Over 6000 fans enjoy Yas Marina Circuit’s popular Pit Lane Walk 

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Williams F1 team car and Pit Lane fans

Williams F1 team car and Pit Lane fans

F1 fans were out in full force at the Yas Marina Circuit opened its gates yesterday to 2013 ticket holders.

With a record crowd of 55,000 expected for the sold-out race weekend, the Pit Lane Walk drew over 6000 fans who turned up to get a behind-the-scenes look at F1 teams’ preparations for the weekend ahead.  Along with excitement, love was also in the air with one F1 fan dropping on bended knee to propose to his girlfriend.

Now in its fifth year, this year’s FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX will be the most international to date with over 40% of non-UAE residents in attendance.  Two such fans making the journey to Abu Dhabi for the F1 weekend were Ruth and Tony Oliver who made the trip from their home in Ireland.  The couple had first visited Yas Marina Circuit for the inaugural Grand Prix in 2009 and had now returned for the fifth anniversary:  “Yas Marina Circuit is amazing, from the facilities to the staff, everything is great,” commented Tony.

“Sunday is my birthday and as I’m a big Mark Webber fan it would be great to see him on the podium,” added Ruth.

Also down at the public Pit Lane Walk, enjoying a turbocharged school outing, was a group of students from Abu Dhabi’s Zayed Secondary School. For most of them it was their first time at Yas Marina Circuit.

“I love Formula 1, it’s the best sport in the world,” said 14 year-old Anas Mohammed, from Egypt. “I want to see Sebastian Vettel and I want to see Mark Webber win in his final season.”

Fans were also given the opportunity today to meet F1 teams Scuderia Ferrari and Mercedes AMG Petronas at two of the first F1 driver autograph sessions of the weekend.

Elsewhere at Yas Marina Circuit, fans also took a first look today at the expanded off-track entertainment programme in the Oasis Areas of the Circuit which, this year includes themed areas such as the South Beach Oasis and the F1 Village.

With fans taking in an array of off-track entertainment today, tomorrow will see the kick-off of on-track action with the first F1 practice session as well as practice sessions for support races GP2, GP3 and Porsche Mobil Supercup.

THE 2013 FORMULA ONE ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX by the numbers

In order to welcome a record breaking crowd from all corners of the globe for the FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX, here are some of the numbers behind the scene to make the racing event a truly spectacular one ever.

· All F1 teams have arrived, with an estimated 140 containers totaling 30-40 tons of cargo per team

· 55,000 fans from over 80 countries will attend the race weekend for its 5th anniversary

· The Yas Marina Circuit track cleaning truck traveled an estimated 1,166 km (on track only) for a combined total of 210 hours

· Yas Marina Circuit used 14,795 litres of paint to repaint the track alone, with more paint used for other areas of the Circuit

· Man hours to paint and spray the track totaled 882 hours, with one team member walking 28km in order to spray paint and perfect the white lines around the whole circuit

· Water ordered for the weekend includes:

o 527 x 5 gallon bottles

o 9,723 cases x 24 500ml bottles = 233,352 bottles

· Over 7,000 people are working day and night to deliver what will be the biggest FORMULA 1 ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX to date

· Approximately 50 forklifts are operating across Yas Marina Circuit site

 

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