, making the Abu Dhabi finale a mere formality to what has been another dominant year.
This doesn’t mean, however, that the races lack excitement as competing teams and drivers are expected to go full throttle to finish the season strong heading into 2020.
The Abu Dhabi leg of the actual tournament begins on 29th November, with the first practice round taking place between 1pm and 2.30pm, then from 5pm to 6.30pm for the second one.
The following day on 30th November sees the third practice round at 2pm, and the subsequent qualifying round from 5pm.
The final race of the season is scheduled for 1st December, with the 55-lap race starting at 5.10pm.
While some categories are already sold out, tickets are still available for Terrace Hospitality, Yas Suites Main Premium, North Lounge, Main Club, Main Grandstand, North, West and South Grandstand and Grand Prix Brunch.
The tickets are inclusive of various packages, which, among others, include access to different zones and attractions around the venue, such as ‘pit lane walk’ where you get to see drivers up close, Yas Island theme parks and to the after-race concerts.
Getting to Yas Marina
Yas Island will be very busy during the race weekend, so plan your journey well ahead of time to avoid any setbacks.
We’ve been told that parking will be plentiful, with the added bonus of shuttle buses.
It’s worth noting that whether you choose to arrive by car, taxi or public transportation (Check timetables at darb.ae), there will be specific drop-off and pick-up points.
As well as the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix itself, there are also the exciting after-race concerts.
This year is no different as four international acts will head on stage at du Arena each night, with concerts free for race ticket-holders.
DJ Marshmello, the multi-platinum American DJ known for the hits ‘Silence,’ ‘Wolves,’ ‘Friends’ and ‘Happier,’ opens the show on 28th November.
As part of his world tour, US rapper Travis Scott is set to showcase his trademark explosive live show on 29th November. Travis is expected to rap hits from his critically acclaimed Astroworld album.
Lana Del Rey will debut in the capital on 30th November. The New York native, who has a string of hits including ‘Ultraviolence,’ ‘Love,’ ‘Ride,’ ‘West Coast’ and ‘Blue Jeans,’ recently added her voice to the latest theme song for the Charlie’s Angels reboot alongside Ariana Grande and Miley Cyrus.
American rockers The Killers is this year’s finale act heading on stage and will be performing on 1st December. The four-piece band composed of Brandon Flowers (vocals), Dave Keuning (guitar), Mark Stoermer (bass) and Ronnie Vannucci Jr (drums) are famous for its many anthemic hits like ‘Somebody Told Me,’ ‘Smile Like You Mean It,’ ‘Human’ and ‘Mr Brightside.’
The action spills beyond the racetracks with parties and offers happening around Yas Marina to celebrate the race-season finale.
Japanese restaurant Ramusake is rolling out a pop-up located on the glass bridge overlooking the racetrack. You can opt for a set menu (AED 800) on Thursday, 28th November or brunch (AED 800) on Friday, 29th November. Heading into Saturday brunch will cost AED 1,100 (early bird), while AED 1,200 minimum spend applies in the evening. Visit: abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net
The Royal Rich List Terrace offers different packages, from VIP to Emperor seated packages for up to 15 guests, plus VIP brunch packages. Guests get to enjoy amazing track views and live DJ music all weekend. Packages start from AED 1,500 on Friday and Saturday and from AED 3,700 on Sunday.
Visit: secret parties.com/secretbrunchf1abudhabi
WET Deck will host the official OKOKO Pool Party and will feature an array of live acts including international DJs Sandy Rivera, Maxi Jazz from British dance group Faithless and Claptone on 29th and 30th November, and 1st December. Tickets start from AED 500. Visit: yashotelexperiences.com
Candypants from Friday to Sunday will host a 12-hour mega yacht brunch party. Free-flowing food and drinks will be served from midday until midnight with prices starting from AED 1,990. There’s also a more affordable after-party option for AED 499 for all three nights from 8pm to midnight. Visit: candypants.events