Find out more about the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina Circuit, including race information and a destination guide for a visit to Abu Dhabi
Another relatively recent addition to the F1 calendar, the Yas Marina Circuit was added to the schedule in 2009 and provides a spectacular, state-of-the art facility. While there are large run-off areas, the track features a tricky mix of corners which makes car set-up slightly difficult. The first sector features a high-speed change of direction before the cars drop down to the Turn 7 hairpin where a grandstand surrounds the track. A very long straight follows before braking for the Turn 10 and 11 chicane, before another straight leads into the left-right-left section of 12, 13 and 14 as the track winds past the marina, with the end of both straights offering a good chance of overtaking. The final sector features a number of 90-degree corners which are hardly thrilling but it passes under the Yas Viceroy Hotel and has barriers close by to punish any mistakes before two further right handers end the lap.
While the race is named the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in order to promote the capital city, the United Arab Emirates is a popular holiday destination courtesy of its warm climate and variety of activities.
The Yas Marina Circuit is situated on Yas Island to the north of the city and is part of a stunning complex which includes the Viceroy hotel, which sits across the track in the final sector. Staying here can offer rooms with a view of the circuit, but if that’s outside of your budget then the rooftop bar is worth a visit.
Also on Yas Island is Ferrari World, a theme park dedicated to F1’s most famous and successful team. Featuring rollercoasters, old Ferrari cars and simulators, Ferrari World’s flagship ride is the Formula Rossa rollercoaster, which replicates F1 acceleration. Yas Waterworld is right next door to Ferrari World and the circuit and is full of exciting waterslides including one where a trap door drops out from underneath your feet…
Yas Mall is also on Yas Island, with the huge shopping mall ensuring there are three attractions within relatively short walking distance of the circuit in which you could easily spend a full day.
Abu Dhabi features a number of hotels and shopping malls, while the Corniche offers a beautiful beach at the far end of the city. On the Corniche is the extravagant Emirates Palace, a 7-star hotel which is ornately decorated and offers a number of exclusive dining options.
Another stunning sight in Abu Dhabi is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which consists of 82 domes and four minarets. The spectacular mosque is one of the city’s top tourist attractions, with tours on offer for visitors.
If you’re willing to head out of the city, the desert safari tours are an excellent way to get an adrenaline rush and appreciate some local traditions. Off-roading in 4x4 vehicles on sand dunes will get the blood pumping, while you can also try driving a buggy or riding a motocross bike across the dunes. If an engine isn't your thing, try your hand at sandboarding before enjoying dinner under the stars and local entertainment.
Abu Dhabi International Airport is just a few miles from the Yas Marina Circuit, with a taxi taking ten minutes to shuttle you from arrivals to the track. It is also easy to fly to Dubai and drive or take taxi down to Abu Dhabi, with the trip to the circuit taking about 1 hour 15 minutes.