One of the nice things about the Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi is that you can buy tickets that cover 4 days of activities starting on the Thursday. The main activity on Thursday is a Pit Lane Walk.
We were staying in Dubai so we drove to Abu Dhabi in the early afternoon which is about an hour’s drive. The tickets included parking in car park W. Typically we only decided to check which car park we were in as we drove past the turn-off for our car park. Naturally this meant we ended up going the long way round. We then managed to drive in the bus entrance and had to do a slightly dodgy stunt to park. Clearly we weren’t the only ones because when we returned later they had put extra cones out.
Thursday being relatively quiet there was a long line of buses ready to take passengers so we hopped on the first bus and were soon on our way. From there it was about a 10-15 min walk to get to the pit lane so by the time we arrived we only had an hour to look at the cars.
It was great because you could watch the guys working on the cars. We got really close to the cars and with a good zoom lens it was possible to get detailed picture of the fins. They are developed by the aerodynamics team to create downforce. The front wing is really important because it affects the airflow for the rest of the car.
It was very interesting watching the guys getting the cars ready. When we walked past the Red Bull team they were busy sorting out the suspension on the car. With most things looking very high tech it was rather amusing to see this process involved a hammer and guys sitting on the car.
Of course one of the most famous teams is Ferrari with the biggest fan base. So crowds were biggest in this area.
One of the key part of the preparation is to get technical approval of. Every so often a team would push their cars past us so then we really were very close. We were so focused on watching the guys working on the cars that I was a bit slow getting a decent photo.
This is the Haas team taking their car for inspection. Interestingly in the middle of the season the inspection found that leading edges in the middle of the car exceeded requirements by a few millimeters. This was enough for them to have points deducted. Fortunately this time it seems they did not have any issues.
The Williams team were making the most of a brief rest while they waited for the inspection.
I think it really does make things more interesting when you can see a bit of the background activity and see the cars close up. So I really like the way the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix provides tickets for a Pit Lane Walk